community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-bookmark-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-tours destinations-town interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter social-youtube ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-confirmed-outline ui-confirmed-solid ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-video-play ui-x user-avatar
Stone walls and hedges along the main street of Chiran's samurai district

Chiran (知覧) is a small town in the middle of the Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture. Within the town there is a preserved samurai district with houses and gardens that date back about 250 years. Chiran's isolated location at the southern end of Kyushu has allowed the district to keep much of its historical character intact.

The preserved samurai district consists of a 700 meter long street within downtown Chiran that runs parallel to the main thoroughfare. The street itself is very attractive, with the rock walls and hedges of residences and the forested hillsides in the distance. Unlike some other samurai districts, it is also free of telephone poles and parked cars that would detract from the historic atmosphere.

A group of travelers walk between residences and gardens

Seven gardens attached to samurai residences are open to the public, while the buildings themselves cannot be entered. The gardens are relatively small and designed to be viewed from the residences. Five out of the seven gardens are of the Karesansui Dry Garden variety. Of the other two, one includes a pond and the other is composed of trimmed shrubs.

A 500 yen entrance fee allows tourists to visit all seven gardens. Entry tickets cannot be purchased at the gardens themselves except the one at the northern end of the district. They are also available at a few shops adjacent to parking lots along the main street that runs parallel to the samurai district.

One of the samurai district's seven gardens

Access

The samurai district can be reached by hourly buses from Kagoshima (80 minutes, around 900 yen, departing from Kagoshima Chuo Station and the Yamagataya Bus Center), which also stop at Hirakawa Station (30 minutes to Chiran) along the way. Get off at the Bukeyashiki-iriguchi (武家屋敷入口) bus stop. Most of the buses continue to the Chiran Tokko Museum, which is about two kilometers away.

How to get to and around the Satsuma Peninsula

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:00 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

500 yen (includes all seven gardens)
Page last updated: May 17, 2016