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Senganen Garden (åŠÞ‰€), also known as Isoteien (ˆé’뉀), is a Japanese style landscape garden along the coast north of downtown Kagoshima. One of the garden's most striking features is its use of Sakurajima and Kagoshima Bay as borrowed scenery. The garden also includes small ponds, streams, shrines and a bamboo grove.

Senganen was constructed in 1658 by the wealthy Shimazu Clan, one of the most powerful feudal clans during the Edo Period (1603-1867). The Shimazu ruled the Satsuma domain (present day Kagoshima) for almost 700 years until the end of the feudal age in 1868. They continued to be influential into the modern era as some of the earliest adopters of Western science and technology.

At the center of the garden stands the Iso Residence. The residence was originally built in 1658 along with the rest of the garden, but the current building mostly dates back to a mid 1880s reconstruction. After the end of the feudal age, the Iso Residence became the main residence of the Shimazu family, and its rooms are preserved in the way they were used in the 1890s. The interior of the residence can be viewed at an additional cost (see admission section for details).

Senganen has a variety of trees and plants that make the garden scenery interesting in all four seasons. There are a number of cherry trees, especially of the early flowering Kanhizakura variety, which open as early as late January. Other cherry tree varieties provide flowers through mid April.

Towards the end of the Edo Period, the Shuseikan Industrial Complex was constructed on the Senganen grounds as part of early local efforts to produce iron for shipbuilding and casting cannons. A large part of the industrial complex is not standing anymore today, but some of its surviving structures, foundations and auxiliary sites have received world heritage status in summer 2015 as part of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution.

Among the world heritage sites are the foundations of a reverberatory furnace, located inside Senganen's paid area not far from the entrance gate. Furthermore, just outside the garden stands a long stone building that functioned as one of Japan's earliest Western style machinery factories and now houses the Shoko Shuseikan Museum about the Shimazu Clan and their early efforts at industrialization. Entry to the museum is included in the garden's admission ticket.

Charcoal and hydropower were important sources of energy used to power the machinery at the industrial complex. For that reason, the ruined remains of a charcoal kiln and a sluice gate were also recognized as world heritage sites. Note that the remains of the kiln and sluice gate are located several kilometers away in the nearby hills above Senganen, and are difficult to reach by public transport. Access by rental car is recommended.

The final related site added to the world heritage list is the Ijinkan, a residence for foreign engineers who helped design and build a textile mill in the area. The residence is located a short walk from Senganen and is open to the public. Entry to the Ijinkan requires a separate fee and is not included in the Senganen Garden's admission ticket.

Getting there and around

Senganen Garden and the Ijinkan can be reached by the City View Bus in about 50 minutes or by the Machimeguri Bus in about 35 minutes from Kagoshima Chuo Station.

How to get to and around Kagoshima

Hours and Fees

Senganen Garden

Hours

9:00 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

1000 yen (garden and museum)
1500 yen (garden, museum and interior of the residence)

Ijinkan

Hours

8:30 to 17:30

Closed

No closing days

Admission

200 yen

Hotels around Kagoshima

Top rated in Kagoshima
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    • Gracias
      Budget-friendly
      Gracias is a self-catering accommodation located in Kagoshima, just a 5-minute walk from the ferry terminals offering high speed boats and ferries to Yakushima and Sakurajima. Air-conditioned apartments are fitted with a flat-screen TV, a balcony and a full kitchen with a microwave, a refrigerator and a stovetop. Private bathrooms are equipped with a hairdryer, a bath and slippers. Each apartment also comes with a view of Sakurajima. Gracias Apartment is within a 2-minute walk from the nearest convenience store, a cafe and a restaurant, while JR Kagoshima Station is a 15-minute walk away. Kagoshimachuo Station is a 20-minute tram ride away, while Kagoshima Airport is located 28 km away. No meals are served on site.
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    • Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kagoshima
      Luxury
      Opened in 2012, Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kagoshima is just a 2-minute walk from JR Kagoshima-Chuo Train Station and features a French restaurant and massage services. Its modern rooms impress with a 4-star decor and a spacious shower room with a bathtub. Free WiFi is available throughout the premises. Polished wood panelling, soft lights and plush carpets await guests in the rooms at Kagoshima Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel. Each room has an LCD TV with channels including CNN and China Central Television (CCTV), a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea, and the bathing area and toilet are separated for improved hygiene. Some rooms have views of Sakurajima volcano. The hotel is a 5-minute drive from the Ishin Furusato-kan Museum, which focuses on the Meiji Restoration. Sengan-en Japanese Garden is 6 km away. A free-use internet PC can be found at the lobby, and the 24-hour front desk offers laptops to guests at a surcharge. A coin launderette is available for use. A Japanese/Western breakfast is served for an extra fee at Kuwahara Restaurant, where French course lunches and dinners can also be enjoyed.
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    • SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima
      Luxury
      Featuring an open-air natural hot spring bath overlooking Sakurajima Volcano and the sea, SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima offers a spa centre, 7 dining options and a concierge. Rooms have free wired internet. Some rooms come with a view of Sakurajima volcano and Kinko-wan Bay. All are equipped with an LCD TV with satellite channels, a fridge and a safe. The spa at SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima offers a mist sauna, a flower bath and massage treatments. Guests can also enjoy karaoke and shopping. Restaurant Le Ciel offers panoramic city views and Western food, while other restaurants serve Japanese and Chinese specialities. Castle Park houses its own bakery and brewery. A free bus circulates between SHIROYAMA HOTEL kagoshima, JR Kagoshima Chuo Station and downtown area Tenmonkan, both a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Hotel Gran Cerezo Kagoshima
      Mid-range
      Featuring an on-site bar and public baths, Hotel Gran Cerezo Kagoshima offers free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site. Kagoshima Chuo Station is a 7-minute tram ride. All air-conditioned rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV and electric kettle. Amenities include toothbrushes, pajamas, refrigerator and desk. Featuring views of Sakurajima Island, an on-site restaurant Kizuna serves Japanese and Western-style dishes prepared with local produces. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk that offers free luggage storage. The entire property is non-smoking and guests can smoke in the designated smoking area. For guests' convenience, a drinks vending machine is provided. Tenmonkan Park is a 7-minute stroll away from Hotel Gran Cerezo Kagoshima and Water Front Park is situated a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Richmond Hotel Kagoshima Kinseicho
      Mid-range
      Just steps away from Asahidori Tram Stop, Richmond Hotel Kagoshima Kinseicho features comfortable guestrooms, free property-wide Wi-Fi and a breakfast. JR Kagoshima Chuo Shinkansen (bullet train) Station is a 10-minute drive or a tram ride away. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, a fridge and an air-purifier/humidifier. An electric kettle with tea bags is also provided. The en suite bathroom comes with a bath tub and free toiletries. Kagoshima Kinseicho Richmond Hotel provides coin launderette, drinks vending machines and a free-use microwave. Laptops and a printer can be rented from the 24-hour front desk. Free luggage storage services are offered, while in-room massages can be arranged at an additional charge. The hotel is an 8-minute walk to the lively Temmonkan-dori area and a 12-minute walk to Kagoshima Aquarium. Kagoshima Airport is a 50-minute bus ride away. Ineya restaurant on the ground floor serves a hearty breakfast where guests can also choose one main dish.
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    • JR Kyushu Hotel Kagoshima
      Mid-range
      Directly connected to JR Kagoshima Chuo Shinkansen (bullet train) Station, JR Kyushu Hotel Kagoshima offers modern guest rooms with free Wi-Fi in 2 separate towers. Local Kagoshima cuisine can be savoured at the on-site restaurant. All rooms at JR Kyushu Hotel feature an LCD TV, air conditioning, air purifier and a small fridge. A hairdryer and toiletries are included in the en suite bathroom. Free luggage storage services are offered at the front desk. In-room massages and dry-cleanings can be arranged. There are also coin laundrettes and free-use internet PCs on site. Ekitei Satsuma restaurant serves traditional Kagoshima specialties, as well as other Japanese dishes. A hearty breakfast buffet is also offered there. Guests can reach Sakurajima in 30 minutes by bus and ferry. The hotel is a 7-minute drive from Terukuni Shrine, and a 13-minute drive from Senganen Garden. Kagoshima Aquarium is a 6-minute drive away. Kagoshima Airport is a 40-minute drive away.
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    • Silk Inn Kagoshima
      Mid-range
      A 5-minute walk from JR Kagoshima Chuo Train Station, Silk Inn Kagoshima offers modern rooms with free Wi-Fi/wired internet access. Guests can refresh in the indoor/outdoor hot-spring baths and request relaxing massages for an extra cost. The air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen TV with VOD channels, a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Japanese Yukata robes and slippers are provided for all guests. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer. Guests can refresh on the reclining chairs in the relaxation room and use the coin-launderette on site. Luggage storage and photocopying services are available at the front desk. A free-use PC is provided at the lobby. Hanan Caf? serves traditional Keihan chicken rice dishes and light meals. Japanese dishes and shabu shabu meals are served at Yuan restaurant. Kagoshima Silk Inn is a 10-minute drive from Kagoshima Arena and Kagoshima Port. Sakurajima Island is a 45-minute drive and ferry ride away. Tenmonkan Dori Tram Station is a 10-minute tram ride away.
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    • Apartment Hotel Ecott
      Mid-range
      Situated 6 km from Kagoshima Municipal Science Hall, Apartment Hotel Ecott features accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The aparthotel provides a terrace. Museum of the Meiji Restoration is 8 km from Apartment Hotel Ecott, while Amu Plaza Kagoshima is 8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 36 km from the accommodation.
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    • remm Kagoshima
      Mid-range
      Only a 2-minute walk from Tenmonkandori Tram Station, Remm Kagoshima offers modern accommodations with a massage chair. Free WiFi is available at the entire property and body care services are available for extra relaxation. The air-conditioned, compact rooms feature a 32-inch LCD TV with video-on-demand, a fridge and an electric kettle. Nightwear and toothbrush sets are provided for all guests. The en suite bathroom comes with a rain shower and a hairdryer. Complimentary mineral water is provided. Kagoshima Remm Hotel is a 10-minute drive from Sengan-en Garden and a 25-minute drive away from Sakurajima Island. JR Kagoshima Train Station is a 5-minute drive away, while Tenmonkan Airport Shuttle Bus Stop is a quick 1-minute walk away. Guests can choose from various Japanese and herbal tea bags at the 24-front desk. Dry cleaning service is provided. Simple breakfast sets and coffee are served at Tullyfs Coffee on the ground floor.
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    • Kagoshima Tokyu REI Hotel
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      Located on the riverside, Kagoshima Tokyu REI Hotel is set beside Takamibashi Tram Station and a 5-minute stroll from Kagoshima-Chuo Station. It offers modern accommodation with 2 restaurants and rooms with free WiFi/wired internet. A complimentary water bottle is replenished daily. All guest rooms are non-smoking and offer both air conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a humidifier, a Yukata robe and a trouser press. The en suite bathroom comes with a bathtub, high-tech toilet and features Shiseido bath products. An air purifier is available in all rooms. The hotel has a coin-operated launderette and drink vending machines on site. A photo studio is available on-site, while massage services are available upon request. Luggage storage can be found at the 24-hour front desk. Guests will find a designated smoking booth in the ground floor lobby. Shangri-La Restaurant serves a Japanese and Western buffet. Guests can have tea and refreshments at the Sakura Tea Lounge. Kagoshima Bus Terminal is a 4-minute walk from the property. Hotel Tokyu REI Kagoshima is a 25-minute drive from Senganen Garden and a 15-minute drive from Kagoshima City Aquarium. Kagoshima Airport is a 45-minute drive away, while the Ferry Terminal to Tanegashima Island and Yakushima Island is a 10-minute drive away. Sakurajima is a 40 minute ferry and drive ride away.
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