Sengan-en Gardens – Chrysanthemum Festival

One of the most popular events at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sengan-en Gardens, Kagoshima, Japan, is set to take place from the 1st to the 13rd November 2017 when the 58th Chrysanthemum Festival will welcome visitors.

The Festival takes place at one of Japan’s most famous gardens, located in Kagoshima, opposite the striking active volcano Sakurajima. Over 5,000 chrysanthemums will be on display to celebrate this year’s theme – 150 years since the Meiji Restoration. A central display piece will feature the visionary leader Shimadzu Nariakira meeting with the last samurai Saigo Takamori.

Hundreds of dedicated gardeners will spend weeks wiring each bud closed to prevent them blooming too early in a process called osae. Mannequins of famous historical figures such as Shimadzu Nariakira and Saigo Takamori will wear kimono made entirely of flowers.

Local enthusiasts will bring their best chrysanthemum bonsai for a competition and the fantastic ‘Tairin-giku’ – where hundreds of flowers are grown from a single stalk – will be on display.

On 19th November a taiko drumming performance from the Noda-go Shimadzu Taiko will echo around the gardens as well as a matchlock rifle display from the Hioki Teppo-tai.

The festival will close with a traditional archery competition held on 26th November.

The Chrysanthemum Festival is a wonderful chance to see these delicate flowers against the backdrop of an imposing active volcano.

The garden was home to the powerful Shimadzu clan for over 350 years – the 12 acre gardens are known for the use of their borrowed scenery incorporating the amazing view of the smoulding Sakurajima in the foreground.

Information on the Sengan-en garden can be found at:


Photo credits: ©Sengan-en Gardens