Suizenji is in an historical part of Kumamoto City. So old, that in 1636, Lord Hosakawa chose this site to build his garden, one that took 80 years and several generations to complete. Today, his legacy is celebrated each Spring with a cherry blossom festival, and at night, the young dancers take pride of place at the outdoor theatre, with folk songs celebrating the cultural and agricultural heritage of this area.
While Suizenji was originally named after a Buddhist temple, it is the gardens themselves that are the main attraction. They are usually only open during the day, however for a brief week at the end of March, it is filled with thousands of lanterns, transforming it to a starry wonderland. It is best to come here at sunset, so you can take a stroll at daylight, and then visit the various attractions and entertainment at night. There is also free Wi-Fi near the visitors centre near the entrance.