Attractions

Top Choice Gardens in Kagoshima

Sengan-en

In 1658, the 19th Shimazu lord laid out his pleasure garden on this hilly, rambling bayside property of groves, hillside trails and one of Japan's most impressive pieces of 'borrowed scenery': the fuming peak of Sak…
Top Choice Museum in Kagoshima

Museum of the Meiji Restoration

This museum offers insights into the unique social system of education, samurai loyalty and sword techniques that made Satsuma one of Japan's leading provinces. There's a good smartphone app in English. Hourly audio…
Temple in Kagoshima

Nishi Hongan-ji Kagoshima Betsuin

The current building of this large Buddhist temple near Tenmonkan dates from 1982 and was renovated in 2013. Inside, it's unlike most temples you may have seen, with carpeting and chair seating in its main hall, but…
Museum in Kagoshima

Shōko Shūseikan

Adjacent to Sengan-en, this 1850s building, a Unesco World Heritage site as Japan's first modern factory, has been converted into a museum. Historical artefacts relate to the Shimazu family and early trade and indus…
Museum in Kagoshima

Reimeikan

The Reimeikan has extensive displays on Satsuma history and ancient sword-making. It's inside the site of Kagoshima's castle, Tsurumaru-jō (1602); the walls and moat are all that remain, and bullet holes in the ston…
Shinto Shrine in Kagoshima

Terukuni-jinja

This famous shrine is in memory of Shimazu Nariakira (1809–58), celebrated 11th leader of the Satsuma clan in the late Edo period. He is credited with opening Satsuma and Japan to Western influence and the modern ag…
Museum in Kagoshima

Kagoshima City Museum of Art

The Kagoshima City Museum of Art has a small permanent collection of works by modern-day Kagoshima painters, as well as some 16th-century porcelains and woodblock prints, and a wonderful collection of Sakurajima pai…
Statue in Kagoshima

Satsuma Students Statue

This statue and landmark commemorates the students from Satsuma (the feudal name for Kagoshima) who went to study Western technology in the UK in 1865. Their mission was said to be the spark of Japan's industrial re…
Statue in Kagoshima

Saigō Takamori Statue

Kagoshima's most famous historical figure, Saigō Takamori has been called the 'last samurai' and was known as both a loyalist and a rebel. His statue is in central Kagoshima.
Statue in Kagoshima

Statue of Ōkubo Toshimichi

This monument honours the Kagoshima samurai turned statesman (1830–78) who helped overthrow the feudal regime and pave the way for the modernisation of Japan.