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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

Closed

Admission

Ijinkan

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around 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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    • 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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    • 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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    • Guesthouse Banvina
      Budget-friendly
      700 metres from Amu Plaza Kagoshima, Guesthouse Banvina is located in Kagoshima and offers air-conditioned rooms. With free WiFi, this 1-star guest house offers a shared kitchen and luggage storage space. Terukuni Shrine is 2.1 km from the guest house and Kagoshima City Museum of Art is 2.4 km away. The guest house provides certain rooms that include a safety deposit box, and every room is equipped with a shared bathroom and a desk. Museum of the Meiji Restoration is 1.1 km from Guesthouse Banvina, while St. Xavier Church is 1.8 km away. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 40 km from the accommodation.
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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. Some units are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, washing machine and a kettle, as well as a kitchen. 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, 47 km from the accommodation.
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    • Hostel Tomal
      Budget-friendly
      Hostel Tomal is set in Kagoshima, 1.1 km from Terukuni Shrine and 1.1 km from Reimeikan. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is located 1.6 km from Museum of the Meiji Restoration and 1.7 km from Ishibashi Park. All rooms have a shared bathroom fitted with a shower and slippers, while selected rooms also offer a kitchen equipped with a microwave. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Minato Odori Park, Kagoshima City Museum of Art and St. Xavier Church. The nearest airport is Kagoshima Airport, 38 km from Hostel Tomal.
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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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    • Hotel Gate In Kagoshima Tenmonkan
      Mid-range
      Renovated in 2014, Hotel Gate In Kagoshima is a located a 5-minute walk from Tenmonkan Dori Tram Station and a 10-minute tram ride from JR Kagoshima Chuo Train Station.Free WiFi access is available at the entire property. Guests can enjoy complimentary coffee and read magazines at the lobby. The air-conditioned rooms feature a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Japanese Yukata robes are provided and guests can enjoy VOD channels on the flat-screen TV. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer. Some rooms have a balcony and a private open-air bath. A coin-launderette is on site and photocopying services are offered at the 24-hour front desk. Kagoshima Gate In Hotel is a 5-minute drive from Kagoshima Port and Kagoshima Aquarium. The Tenmonkan shopping arcade is a 3-minute walk away.
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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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    • Sun Days Inn Kagoshima
      Mid-range
      A 5-minute walk from Tenmonkan-dori Tram Station, Sun Days Inn Kagoshima offers rooms with free WiFi. Guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet and use the free-use PCs at the business centre. JR Kagoshima-chuo Train Station is a 10-minute drive away. The modern air-conditioned rooms feature a desk, a flat-screen TV and a fridge. Guests can make green tea using the electric kettle and borrow a trouser press for in-room use. The en suite bathroom comes with toothbrush sets. A hairdryer is provided in each room. A coin-launderette is on site and laptops can be rented at the 24-hour front desk. Drink vending machines are on site. Sundays Restaurant serves a breakfast buffet featuring local specialties, including pork curry and chicken rice. Kagoshima Sun Days Inn is a 10-minute drive from Kagoshima Arena and a 7-minute tram ride from Kenmonkan Tram Stop to Kagoshima Port. Kagoshima Airport is an 1-hour drive away.
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