Kumamoto-city, situated roughly in the center of Kumamoto-prefecture, is the
government and economic center of the prefecture.
From the early 17th century to the end of the 19th century, Kumamoto was prosperous
as a castle town. The Shira-kawa River and its branches run through the downtown area
around Kumamoto Castle.
Therefore, the city is called “City of Woods and Fresh Water.”
Welcome to Kumamoto
|Kato Kiyamasa Statue||Shimo-tori Shopping Street||Street tram|
|Entrance gate||Castle tower||Kato Shrine|
After the Earthquake
Location of Kumamoto
Access to Kumamoto
by a vehicle
from Fukuoka-city : 1 hour and 40 minutes
from Kitakyushu-city : 2 hours and 40 minutes
Kumamoto Castle is one of the three great castles, along with Nagoya Castle and
Osaka Castle and one of the 100 best places in Japan to view cherry blossoms.
The current castle was built in 1601 by Kiyomasa Kato, a great commander and took
7 years to complete.
This castle is particularly famous for its beautiful curving stonewall called “Musha-gaeshi, which
were built to defend against invading armies. The stone walls have been designated a National
Historic Site and 12 buildings in addition to the Uto-yagura turret have been designated National
Kumamoto Castle after the Earthquakes
Suddenly, without any prediction, the series of Earthquakes including magnitude 7.0 main shock
which struck in April 2016 beneath Kumamoto-city.
Then severe damages occurred Kumamoto prefecture including Kumamoto Castle.
Kumamoto Castle sustained damage to its roof and exterior buildings and walls because of the
earthquakes and associated aftershocks.
Several of the castle’s shacihoko ornaments were destroyed, and a large number of kawara tiles
also fell from the roof. Now the restoration activities are being performed as fast as possible.
Now, the Kumamoto Castle can be seen from the outside of the moats surrounding the castle.
We will welcome you to our place Kumamoto Castle.
Suizenji-koen Park imitated the beautiful scenery of Japan, is a refined circular garden of
Momoyama period style and represents the 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road including Mt. Fuji.
The fresh springs in the garden release clean, cold water, which flows there from Mt. Aso via
In 1636, Tadatoshi, the third Lord of Hosokawa, began its construction as a tea retreat, and he also
built the temple here for Priest Gentaku called Suizenji.
This beautiful Momoyama style garden evolve during the reigns of the fourth and fifth Lords.
In all it took about 80 years to complete.