Kumamoto Travel Guide

Edit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Kumamoto castle

Kumamoto castle

Matt Haswell

The third-largest city in Kyushu after Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, Kumamoto straddles the central plains of the island. While not a major tourist draw in its own right, it offers easy access to the ancient volcanic plateau of Aso-san to the east. The most famous sight in the city is Kumamoto-jo, which is the third-largest castle in Japan (after Osaka-jo and Nagoya-jo). Destroyed by fire in the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, the castle's current incarnation is a 1960 ferro-concrete reconstruction. Although the interior is distinctly modern and non-descript, the exterior of the donjon is quite picturesque and faithful to the original. The predominantly black wood makes for a unique design, of which only Okayama-jo and Matsumoto-jo share in common.

The second most important sight of Kumamoto is the beautiful garden of Suizenji-joju-en. Located in the southeastern suburbs, it ranks among Japan's finest traditional gardens and is a must for any visitor. Kumamoto's other sights are mostly low-key, but they include a former house of writer Lafcadio Hearn (known to the Japanese as Koizumi Yakumo) and the stunningly-restored samurai residence, Kyu-Hosokawa Gyobutei. The latter is a very good representation of traditional Japanese architecture.

Kumamoto's most famous culinary speciality is basashi - raw horse meat served with a garlic dipping sauce. Most restaurants in the center offer it on their menus.


February 28, 2006 new by xerius (4 points)

Where World66 helps you find the best deals on Kumamoto Hotels