Sengan-en is designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and includes a famous Japanese feudal lord (Daimyo) garden which was once beloved by its owners, generations of Shimazu clan of the Satsuma who used the place as rural retreat. The villa within the garden which once served as lodgings to receive and host important guests has a majestic backdrop featuring Kagoshima Kinkou Bay and Sakurajima, a symbol of Kagoshima. Today, the premises are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, having once played an important role in propelling the industrialisation and modernisation of Japan in the late Edo period. One can also experience samurai-themed activity through armour rental within the premise.
The teahouse situated within the garden, Sengan-en Matcha café, is famous for not only serving Kagoshima’s finest top grade Matcha and Sencha tea with Jou-Namagashi (high quality artistic Japanese confectionary), but also for its "Hiryuzu”, a chagashi (Japanese sweet that goes well with the tea) that traces its roots back to the Shimazu Clan since the Edo period. The teahouse also offers various seasonal Japanese menus which one can enjoy through the year and a contemporary menu such as their own take on the Kagoshima classic, Shirokuma shaved ice.
While the teahouse is a place for relaxation, designed in modern style, it maintains an authentic traditional vibe with its sevice attendants dressed in kimono.
Access :9700-1 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Operating hours :8.30am to 5.30pm
How to get there :From Hakata Station, it takes about an hour by the Kyushu Shinkansen to JR Kagoshima Station. Then, approximately another 40 minutes by bus to Sengan-en-mae bus stop.