Japan Travel by NAVITIME - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kumamoto Area

  • Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center
    rating-image
    4.0
    49 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Chibajoumachi 3-35
    A cultural facility located in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture which focuses on displaying traditional crafts from the prefecture. The museum exhibits a collection some 80 varieties and 1,000 examples of crafts created by Kumamoto craftspersons such as higo zogan inlaying, porcelain, cutlery, bamboowork, and dyed and woven fabrics. Some of the exhibits can be touched, weekly events are held, and the facility also sells crafts by artisans from both Kumamoto and other areas.

    We saw a class in session for making crafts and there are some crafts on display on 2F. The shop area has many local items for sale that are good for gifts. You can visit easily in 30 minutes.

  • Shimada Art Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshinishiku Shimasaki 4-5-28
    This is a museum which is famous for storing brushwork masterpieces and belongings of the master swordsmen, Miyamoto Musashi. Exhibits are focused on a collection of Matomi Shimada who was also a researcher of Miyamoto Musashi. There is also a portrait of Miyamoto Musashi designated as an Important Cultural Property from the prefecture, which is exhibited every spring and autumn for four months. It is a 14-minute walk from the “Daniyama-machi” tram stop.

    There is an impressive collection of artifacts from Shimada personal collection that he gathered over his life time. It is a good collection of helmets and some weapons. There are explanations in...

  • Lafcadio Hearn’s Former Residence
    rating-image
    4.0
    70 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Anseimachi 2-6
    Koizumi Yakumo, also known as Lafcadio Hearn, was the famed author of tales based on Japanese legends such as Hoichi the Earless and The Snow Woman. The residence here was the first home he lived in in Japan when he came to Kumamoto as an English teacher for Daigo Junior and Senior High School (now Kumamoto University). It is said that Hearn penned Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan in this building. The residence was severely damaged in the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake and currently only a portion of the home and garden are open to the public (as of January 2017).

    Koizumis (aka Lafcadio Hearn) old house is only about a 10 minute walk from my house so I was eager to go see it. Luckily the house had just been fully reopened after it was damaged in last years...

  • Kumamoto Castle
    rating-image
    4.5
    2646 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Honmaru 1-1
    In 1607, Kato Kiyomasa built a castle in a hilly area called Chausuyama, which is one of the three premier castles in Japan. Thereafter, Kumamoto Castle has been a stage of a diverse history for 400 years from the Middle Ages to the present age. Castle buildings from those days are also in existence, and 13 of the buildings have been designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Kumamoto Castle was damaged in the Kumamoto earthquake which occurred in April 2016, and restoration work is currently still under way.

    Currently under long term repair from the 2016 earthquake. I suggest you try to visit on Sunday or national holiday when repair work is stopped and you are allowed to enter the castle grounds to see...

  • Omiya Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 196
    This Shinto shrine is approximately 15 minutes by car from both Ueki Interchange and Kikusui Interchange. Located just south of Omiya Park, it honors Emperor Keiko, the 12th emperor of Japan, who in his deified form is thought to be the guardian spirit of Yamaga district. The shrine was constructed on the site of the Imperial lodging used when the Emperor's entourage visited the area. Yamaga paper lanterns, a traditional handicraft made with just washi Japanese paper and glue, are said to have first been made to welcome him. The shrine gets packed with visitors during the lantern festival that's held on August 15 and 16 every year, which features ritual dancing, a torch procession, and a fireworks display.
  • Oe Catholic Church
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Amakusashi Amakusamachioe 1782
    Approximately a five-minute walk from the Tenshudo Iriguchi bus stop, this church was the first built in Amakusa after the ban on Christianity was lifted. The current building was built in 1933 with the private funds of the French missionary Father Garnier who dedicated his life to spreading Christianity in Amakusa. A building with Romanesque architecture, the church with beautiful white walls is a symbol of Christianity in Amakusa to this day. There are statues of Father Garnier and the Virgin Mary on the premises. It is also known for being visited by five poets such as Yosano Tekkan.
  • Aoi Aso-jinja Shrine
    rating-image
    4.0
    194 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Hitoyoshishi Kamiaoimachi 118
    This shrine was built in 806, the first year of Emperor Heizei’s reign, and became known as the shrine dedicated to the local deity of the Kuma region. The main building was constructed starting in 1610 over the course of approximately three years by Nagatsune Sagara, and it still stands today. It features a black thatched roof with steep slopes, as well as gorgeously colored, exquisitely decorative Momoyama-style sculptures. In 2008, the five sections of the main shrine building were designated National Treasures. White flowers bloom around the lotus pond in early summer, making it quite a sight to behold.

    This wooden carving Aoi Shrine has over 1200 years history. The 5 structures has been recognized National Treasures in 2008; The gate, Mail hall, Corridor, Offering hall and Oratory. There are...

  • Amakusa Shiro Memorial Hall
    rating-image
    3.5
    77 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Kamiamakusashi Oyanomachinaka 977-1
    Near the beginning of the Edo period, Shiro Amakusa led a popular uprising fueled by faith that would become known as the “Shimabara Rebellion.” The “Amakusa Shiro Memorial Hall” introduces the conflict’s background and historical context in an easy-to-understand manner using powerful video footage and other materials. Come trace the origins of this epic struggle for freedom and peace.

    This Memorial Hall has all the history of Shiro Amakusa and the island of Amakusa. It has an exhibition hall with English and Japanese description. What impressed us most is that there is a...

  • Ooe Church
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Amakusashi Amakusamachioe 1782
    A Catholic church founded by the priest Frederic Louis Garnier in 1933 after the prohibition on Christianity was lifted. Thereafter, Garnier dedicated his life to spreading Christianity in Amakusa. This beautiful white church is built in the Romanesque style.
  • Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto
    rating-image
    4.0
    117 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Kamitorichou 2-3 Plums Bear Sun Hall Kaikan 3F
    Opened in 2002, the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto is an art museum spreading Kumamoto’s beloved artistic culture far and wide with the works of Kumamoto and Kyushu-born artists active nationwide. With a child-rearing space and childcare studio (Kids Factory) it can be enjoyed by families too. Travel 15 minutes from JR Kumamoto Station by bus or tram, and alight at Torichosuji.

    This museum was a fill in due to so much of the city being renovated; main tourist interest places are closed or limited access.

  • Yachiyoza
    rating-image
    4.5
    107 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 1499
    Yachioyaza, one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties, is a playhouse built in 1910. Since opening they have put on a variety of shows, but with the changing era the number of visitors fell and the place closed. However, thanks to the ardent fund-raising activities of groups both old and young, restoration took place over 30 years and it is now a working playhouse again. It is also possible to take a look behind the scenes of the theater, from the revolving stage to the theater basement.

    Yachiyo-za is Drama or Play theater which was built in 1910. It is nationally designated and an important cultural property in Yamaga. There are various events, play are performed in Yachiyo-za...

  • Mifune Dinosaur Museum
    rating-image
    4.0
    28 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Kamimashikigunmifunemachi Mifune 995-6
    A Tyrannosaurus rex stands at the entrance to Mifune Dinosaur Museum, looking as if it is about to move even now. The museum is arranged into five permanent exhibit zones including dinosaur skeletons and fossils. Of these the most impressive is the “dinosaur evolution parade” with displays focused around dinosaur bones.  The Pterosaur in the ceiling is so dynamic that it looks as if it is really flying. At the museum’s “open laboratory” one can watch staff doing work such as cleaning fossils up close. This is a museum where the history and evolution of animals come alive.

    熊本市内から車で約30分くらい、大型の博物館ではありませんでしたが、館内は昨年にリニューアルされたとあって綺麗です。 展示物はたくさんあり、分かりやすい言葉で解説されていたので楽しく学ぶことができました。 トリケラトプスやアパトサウルスなどの実物大の恐竜が10頭くらい館内中央に並んでいる姿は圧巻です!2階からそれらの恐竜を眺めることができます。

  • Former Residence of Natsume Soseki (Oe)
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Suizenjikouen 21-16
    The former residence of author Natsume Soseki is located next to the Janes Residence on the grounds of the Kumamoto Yogakko School. This is the third house that Soseki lived in while in Kumamoto, and it was moved from the former village of Oe to its current location. It is said to be the departure point for the journey described in his book Grass Pillow (Kusa-makura).
  • Tomioka Visitor Center
    rating-image
    3.5
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Amakusagunreihokumachi Tomioka 2245-15
    This museum is located on the ruins of the Tomioka Castle's keep in Amakusa County's Reihoku Town. Tomioka Castle was built by Terazawa Hirotaka, who became the feudal lord of Amakusa in 1601. The turret and the Korai-mon Gate have been restored. The facility also distributes tourist information, including on the history and natural environment of the Amakusa region.

    天草の自然やキリシタンに関する文化・歴史資料の展示がありました。富岡城本丸跡の高台にあり、無料で入場できます。

  • Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine
    rating-image
    4.5
    48 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Asoguntakamorimachi Kamishikimi 2619
    This shrine is located in Takamori Town, Aso County. There's a large rock formation on the grounds with a gaping hole passing through it called the Ugeto Iwa. Legend says a Shinto deity kicked the cavity open. As making a hole in rock isn't so easy, it's thought worshiping there brings success and victory. The shrine's sacred Nagi trees are said to bring blessings too. As the leaves are tough to pull off, it's thought they will give spousal relationships longevity. The approach to the shine is lined with nearly 100 lanterns.

    Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine is the most popular in Takamori for its extremely divine atmosphere. People feels very relax and peaceful at the top of the Shrine.There are approx. 300 stairs (approx...

  • Hogihogi Shrine
    rating-image
    3.5
    24 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Asogunminamiasomura Kain 2909-2
    This unusual Shinto shrine is located in Minamiaso village, Aso County. It was founded to pray for hitting the lottery, and it honors a boulder that was dug up during construction work in 2004. Lots of visitors come to pray for big winnings. People from around the country leave old wallets and purses at a memorial altar.

    真名井の滝でボートを漕いだあと、熊本方面へと向かう途中に鎮座する「宝来宝来神社」にやってきました。 ここは風の便りに聞くところによると、宝くじの当選にご利益があるとのこと。もちろん信じてはいませんが、面白そうなので冷やかしにいってみます。駐車場(無料)に車を停めますが、私たちの車以外に駐車車両は無し。こわごわと施設に中央へと歩みを進めると、周りにある建物(社殿?)は全て真っ赤っかです。 異様なまで...

  • ASO VOLCANO MUSEUM
    rating-image
    3.5
    142 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Asoshi Akamizu 1930-1
    This three-story museum in Aso City is dedicated to Mt. Aso, an active volcano. The second floor's permanent exhibit features panel displays of the area's geology and the current conditions of the volcano. The third floor has video facilities showcasing Aso's natural environment and the area's folk culture. The museum lets visitors view the craters in real time, helpful when access is restricted due to bad weather or volcanic activity. Head to the first floor for the gift shop and a restaurant serving light fare.

    The area around the vulcano is closed caused by the present outbrake looking very impressive from the museum. the museum itself needs to be reviewed, pretty dusty.

  • Kikuchi Shrine
    rating-image
    4.0
    39 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kikuchishi Waifu 1257
    This Shinto shrine is located in Kikuchi City. Founded in 1870, it honors three feudal lords of the Kikuchi clan who fought on the southern side during the period of the Northern and Southern dynasties (1336–1392) The Kikuchi Jinja History Museum on the precincts displays valuable items tied to the clan and other historical cultural assets. It's also a popular cherry blossom viewing spot and gets crowded in spring when they're in bloom.

    If youre in Kikuchi to visit one of its well-known onsen the local shrine is worth a visit. Kikuchi Jinja, a small local Shinto shrine, sits atop a hill on the edge of the town. The shrine is where...

  • Yunomae Manga Museum (Nasu Ryosuke Memorial Hall)
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumagunyunomaemachi 1834-1
    This memorial hall and manga-themed art museum honors the local manga artist Nasu Ryosuke. It displays his work and has other manga related exhibits. The building features a motif based on the local kiji-uma toys of the Hitoyoshi-Kuma region.
  • Rengein Tanjoji Temple Okunoin
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Tamanashi Tsuiji 1512-77
    This Shingon Risshu sect Buddhist temple located in Tamana city is Kyushu's main temple for the sect. Koen Daibosatsu is its principle object of worship. Okunoin was built in 1978 to commemorate 800 years since the passing of the Buddhist priest Koen. Originally, it was a training hall for Buddhist priests, but today many patrons visit to improve their luck and ward off misfortune.

Kumamoto Main Areas

around-area-map

Kumamoto lies in the center of Kyushu, a calm prefecture perfect for easy strolls around the historic center and lazy evenings in the natural hot springs at Kurokawa Onsen. For a slightly more strenuous activity, head to Mount Aso, whose surrounding hills offer hiking opportunities aplenty with views over the active volcano.

Kumamoto Photo Album

Browse Interests