Lose yourself and find tranquility
at the home of the Shimadzu family

Stately home and gardens of the Shimadzu family
Stately home and gardens of the Shimadzu family

Stately home and gardens of the Shimadzu family

Sengan-en is a traditional garden and stately home in Kagoshima built by the 19th head of the Shimadzu family, Mitsuhisa, in 1658. Sengan-en uses the principle of "borrowed scenery", and incorporates the background elements of active volcano Sakurajima and Kinko Bay as part of the gardens.

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Highlights of Sengan-en

The House

The House

Take a stroll around the house lived in and loved by generations of the Shimadzu family, and enjoy the private view over the gardens, Kinko Bay, and Sakurajima beyond. The house features a fascinating mix of Japanese, Chinese and Western influences, and is built from flawless 1,000-year-old Yakushima cedar.

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The Gardens

The Gardens

Delight in the contrast between the raw power of active volcano Sakurajima and the 12 acres of calming traditional gardens. Discover peaceful ponds, bubbling streams, mysterious shrines, tea rooms, a bamboo grove, and a mountain hiking trail with a breathtaking panoramic view of the bay and volcano beyond.

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Kagoshima World Heritage Orientation Centre

Kagoshima World Heritage Orientation Centre

Find out why Kagoshima was among the first regions of Japan to modernise in the late 19th century, and the reason why Nariakira chose to build a factory complex next to Sengan-en at the Kagoshima World Cultural Heritage Orientation Centre.

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Site of the Reverberatory Furnace

Site of the Reverberatory Furnace

Learn about the birth of modernisation in Japan at the remains of the reverberatory furnace. Kagoshima was home to the first modern factory complex in Japan in the late 19th century, and led to the wider development of industrialisation across the country.

Shoko Shuseikan Museum

Shoko Shuseikan Museum

Follow the course of the Shimadzu family over 800 years, and see how the international relations they forged led to the development of industrialisation in modern Japan. The Shoko Shuseikan Museum is housed in the oldest stone factory building in Japan, built in 1865.

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Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks

Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks

Watch master craftsmen blow and cut Satsuma Kiriko crystal glass right before your eyes at the Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks, then marvel at the pinnacle of Kagoshima’s traditional craftsmanship at the gallery shop next door.

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Events at Sengan-en

23 May
07 Jun

Summer Irises at Sengan-en

Irises were much loved by the samurai for their beautiful flowers, which fade and die in only a few days. For the samurai this represented the fleeting nature of life and nobility in death.

25 Jul
23 Aug

Nariakira’s Beloved Morning Glories

The 28th head of the Shimadzu family, Nariakira, was a huge fan of morning glories and even bred several subspecies of his own. The delicate blues, purples, and pinks provide a cooling backdrop to the heat of the Kagoshima summer.

07 Aug
10 Aug

Shimadzu Family Tanabata Decorations

Tanabata, sometimes called the star festival is held each year on the 7th of July. At Sengan-en we follow the Tanabata traditions of the Shimadzu family and display paper streamers on giant moso bamboo.

01 Nov
23 Nov

Sengan-en Chrysanthemum Festival

Delight in the display of over 15,000 chrysanthemums against the stunning backdrop of active volcano Sakurajima. Impressive display pieces, mannequins wearing flower kimono, and carefully manicured bonsai bring a wave of colour to Sengan-en.

traditional Kagoshima food Ohkatei Restaurant

Places to eat at Sengan-en

Enjoy a wide selection of Kagoshima cuisine at our restaurants, relax with local teas and sweets at our cafe, or have a bite of our famous snack, jambo mochi. Whatever your appetite, you’ll find plenty to choose from at Sengan-en, all with stunning views of active volcano Sakurajima.

Satsuma Kiriko crystal glass red

Sengan-en shops

Discover a carefully selected range of exclusive Kagoshima products in our gift shops. From local craft products and sweets to famous brands with a historical connection to the 800-year-old Shimadzu family, all of our products reflect the exceptional quality of Sengan-en.

Yearly Events

Spring

13 Apr
30 Apr

Temporary Closure Notice

Temporary closure of Sengan-en, Shoko Shuseikan Museum, and Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Glassworks

23 May
07 Jun

Summer Irises at Sengan-en

Irises were much loved by the samurai for their beautiful flowers, which fade and die in only a few days. For the samurai this represented the fleeting nature of life and nobility in death.

Summer

25 Jul
23 Aug

Nariakira’s Beloved Morning Glories

The 28th head of the Shimadzu family, Nariakira, was a huge fan of morning glories and even bred several subspecies of his own. The delicate blues, purples, and pinks provide a cooling backdrop to the heat of the Kagoshima summer.

07 Aug
10 Aug

Shimadzu Family Tanabata Decorations

Tanabata, sometimes called the star festival is held each year on the 7th of July. At Sengan-en we follow the Tanabata traditions of the Shimadzu family and display paper streamers on giant moso bamboo.

Autumn

01 Nov
23 Nov

Sengan-en Chrysanthemum Festival

Delight in the display of over 15,000 chrysanthemums against the stunning backdrop of active volcano Sakurajima. Impressive display pieces, mannequins wearing flower kimono, and carefully manicured bonsai bring a wave of colour to Sengan-en.

05 Nov

Jimyo-sai Beauty Festival

Learn the secrets of Japanese beauty and receive the blessing of an ancient Princess. Try traditional Japanese cosmetics and enjoy a healthy lunch at our Ohkatei Restaurant.

Winter

06 Dec

Kusajishi-shiki Traditional Archery

Held each year in November, Kusajishi-shiki is a traditional event in which archers dressed in ceremonial robes shoot at a target in the shape of a deer.

13 Dec
05 Jan

New Year's Decorations

Traditional kadomatsu decorations to welcome the New Year on display outside Sengan-en

28 Dec
05 Jan

Sengan-en Winter Peonies

Enjoy beautiful winter peonies in straw houses that protect against the cold and snow.

01 Jan
03 Jan

Free Entry Wearing Kimono 2021

Spend New Year in traditional Japanese style and wear a kimono to get entry to Sengan-en free between January 1st-3rd

01 Jan
02 Jan

New Year's Mochi-Tsuki

Join in with traditional New Year's celebrations at Sengan-en and try handmade mochi rice cakes and Kagoshima shochu.

01 Jan
05 Jan

Traditional New Year Food of the Shimadzu Family

Enjoy a traditional New Year meal using recipes passed down in the Shimadzu family for generations.

Awards & Recognition