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The Ginkgo Castle of Kumamoto


©Kumamoto Castle General Office  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > The Ginkgo Castle of Kumamoto


Sightseeing at Kumamoto Castle, one of Japan’s most famous castles

Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture


©Kumamoto Castle General Office


Kumamoto Castle is one of the most famous castles in Japan. It was built by the lord of Higo Province (the previous name of the Kumamoto region), Kato Kiyomasa, over a seven-year construction period ending in 1607. The castle sustained severe damage in the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, but in 2021  the Tenshukaku, was reopened to visitors after a full restoration. Now, visitors can enjoy top-floor views from this castle tower. 


The Renewal Exhibition takes a close look at the history of Kumamoto Castle’s Tenshukaku. With physical models and videos, it explains in simple terms the tower’s history, from its construction to its destruction by fire in the civil war of 1877, its rebuilding in 1960, and the damage done by and restoration after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. 


Every autumn, visitors are astounded by the magnificent colors of a massive ginkgo tree thought to have been planted by Kato Kiyomasa himself. For this very reason, Kumamoto Castle has earned the additional title of the “Ginkgo Castle.”


©Kumamoto Castle General Office

How to get there

From Hakata Station, take the Kyushu Shinkansen to Kumamoto Station (about 40 minutes).


If taking the city tram, disembark at Kumamoto Castle/City Hall. The castle is about a 10-minute walk away through Sakura-no-Baba Josaien.


If taking the Shiromegurin shuttle bus, disembark at Ninomaru Parking Lot. A free shuttle bus is available between Sakura-no-Baba Josaien and Ninomaru Parking Lot.


1-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto-ken


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