The stunning city of Kumamoto is the wider Kumamoto Prefecture’s capital and the second largest city in Kyushu island. Like many cities in the country, Kumamoto is famous for possessing a beautiful castle and is also near the majestic Mt. Aso, which is a still-active volcano.
As well as the mountain and castle, the city is also a place where tourists are seen to explore many exciting museums, shopping arcades, galleries, and attractive Japanese gardens that beautify the city.
Here’s an ultimate Kumamoto traveling guide.
The Best Things to Do in Kumamoto
Visiting Kumamoto Castle
Located on a hill in the heart of Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Castle is among Japan’s most remarkable castles. It also ranks among the country’s leading three castles, alongside Matsumoto Castle and Himeji Castle.
With its extensive grounds and various buildings, including 13 structures, it is a complete castle experience.
Walking the “Tokaido” at Suizenji-Jojuen Garden
Suizenji-jojuen is among Kumamoto’s significant draws and is an enormous Japanese garden placed around a scenic lake. Visitors prefer to visit during the afternoon when the light makes the garden seem even more attractive.
Hiking Hana Okayama
Hana Okayama is a hill that offers excellent views over the city, and it is beautiful trekking here in the evening when visitors can witness the sparkling lights above the city. It takes about 15 minutes to trek to the apex of the hill.
Visiting Shimada Museum of Art
The Shimada Art Museum is among the smaller museums in the city, but it’s well worth a trip. There are many galleries dedicated to items such as calligraphy pieces and scrolls painted by Miyamoto Musashi, an artist and a well-known samurai warrior.
Exploring Mount Aso
Resting in Aso Kuju National Park in Kumamoto Prefecture at around 1,592m (5,223 feet) above sea level, Mt. Aso is the country’s most giant active volcano and the world’s second-largest, following Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
It has five peaks: Mt. Takadake, Mt. Nakadake, Mt. Nekodake, Mt. Eboshi, and Mt. Kishima, as well as various hiking tracks.
Honmyo-Ji is another major visitor’s place in the city and is a temple that stands on a graceful hillside in the north of Kumamoto. There are around 176 steps to reach the temple, dotted with elegant Japanese lanterns.
The city is located by the sea and contains a humid subtropical climate with all-year-round rainfall. The most excellent months visitors favor visiting are May, June, and October, when the temperature is enjoyable between 20°–25°C.
The hottest months are July to September — the sweltering summer period where temperatures will get a muggy high of about 33°C.
While December and January are the chilliest months, winters in the city are favorable. Snowfall is pretty uncommon, and the weather rarely falls below 0°C.
Getting to Kumamoto
The most effortless way to get to the city is by air, landing at Kumamoto Airport. A flight from Osaka takes about 1h and 10min while flying from Tokyo will take 1h and 40min.
Buses and cars are available from Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto City for about ¥800. Otherwise, travelers can also use their Japan Rail Pass to get into the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station to Kumamoto Station.
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