The Senganen, also known as Isoteien, was originally constructed in 1658 by the wealthy Shimazu Clan, a powerful family during the Edo Period (1603 – 1867) and it is a traditional Japanese garden and stately home in Kagoshima.
The garden boasts spectacular views of active volcano Sakurajima, and the house provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of a powerful feudal lord.
Senganen and the surrounding area was fundamentally important in the modernization of Japan.
It was here that Western industrial technology was introduced to Japan, studied and used in the creation of modern factories.
Shoko Shuseikan is a museum set in a 150 year old stone building originally used as a machine factory.
Nearing the end of the Edo Period, the Shusei Industrial Complex was constructed on the Senganen Garden sites as an effort to produce iron for shipbuilding and cannons. Whereas most of these industrial constructions are no longer standing, you can still visit the foundations of furnaces and a few other surviving structures, which had been designated as World Heritage Sites in 2015 as part of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.
After, you'll visit at the Former Kagoshima Foreign Engineer's residence which is the final related site added to the world heritage list and they helped design and build a textile mill in the area.
Before returning to the port, you'll visit Tenmonkan for shopping. You'll find Kagoshima's popular souvenirs, confections, shochu and more.
There are some popular shops such as 'Shirokuma' shave ice, and Kagoshima Ramen. Enjoy your trip in Kagoshima!
What we will see
- Sengan-en garden
- Shoko Shuseikan museum
- Ijinkan (Foreign Residence)
- Shopping in the Tenmonkan district
What we will do
- We leave the port behind us and drive along the coast towards the magnificent Sengan-en garden designed in typical Japanese style offering amazing views of the bay and of the Sakurajima volcano in the distance.
- Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the garden was set up in 1658 by the powerful Shimazu family who lived in the residence inside the estate for over 350 years and played a crucial role in the modern industrialisation of Japan during the 19th century.
- After admiring the natural beauty of this fantastic place, we visit the nearby Shoko Shuseikan museum, set up in a former factory dating back 150 years and the first Western-style stone building in Japan.
- The museum was also declared a World Heritage Site and displays items that document the life of the Shimazu family, their commitment to the industrial sector and the Western technologies that contributed to the modernisation of the country towards the end of the 1800s.
- Our next stop is the Ijinkan, the former residence of foreign engineers who contributed to setting up and developing a textile factory in the area, the third testimony to the Meiji industrial revolution started by the imperial family with the same name and nominated a World Heritage Site.
- We end our excursion with some shopping in the Tenmonkan district where we can purchase a few souvenirs or enjoy some delicacies such as the shirokuma slush and typical Kagoshima ramen.