The industrial heritage more than 150 years ago in Kagoshima Prefecture (Japan) is kept to become the current World Cultural Heritage.

Coal kilns lined with volcanic rock more than 150 years in Japan, Japan travel

Kagoshima Southern region of Japan in the 1850s was the first place in Japan to suffer from Western attacks. At that time, Japan was still under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Three industrial legacies of the Meiji era

The Lord Shimazu Nariakira (1809-1858) of the Satsuma region was a person influenced by Western culture and education. He infatuated with Western inventions: Watches, musical instruments, telescopes, microscopes, weapons … When viewing the world map, the lord Shimazu Nariakira was one of the pioneers to realize that , Japan is a small country, when fighting big countries will fail, there is no other way but to strengthen their country first, since then he has focused on developing industry and military equipment.

In 2015, when UNESCO recognized 23 points of Meiji Industrial Reform in Japan: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Mining as World Cultural Heritage, Kagoshima region had three of 23 points of that heritage cluster. .

Three heritage sites in Kagoshima are: Terayama charcoal kilns, Sekiyoshi aqueduct and Shuseikan reactors. These are three important points that mark the emergence of Japan’s modern industry with Shuseikan industrial factories under the direction of warlord Shimazu Nariakira (Satsuma clan).

The Terayama coal furnace was built in 1858 to produce white coal (a very strong firewood) to heat the reactor. At that time, there was no concrete to build as it is now, the coal kiln is made up of rugged stone blocks. A special point is that the stone to make the coal kiln is the stone formed from volcanic eruptions so the heat resistance of the stone is very high.

Pristine spaces embrace heritage

When visitors visit the Terayama charcoal kiln, it is interesting to note that this heritage is located separately in the preserved forest. There are still murky streams every day, with wild boar running and even old trees with cool shadows along the way.

Along with the coal furnace, the space of the channel of Sekiyoshi is even more wild. The Sekiyoshi water channel was built to hydrate Shuseikan industrial plants. Water is taken from the upper Inari River about 7km to reach the industrial plant. Today, the culvert of the canal is the destination of many researchers, students in the region and visitors because it is a testament to Japanese industrial history.

Located in the Senganen garden, the reflex furnace relics to burn iron cannons do not have a wild look, close to nature such as coal kilns and water channels. However, even at the rest of the reactor, viewers can feel the stone assembly technique of Satsuma region when constructing the reactor since 1857.

Perhaps Lord Shimazu was well aware of the importance of the reactor so he chose to place it right in his family’s Senganen garden. Senganen Garden is also a special destination for tourists when traveling to Kagoshima Prefecture. The large, peaceful garden with majestic scenery is Kinko Bay and Sakurajima volcano is still active.

Even in the Senganen garden today in addition to the architectural monuments of the Satsuma family, there are many restaurants, cafes, shops selling souvenirs … To be there, cup of coffee, visitors can watch the white pillars of the Sakurajima volcano – a pride of Kagoshima Prefecture.


Coal kilns lined with volcanic rock more than 150 years in Japan, Japan travel
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