Travel secret: World Heritage site Sengan-en Gardens in Japan


British-born author Andrew J. Wood, after almost a quarter of a century living in Asia, shares his travel secrets while exploring Japan’s third largest island – Kyushu, Japan.

Sengan-en is a wonderful traditional Japanese garden and stately home in Kagoshima. It’s a really fine example, and I spent hours walking around there. Inside the house is a museum and zen garden. Down each gravel pathway something new and breathtaking appears. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and this was my second visit in 2 years – 2015 and 2016.

The gardens and house have been passed down in the Shimadzu family for over 350 years. The garden boasts spectacular views of active volcano Sakurajima, and the house provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of a powerful feudal lord.

In July, 2015 Sengan-en was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site. The garden is open from 0830-1730 all year round, and there is an entrance fee.

The author of this article, Mr. Andrew J. Wood, a professional hotelier, Skalleague, travel writer and Director of one Thailand’s leading DMC/travel agents, Andrew has over 35 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh (Hospitality Studies.) A UK national, Andrew was born in Yorkshire and prior to moving to Thailand Andrew gained valuable post graduate experience with Thistle Hotels (UK); Hilton Intl (Paris) and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (London). He started his hotel career in Thailand with Shangri-La Hotels, Royal Garden Hotels and Resorts and the Landmark Group of Hotels (Thailand and UK) and later became General Manager of some of the country’s leading hotels including GM Royal Cliff Beach Resort Pattaya. Andrew is a former Director of Skal International (SI) and a Past President of SI BANGKOK and former National President SI THAILAND. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand including Assumption University’s Hospitality School. Due to his extensive hospitality and travel experience, Andrew as a writer is widely followed and is a contributing editor for numerous publications.