The Hosokawa family are famous in Kumamoto, not least of all for their impressive garden, now known as Suizenji Park. Construction of the scenic garden began in 1636, whose location was chosen for the natural spring in the area. The water there is famous for making green tea, and so a specialty tea house was also constructed.
Take the tram to the Suizenji Koen stop. Both tram lines run to the park. Public buses are available but difficult to work out.
If you like walking, you can reach the park in less than an hour from central Kumamoto.
Limited parking is available.
The thatched-roof tea house is one of the main attractions of the garden. Order a tea set and choose which sweet (fruity or creamy) you'd like to accompany your cup of hand whisked matcha. It costs a little extra to sit within the actual tea house (which was designed as a theater stage), but the open air seating is just as pleasant, offering top views of the pond and garden.
The Izumi Shrine, with red torii (archways) leading down to it, is a picturesque photo spot in the garden. Some of the Hosokawa family members are enshrined there, and there are sometimes religious events held in the garden. The peak in the middle of the garden is supposed to represent Mt. Fuji.
The pond which is home to colorful koi and magnificent birds suffered during the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, when all the water drained away, but it has since been restored. Cross over the photogenic bridge and follow winding pathways, raked to perfection, around the small but beautiful garden.