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Explore Kumamoto City

A truly breathtaking landscape with a city to explore

Exploring Kumamoto, one of several prefectures on the island of Kyushu, is a real treat. I had the opportunity to spend a day there exploring the city limits including the Kumamoto Castle, shopping arcades, and the beautiful landscape.

Kumamoto Castle is one of the must-sees in Kumamoto City. With its grandeur come the best views of the city and landscapes from its uppermost tower. It is within walking distance of many transit systems including the Kumamoto City Tram (KCT). It is centrally located within the city with many restaurants, department stores and hotels close by. The grounds have a wonderful Japanese garden that blooms at different times of the year, including hydrangeas during the rainy season.

There are many shopping arcades in the area including, the Shimotori and Kamitori. Each of these arcades extends several city blocks. Anything you need you can find in that area including local and international food, large department stores and local shops. Any last minute items to pick up for souvenirs or things you forgot to pack can be found in one of these arcades. There are also many local festivals here throughout the year, such as Hinokuni Festival and Fujisaki Hachimangu Grand Festival.

Something fascinating about the area is “Kumamon.” Kumamon is a black bear with red cheeks and is the mascot for Kumamoto Prefecture. It was created in 2010 to draw tourists to the region. Kumamon was voted one of the top ten Japanese character mascots. Many trains, railways, banks and different shops have used him to promote the region. Make sure you get a picture with the mascot or buy some memorabilia of this cute character.

Although I had a very short time in Kumamoto it truly took my breath away. Some other things to do in Kumamoto include visiting Aso-Kuju National Park. To the east of Kumamoto City is Mt. Aso, an active volcano an hour away from the city. Some parts of the city still draw their water from the natural springs of Aso. Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is one of the largest in the world with an elevation of 1,592 m. It last erupted in 2004.​​

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Kim 3 years ago
One day I'll get there!

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