The 10 Best Places To Visit In Kumamoto

Ah, Kumamoto – a gem in the heart of Kyushu, Japan. It’s a place where history whispers through ancient castle walls and nature flaunts its beauty unabashedly. I’ve had the pleasure of exploring this vibrant city and its surroundings, and let me tell you, it’s a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. So, buckle up, as I take you through the 10 best places to visit in Kumamoto, each offering a unique slice of this region’s rich tapestry.

Kumamoto Castle

First up, the iconic Kumamoto Castle. It’s a must-see, and for good reason. Despite suffering damage during the 2016 earthquakes, the castle stands proud, a testament to resilience. The restoration efforts are a marvel in themselves. Strolling through the castle grounds, you can’t help but feel transported back to the samurai era. The view from the top is breathtaking, offering a panoramic vista of the city.

Mount Aso

Next, let’s talk about Mount Aso, the behemoth of a volcano that dominates the landscape. It’s one of the largest active volcanoes in the world, and its Caldera is a sight to behold. Hiking trails abound, and the experience of peering into the smoldering crater is nothing short of exhilarating. Just make sure to check the volcanic activity before you visit!

Suizenji Jojuen Garden

For a moment of Zen, Suizenji Jojuen Garden is the place to be. This meticulously landscaped garden is a miniature representation of the 53 stations of the Tokaido, the historic road connecting Tokyo and Kyoto. The garden’s centerpiece is a miniature Mount Fuji, and the entire place is a living work of art. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful picnic.

Kurokawa Onsen

If you’re in the mood for some relaxation, Kurokawa Onsen should be on your list. This hot spring village is the epitome of tranquility, with steamy baths set in a picturesque, traditional setting. The outdoor baths, or ‘rotenburo’, offer a soak with a view, often surrounded by nature’s splendor. It’s an experience that soothes the soul and the sore muscles.

Amakusa Islands

Just off the coast, the Amakusa Islands beckon with their crystal-clear waters and hidden coves. These islands are a paradise for beach lovers and marine life enthusiasts. You can hop on a dolphin-watching cruise, or if you’re lucky, spot these playful creatures from the shore. The islands also boast a rich Christian history, with hidden churches and monuments to explore.

Daikanbo Lookout

For those who crave a good view, Daikanbo Lookout delivers in spades. It’s the perfect vantage point to take in the grandeur of Mount Aso’s caldera. The rolling hills and the patchwork of fields below are a photographer’s dream. The changing seasons paint the landscape in a kaleidoscope of colors, making every visit unique.

Sakuranobaba Johsaien

Curious about Kumamoto’s samurai heritage? Sakuranobaba Johsaien is your go-to. This cultural complex near Kumamoto Castle offers a deep dive into the region’s history. You can watch samurai performances, try on armor, and even savor local delicacies at the food market. It’s an interactive way to experience Kumamoto’s past and present.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto

Art aficionados, rejoice! The Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto is a hub for modern art in Kyushu. The museum’s rotating exhibitions showcase both local and international artists. It’s a space that challenges perceptions and inspires creativity. Plus, the museum’s architecture is a work of art in itself.

Reigando Cave

For a touch of the spiritual, venture to Reigando Cave. This is where the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi penned ‘The book of Five Rings’. The cave exudes a mystical aura, surrounded by statues of 500 disciples of Buddha. It’s a place that invites contemplation and offers a glimpse into the mind of a master.

Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center

Last but not least, the Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center is a Celebration of local craftsmanship. From intricate Higo inlay work to delicate Amakusa pottery, the center showcases the skills passed down through generations. You can even try your hand at some of the crafts, creating a unique souvenir to take home.


  • What’s the best time to visit Kumamoto?
    Spring (March to May) is ideal, with cherry blossoms in full bloom and pleasant weather. Autumn (September to November) is also great for comfortable temperatures and fall foliage.
  • Is Kumamoto Castle accessible despite the earthquake damage?
    Yes, parts of the castle grounds and some structures are open to the public. Restoration is ongoing, but there’s still plenty to see and experience.
  • Are there any travel restrictions due to Mount Aso’s volcanic activity?
    Volcanic activity can lead to restrictions for safety reasons. Always check the latest updates before planning a visit to the area.


Kumamoto is a city that offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from the historical grandeur of Kumamoto Castle to the natural splendor of Mount Aso. It’s a place where culture, nature, and tradition blend seamlessly, creating a destination that’s both vibrant and serene. Whether you’re soaking in the Hot Springs of Kurokawa Onsen or marveling at the views from Daikanbo Lookout, Kumamoto invites you to immerse yourself in its unique charm. So, pack your bags and set off on an adventure that promises to be as unforgettable as the landscapes and legacies of this stunning corner of Japan.

For those seeking to capture the essence of Kumamoto in their travels, this guide has highlighted the top 10 spots that offer a comprehensive experience of the region’s beauty and heritage. From the serene Suizenji Jojuen Garden to the spiritual Reigando Cave, each location provides a window into the soul of Kumamoto. As you plan your journey, remember that the true magic of travel lies in the unexpected moments and the connections you make along the way. Happy travels!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.