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Views of Kumamoto Castle

One of Japan's top three castles

Notice

Kumamoto Castle sustained heavy damage during the 2016 earthquake. During the summer of 2021, the inner keep reopened after a 5-year reconstruction period. However, sitewide renovations are expected to continue until around 2038.

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Although Kumamoto Castle dates from 1467, Kato Kiyomasa greatly expanded it in 1600 to what we can see today. Inside the keep is an exhibition of the history of the Kato clan and the latter rulers, the Hosokawa clan (a mansion of theirs lies nearby). The top floor is an observatory with an astonishing view of the city of Kumamoto. Both the grounds inside the walls and the outer parks make for a beautiful visit any time of year.

The castle dominates the downtown area and is only a few minutes from Super Hotel City Kumamoto, where I was staying.

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