Despite suffering damage in the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, the region was quick to rebound and continues to welcome tourism. Surrounded by mountains, the landscape is shaped by volcanic activity. Aso is known for its huge caldera containing villages and farms. Black-sided Kumamoto Castle is one of the country's most imposing, and Kurokawa Onsen retains a quaint, traditional feel.
Kumamoto has its own airport, and larger Fukuoka Airport is also close. Bullet trains pass through Kumamoto as well, with easy access from Kagoshima in the south, and Fukuoka and beyond to the north. Local trains are cheap and convenient for reaching small towns around Kumamoto Prefecture.
There are direct flights to Kumamoto Airport from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Osaka’s Itami Airport. If traveling from elsewhere in Japan, the best way to get to the area is by catching a plane to nearby Fukuoka Airport and then getting to Kumamoto by train or bus. If you’d rather travel by land, catch the shinkansen from Tokyo and points west. There are some through trains originating from Shin-Osaka Station, while others require an easy transfer at Hakata Station in Fukuoka.
Kumamoto has a lot of bamboo, and its people sculpt it into various fantastic shapes, including lanterns, candleholde...
Beef from Japanese brown cattle, one of the four breeds of wagyu cattle. Higo beef is famous for its rich marbling an...
The dekopon is a hybrid mandarin often called the "sumo mandarin" due to its large, round size. Incredibly ...
Japans other national drink, shochu is a distilled liquor made from rice, barley, brown sugar, sweet potatoes or buck...
Celebrate cherry blossoms blooming all around the prefecture with food and drink. The grounds of Kumamoto Castle are particularly beautiful and festive.
Kumamoto comes alive with special events, including the Horse Festival, the Yamaga Lantern Festival, and various fireworks displays.
Changing leaves are a beautiful compliment to bathing in hot springs. Enjoy local citrus fruits like the dekopon, also called the "sumo mandarin."
Warm up in an onsen or with a steaming hot pot meal. Hot pot made with local horse meat is a Kumamoto winter specialty.