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Goin’ Japanesque!

Travel in Kyushu: Enjoy Nature at Sengan-en, a Gorgeous Japanese Garden in Kagoshima

Have many of you already been to major cities in Japan such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto?
I would recommend Kyushu region for such people, as it has many sightseeing spots, no less than what big cities offer.
Because these spots are not yet completely arranged for tourism, you can enjoy plenty of nature and experience Japan more as it naturally is.

In such Kyushu region, this time I visited Sengan-en garden in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Its wonderful view consists of a group of traditional buildings and nature in harmony, and it will surely bring excitement to your heart.

<General Information on Sengan-en>
Open: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Languages: Brochures are available of course in English, simplified or traditional Chinese, and Korean languages.
Admission: 1,000 yen for high school students or older, 500 yen for elementary or junior high school students, and free if younger.
Access by Car: About 20 minutes from Kagoshima-chuo Station (Many rent-a-car services are available around the station.)
Access by Bus: Get off at “Sengan-en-mae” stop on Kagoshima City View Bus or Machimeguri Bus.
Official Website


To Begin with, What is Sengan-en?

During the Edo period (1603-1868) when today’s Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures were called Satsuma domain, it was governed by Shimazu family. Sengan-en was originally their mansion including Japanese garden, aside from their main residence. It is registered as a World Heritage Site, and many tourists visit the place from all over the world.

As it is said that its Japanese gardens becomes complete with Sakurajima island and Kinko Bay, I would like you to enjoy the scenic view surrounding the garden, too.

The area of ​​Sengan-en is very large as 50,000 square meters (about 12.4 acres), and it has plenty of great spots to look at.

You might wonder what part you should focus on when you tour the garden.

So, I would like to introduce three major attractions of Sengan-en based on my opinion this time.


1. The Garden Where Colorful Flowers Spread

Writer’s Photo

There are plenty of nature in Sengan-en garden. Unlike western-style gardens in which everything is meticulously arranged, Japanese-style gardens keep the area much more pristine. You can enjoy the unique beauty of Japanese-style garden here.

Writer’s Photo

Depending on the season you go, you can see different flowers in bloom. At the end of June when this author visited, hydrangea was beautifully blooming!


2. Contrast of Sakurajima Island, Sea, and Sengan-en

Writer’s Photo

Once you have finished a round of the Japanese-style garden, I recommend you climb up the slope a little bit and get a view of the whole place.

You can see all the traditional manors in Sengan-en garden, Sakurajima island, which is one of the symbols of Kagoshima, and the sea that surrounds it.

It is a great spot for those who would like to capture truly Japanese landscape in photos.


3. Views Don’t Fill Your Stomach? Fantastic Food at Sengan-en

As you can see here, there are 4 eateries in Sengan-en.

And I would recommend this place most among them!

Oukatei (桜華亭)

This place serves local cuisine of former Satsuma domain while you are watching spectacular views of Sakurajima and the sea.

As you enjoy the scenery and food that you can experience only here, I am sure it will make wonderful memories of your trip.

I recommend ordering “Satsuma Kyodo Ryori Gozen” (Satsuma Local Cuisine Variety) of course! You can enjoy several Satsuma specialties such as kibinago (silver-stripe round herring).

In addition, there are other restaurants such as “Shofuken” for western-style and Japanese food and “Satsuma Ramen-ya”, “Jumbo Mochi” is a specialty food of Sengan-en. The place is filled with exciting opportunities for food experience!

It is awesome to enjoy delicious food while watching the spectacular view at the same time!


Please visit Sengan-en garden, a famous scenic spot in Kyushu registered as a World Heritage Site. I had a great time there!

Related Articles:
Enjoy Roses and the Japanese Garden in Tokyo: Kyu Furukawa Teien
8 Elegant Kyoto Gardens Rich in the Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic

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About the author

I major in Tourism Studies, and am a university student who loves Japan!

View all articles by Rikako