Located within the Sengan-en Garden, the Shoko Shuseikan Museum follows the history of the Shimazu clan, who once ruled this part of Japan. The building itself, built in the mid-19th century, was one of the first Western-style buildings in the country. Together, the Sengan-en Garden and Shoko Shuseikan Museum comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most travelers visit the Shoko Shuseikan Museum while touring the surrounding Sengan-en Garden, a traditional Japanese garden with wonderful views of Kagoshima Bay and the active volcano Mt. Sakurajima. Some guided tours of Kagoshima include the Sengan-en Garden and Shoko Shuseikan.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Admission to the Sengan-en Garden includes the Shoko Shuseikan Museum.
- There are food outlets throughout the gardens that sell Kagoshima specialties.
- Walk up the mountain hiking trail within the gardens for great views of Sakurajima.
The Sengan-en Garden and the Shoko Shuseikan Museum are about a mile (1.5 kilometers) north of central Kagoshima and can be reached by bus from various places around town. Take the Kagoshima City View Bus from Kagoshima Chuo station to the Sengan-en-mae stop.When to Get There
The Shoko Shuseikan Museum is open every day of the week. Spring and autumn are especially good times to visit, as the surrounding gardens are at their most attractive when in bloom or when the leaves are turning orange and red.
Visit Shiroyama Park
Travelers in Kagoshima shouldn’t miss Shiroyama Park, located on Mount Shiroyama, not far from central Kagoshima. Once the location of a large fort, the park now houses the Reimeikan Museum of local history, but most visitors come for the sweeping views of Kagoshima and Mt. Sakurajima from the Shiroyama Observatory, at the top of the park.