Kumamoto Prefecture's topography is dominated by volcanic Mt. Aso and is particularly famous for Kumamoto Castle, one of the greatest Japanese castles that has survived to the present day.

Browse & Book a hotel in Kumamoto

1. Yachiyoza Theater

Famous for its revolving stage, tatami "box seats," and a corridor for the actors to pass through the audience to the stage, the Yachiyoza Theater first opened in 1911 as a popular center where residents could see Kabuki performances.
Reopened in the late 1980s, the theater is now designated an Important Cultural Property. Tours are available so you can view the traditional Japanese theater architecture. Also, be sure to check out the Yumekogura Museum with theater memorabilia.

Yachiyoza Theater
1499 Yamaga, Kumamoto 861-0501

2. Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle is known as one of the best castles in Japan.

The local feudal lord, Kato Kiyomasa, began constructing the castle in 1601, and it was completed seven years later. Although some of the original towers and other buildings have been lost to fire over the years, the Uto yagura (tower, or turret) has survived since the Edo period.
Kumamoto Castle's 600 cherry trees make it a top destination for sakura in the springtime, and the castle park is lit up and open to the public at night while the cherry flowers are in full bloom from late March to early April.
Note: Kumamoto Castle was heavily damaged during the April 2016 earthquake, and many areas of the castle are still closed to entry. However, aspects of the castle can still be seen from points near Ninomaru Square and Kato Shrine.

Kumamoto Castle
1-1 Honmaru, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto, 860-0002

3. Sakuranobaba Josaien

Sakuranobaba Josaien is an information complex offering travelers the chance to not only learn Kumamoto's history but also experience it themselves hands-on.

Here, travelers can see 300 years of Kumamoto's history through exciting visuals at the Kumamoto Castle Museum Wakuwakuza history and culture facility. At the Sakuranokoji Shopping Arcade, 23 shops have been set up to look like an Edo-era town, giving customers a totally nostalgic walk through Japan's past.

Sakuranobaba Josaien
1-1-1 Ninomaru, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto, 860-0008

4. Kamitori Shopping Arcade

Stretching over a kilometer from Kumamoto Castle to the heart of the city, Kamitori offers numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars, giving travelers many options for shopping and tasting some of Kumamoto's specialties.

Kamitori Shopping Arcade
4-14 Kamitoricho, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto, 860-0845

5. Reigan-do Cave

At Reigan-do Cave, renowned samurai Miyamoto Musashi's famous book, The Book of Five Rings, was written.

It is also said to be where he is buried, making this a go-to spot for samurai culture buffs. You will find a gong and Toryo writings carved on the inside of the cave walls, and the…

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