Lose yourself and find tranquility
at the home 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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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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News and Events

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.

17 Nov

Noda-go Shimadzu Taiko Performance

Enjoy a powerful performance of taiko drumming from Noda-go Shimadzu Taiko. Feel the echo of the drums around the garden against the impressive backdrop of active volcano Sakurajima.

01 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. Performed by the Ogasawara-ryu, this tradition has its roots in the Kamakura period (1185-1333).

10 Nov

Satsuma Hioki Teppo-tai Matchlock Rifle Display

Dressed in full samurai armour, the members of the Hioki Teppo-tai will show why the Shimadzu were feared on the battlefield with a thunderous display of traditional gunnery.

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.

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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.

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Yearly Events

Autumn

01 Nov
24 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.

10 Nov

Satsuma Hioki Teppo-tai Matchlock Rifle Display

Dressed in full samurai armour, the members of the Hioki Teppo-tai will show why the Shimadzu were feared on the battlefield with a thunderous display of traditional gunnery.

12 Nov

Chrysanthemum Night at Sengan-en

Enjoy a special one-off evening viewing of the house and gardens with a meal in the rooms where the princesses of the Shimadzu family were raised.

17 Nov

Noda-go Shimadzu Taiko Performance

Enjoy a powerful performance of taiko drumming from Noda-go Shimadzu Taiko. Feel the echo of the drums around the garden against the impressive backdrop of active volcano Sakurajima.

Winter

01 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. Performed by the Ogasawara-ryu, this tradition has its roots in the Kamakura period (1185-1333).