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Kyushu Travel Guide

Kumamoto-city travel guide

 

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 Forest and Fresh Water.”

 


 

Exploring Kumamoto

 

Kumamoto Castle

Entrance gate   Castle tower Kato Shrine 
   


 

After the Earthquake

Ninomaru-hiroba Castle tower Turret
   

 

Suizenji-koen Park    

 

Shimo-tori Shopping Street       

The largest shopping arcade in Kumamoto prefecture

The center of fashion and amusement where department stores and boutiques

line up and also there are gourmet area where cafes and restaurants including

local cousin restaurants opened daytime and nighttime.

 


 

Kumamoto City Tram         

The convenient public transportation to travel in the Kumamoto-city

There are two lines ;  A line and B line.

Most of the stops on the A line and B line are the same.

Popular stops that both lines go to include Suizenji-koen Park, Kumamoto Castle,

Shimo-tori Shopping Street and the Kumamoto Kotsu Centre Bus Station.

 


 

Featured tours related to Kumamoto-city

 

3 days Kumamoto, Aso & Takachiho tour

Where to Explore  

Day 1 : Fukuoka-city  → Kumamoto → Aso  stay Kurokawa Onsen

Day 2 : Aso sightseeing →   stay Kurokawa Onsen

Day 3 : Takachho sightseeing  → Fukuoka-city


 

7 days Central Kyushu tour         

Where to Explore  

Amakusa → Kumamoto → Aso → Takachiho → Kuju → Kokonoe → Yufuin

Asakura → Akizuki → Ukiha → Fukuoka


 

                 Location of Kumamoto

     

 

  


 

General information

Address

1-1 Tetorihoncho, Cyuo-ku, Kumamoto-city, Kumamoto-prefecture

Cabinet designate city

Access

1 hour and 40 minutes from Fukuoka-city by a vehicle 

2 hours and 40 minutes from Kitakyushu-city by a vehicle 

Transportation

Airport

  Kumamoto Airport

 

JR main station : Kumamoto Station

 

City transportation

 

Population 738,000      population density : 1,890 / km2

 


 

 

Suizenji-koen Park

 

Imitated the beautiful scenery of Japan

 

It 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

underground currents.

 

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.

 

 


 

General information

Address 8-1 Suizenji-koen, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-city
Access

15 minutes by tram from Kumamoto-ekimae to Suizenji-koen-shita

then 4 minutes walk from Suizenji-koen-shita station

10 minutes walk from JR Shin-Suizenji-koen-shita

Open hours

7:00 to 18:00 March to October

8:30 to 17:00 November to February

Admission fee JPY 400
Days closed No closing days

 

 

Kumamoto Castle

 

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. 

The 980,000-square-meter premises are dotted with many memorable view such as donjons,
turrets, turret gates, castle gates and long fences.
 

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

Treasure.

 

 

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. 

 

  


 

General information

Address 1-1 Honmaru Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-city, Kumamoto-prefecture
Access

5 minutes walk from Hanabatake tram station

Castle compound Inside of moat is closed

 

 

Kumamoto City Tram

 

The convenient public transportation to travel in the Kumamoto-city

 

There are two lines ;  A line and B line.

Most of the stops on the A line and B line are the same.

Popular stops that both lines go to include Suizenji-koen Park, Kumamoto Castle,

Shimo-tori Shopping Street and the Kumamoto Kotsu Centre Bus Station.

 


 

Main destinations of each line

 

A line : Tasakibashi, Kumamoto station, Karashimacho, Kumamoto Catle, Toricho-suji,

              Kotsukyoku-mae, Suizenji-koen Park, Kengunmachi

 

B line : Kamikumamoto station, Shinmachi, Nishikarashimacho, Karashimacho, Kumamoto Catle,

             Toricho-suji, Kotsukyoku-mae, Suizenji-koen Park, Kengunmachi

 

Kumamoto Castle

Shimo-tori Shopping Street

Suizenji-koen Park

 


 

General information

 

 

Fare  
Single use JPY 170 for Asult,  JPY 90 for Child
One-day Pass JPY 500 for Asult,  JPY 250 for Child

Country-wide compatible IC Cards is accepted

 


 

 

Shimo-tori Shopping Street

 

The largest shopping arcade in Kumamoto prefecture

 

The center of fashion and amusement where department stores and boutiques

line up and also there are gourmet area where cafes and restaurants including

local cousin restaurants opened daytime and nighttime.

 

511 metre Shopping arcade with 15mtre width; the street is also used as a place

for performances by street musicians and exhibitions of various organizations.

 


 

General information

Address 2 Shimotori to Tetorihonmachi, Kumamoto-city, Kumamoto-prefecture
Access

A short walk to the street entrance from Toricho-suji Tram station 

10 minutes by a vehicle from JR Kumamoto station