Kumamoto City gets most of the press in the travel guides but it is the countryside that is the unsung hero. Hop on a bus or rent a car and head southeast. Your route will take you below the pastureland of volcanic Mt Aso and into the regions where rice paddies cling to the hillsides, occupying every available inch of space. As the road winds through the mountains on its way to Miyazaki Prefecture, every turn brings a new tableau more picturesque than the last. It's beautiful year-round in this region but autumn is the highlight. From the arrival of thte red cluster amaryllis in September to the golden rice grains waving in the breeze as October begins, Kumamoto's rice paddies are the "it" sight in the fall for photographers.
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