History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kumamoto Area

  • Kumamoto Castle
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    4.5
    2680 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.

    Its sad while the castle destroyed by earthquake back to 2016, but here you can saw their japanese workmanship spirit in how they trying to recover the whole thing

  • Aso Shrine
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    4.0
    340 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Aso-shi Ichinomiyamachi Miyaji 3083-1
    Records state this Shinto shrine was founded in 282 BCE. The head shrine of the 500-some Aso shrines across the country, the shrine is dedicated to Takeiwatatsu-no-Mikoto and eleven other related deities. This ancient shrine combines Shinto with a mountain faith which worships the caldera of Mt. Aso as a sacred object, and is revered as the most important shrine in what was Higo Province (now Kumamoto Prefecture). Six of the shrines structures, such as its main shrine building and two-storied gate have been designated National Important Cultural Properties. In particular, its two-storied gate is one of the largest in Kyushu and is counted as one of the three greatest two-storied shrine gates in all of Japan. Some of the shrine's many other highlights include a stone which is said to grant wishes, and a pine tree which is said to grant luck in finding love and marriage.

    We turned up, but decided not to enter as there is considerable renovation taking place inside the grounds. No prior warnings given at the Tourist Information Centre from what we could see. However...

  • Kato Shrine
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    4.0
    350 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Honmaru 2-1
    Located on the northern part Kumamoto Castle's grounds, this Shinto shrine honors the local feudal lord Kato Kiyomasa, who is called by the name “Seishoko-san” by the locals in friendly manner. You can recognize it by its large white torii gate. The Seishoko Festival is held every year in July. Lots of people come for the night market the evening before the main event as well as the main festival's procession.

    Goshuin is the red stamp / Calligraphy done on a special Japanese stamp book The price is 300 yen and you can also pray Please read on the Internet while there I spent about 10 mins here

  • Aoi Aso-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    199 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...

  • ASO VOLCANO MUSEUM
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    3.5
    143 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.

  • Yachiyoza
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    4.5
    108 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...

  • Amakusa Shiro Memorial Hall
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    3.5
    80 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...

  • Lafcadio Hearn’s Former Residence
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    4.0
    72 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...

  • Kengun Shrine
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    4.0
    64 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshihigashiku Kengunhonmachi 13-1
    Located in Higashi Ward, this is the oldest Shinto shrine in Kumamoto City. It's dedicated to Takeiwatatsu-no-Mikoto, who is said to be the grandson of Japan's first emperor.  One of the four main Aso shrines, it has a roughly 1,200-meter approach called the Hatchobaba leading to it. There's also a lovely tower gate. The torii gate before it was built on the small size so as not to block the view. A sacred ginkgo tree is on the grounds, as well as the Sazare-ishi boulder sung about in the Japanese national anthem.

    i love this place, not so crowded & near around is enjoyable esp for fish pool outside the temple, they are all fat. ha. the temple roof is pretty. l love it.

  • Amakusa Rozariokan
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    4.0
    58 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Amakusashi Amakusamachioe 1749
    About 65 minute drive from the Amakusa Airport, or one minute walk from the Tenshudou Iriguchi bus stop. This museum houses a collection of valuable and rare objects related to the lives, culture, and faith of the underground Christians in Amakusa history. In addition to Maria kannon statuettes, the holy water urn used during funeral services, the ‘sutra-erasing urn’, which is a prefectural Important Cultural Property, on display, through videos, the history, nature, and underground Christians’ lives are introduced. The erstwhile mass is even a reenacted. This is experienced accompanied by ‘oratio’ sounds of prayer in a full scale diorama of a ‘hidden room’ especially built for secret worship services.

    I was impressed by the Christian artifacts that they kept for a long time. I was also touched by the faith of the old people, how they kept their faith even during the hard times. It is a must-visit...

  • Izumi Shrine
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    3.5
    64 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Kumamoto-shi Chuo-ku Suizenji Park 8-1
    This Shinto shrine is located inside Suizenji Jojuen Garden, a Momoyama-style circular strolling garden. The shrine was erected in 1878 to pray for the restoration of the local area, a castle town beneath Kumamoto Castle which was devastated by the Satsuma Rebellion. The shrine is principally dedicated to Hosokawa Fujitaka, founder of the Hosokawa clan; Hosokawa Tadaoki, the second Hosokawa lord; Hosokawa Tadatoshi, the third Hosokawa lord; and Hosokawa Shigekata, the eighth Hosokawa lord. The shrine is also dedicated to later lords of the Hosokawa clan as well as Gracia, wife of Tadaoki. The current shrine was rebuilt in 1973 after the original was damaged during World War II. The shrine is still widely visited and is believed to grant worshipers luck in scholarly, martial, and industrial endeavors.

    When you first enter the Suizenji Garden the large torii at the entrance to the Izumi Shrine is clearly in sight. It is impossible (I believe) to visit the shrine without paying the entrance fee for...

  • KUMAMOTO PREFECTURAL MUSEUM OF ART (Main Building)
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    4.0
    59 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Ninomaru 2
    This prefectural art museum is on the grounds of Ninomaru Park. It has a wide range of work on display, including paintings, crafts, and a collection of prints from Kumamoto-born artist Hamada Chimei. There's also a room with a reproduction of the decorated tombs found in the prefecture. The museum has high ceilings, and its large windows look out on the wooded surroundings. They hold regular programs too like museum seminars and workshops for kids.

    Honestly, we did not pay money to visit the museum, but you can visit the gift shop no charge. Check out the beautiful Higo jewelry for a wonderful souvenier.

  • Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine
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    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...

  • Mifune Dinosaur Museum
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    4.0
    29 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.

    雨降りの熊本でどこへ行こうか迷って調べたら御船町の恐竜博物館が出てきました。地方の博物館で子供だましかなっと思いつつ訪問したら、なんとそこそこの迫力でした。子供連れの来場客も多く入場料500円はお得な感じです。

  • Kikuchi Castle Historical Park Onkosouseikan
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    4.0
    54 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Yamaga Kikukamachi Yonabaru 443-1
    This historic park is located on the site of Kikuchi Castle in Yamaga City, Kumamoto Prefecture. With features like its restored octagonal drum tower, it's been designated a National Historic Site, drawing castle lovers from near and far. The Onkososeikan facility provides opportunities to learn about the castle's history, featuring video descriptions and full-sized replicas of terracotta warriors. Climb the observatory for a view of the grounds or stop by their souvenir shop.

    太宰府を防衛するために築かれた古代鞠智城の遺構です。3月中旬「一度は診るべし」と思い立ち、家人を誘って初来園。鼓楼など幾つかの建物が再現されていましたが、我が家の第一印象は「まだまだ整備不足」。熊本県や菊池・山鹿両市の努力に期待しましょう。ちなみに、新型コロナ騒動のため資料館や売店は閉鎖中でした。

  • Eikokuji Temple (Ghost Temple)
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Hitoyoshishi Dotemachi 5
    "This historic Soto sect Zen Buddhist temple is the ninth stop on the Higo pilgrimage to 33 sites sacred to the bodhisattva Kannon. Also known as the Ghost Temple, it has a hanging scroll depicting a ghost from a temple legend that has been passed down since ancient times. The pond behind the main hall is where the ghost was said to have appeared. They have a popular Ghost Festival every August, where for one night only they open a ""Ghost House"" and various festival stands set up shop."

    Eikokuji was on one of the main road, cemetery was on both side to the path leading to the temple. Atmosphere was not good. Better not to go in as there were much more attractive shrines to visit in...

  • Yamaga Lanterns Folk Crafts Museum
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    4.0
    48 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Yamagashi Yamaga 1606-2
    "A museum with a collection of beautiful Yamaga lanterns, a designated National Traditional Craft Product. The museum building, a Romanesque structure built in 1925, is designated a national Tangible Cultural Property. Yamaga lanterns are crafted using just Japanese washi paper and a small amount of glue making use of traditional techniques passed down since the distant Muromachi period. Due to their delicate subtlety, they have even been acclaimed as the pinnacle of Japanese washi paper crafts. The museum's renowned collection consists of numerous beautiful examples of Yamaga lanterns, including famous kintoro ""gold"" lanterns crafted in fanciful styles such as ""shinden-zukuri"" (""palatial"") and ""torikago"" (""birdcage""). Visitors can also watch live demonstrations of lanterns being made and make a mini lantern (advance reservation required)."

    Youre recived in this museum with the option to buy a ticket that includes the visit to the theather too, wich is lovely. There are volunteers that guide you trought the museum, I personally think...

  • Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center
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    4.0
    50 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.

  • Kikuchi Shrine
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    4.0
    43 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.

    三月25日から四月5日、菊池神社二の丸公園は桜の谷と化す。熊本県では有名な桜スポットです。 園内は桜色に染まり、その下を歩いて散策すると桜の解説QRコードが説明してくれます。お弁当持って行きましょう。

  • Fujisaki Hachiman-gu Shrine
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    3.5
    47 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Igawabuchimachi 3-1
    This shrine is located in Chuo Ward, Kumamoto City. Founded in 935, it honors the Emperor Ojin, Empress Jingu, and Sumiyoshi Sanjin (Three Gods). It was the primary place of worship for the lords of Kumamoto Castle during the Edo period. The shrine was destroyed by fire in 1877 during the Satsuma Rebellion and later moved to its present location and rebuilt. Every September they hold the Annual Autumn Festival of Fujisaki Hachiman-gu Shrine with a procession of accompanying soldiers and elaborately decorated horses.

    Now revealed that they have been abusing horses at anual events for long time. Traditons?? religeon?? They should close the horific events to a buseing innocents animals...

Kumamoto 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

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