Kyushu/Okinawa

A shopping trip to enjoy the history and the nature of Kumamoto.

Visit the historical tourist attractions such as the “Kumamoto Castle” in Kumamoto-shi, the heart of Kumamoto prefecture. Places like “Josaien”, “Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Centre”, and “Kamitoori/ Shimotoori” offer you a great shopping experience.
Visit Aso where you will find abundant nature, and enjoy the panoramic view particular to the region. Visit the tour around the fountains (Suiki) and purchase gifts that are made of ingredients and materials that are special to Aso.

A shopping trip to enjoy the history and the nature of Kumamoto.

Complete Process :One day
Josaienpic
Travel Time:About 5 min

WalkWalk:About 5 min

Kumamoto Castlepic
Travel Time:About 5 min

WalkWalk:About 5 min

Kato Shrinepic
Travel Time:About 1 min

WalkWalk:About 1 min

Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Centrepic
Travel Time:About 5 min

WalkWalk:About 5 min

Kamitoori/ Shimotooripic
inn (2) A shopping course where visitors can enjoy the history and nature of Kumamoto
Kumamoto Stationpic
Travel Time:About 85 min

CarCar:About 85 min

Mount Asopic
Travel Time:About 4 min

CarCar:About 4 min

Kusasenrigahamapic
Travel Time:About 33 min

CarCar:About 33 min

Aso Shrinepic
Travel Time:About 61 min

CarCar:About 61 min

Ichinomiya Monzen-mae Shopping Arcadepic
Travel Time:About 61 min

CarCar:About 61 min

Daikanboupic
Travel Time:About 62 min

CarCar:About 62 min

Senomoto Kogenpic
Travel Time:About 11 min

CarCar:About 11 min

Kurokawa Spapic

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Introduction to Spots
Josaien
On March 5th 2011, “Sakuranobaba Josaien” was opened as a new landmark in Sakuranobaba district of Kumamoto Castle. In addition to “Wakuwakuza – a historical and cultural experience facility”, and “Sakura-no-koji, restaurants and souvenir shops”, there is also a “Tourist Information Center” and a “Multipurpose Exchange Facility”.
The historical and cultural experience facility “Wakuwakuza” is an entertainment space that promises an exciting experience, that offers visitors a glimpse of the history of Kumamoto through a virtual exhibit called “The Tale of Kumamoto Then and Now” and an exhibit that allows visitors to look, listen, touch and enjoy the drama that transcends time and space called “Monogatari-Goten”.
“Sakura-no-Koji” brings together 23 shops selling specialty items unique to Kumamoto. The shops are housed in reproduced castle town buildings that provide an old-world flavor from the Edo period.

Wakuwakuza offers visitors a glimpse at the 300-year history and culture of the region once known as Higo. This virtual representation allows visitors to go back in time and to see, hear and touch the area’s history through the “Tale of Kumamoto Then and Now” exhibit, and to try on traditional Edo-period kimono.
•Location: 〒860-0008 1-1-3 Ninomaru 2, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi
•TEL: Wakuwakuza ℡096-288-5600、Sakura-no-komichi ℡096-288-5577
•Website: http://www.sakuranobaba-johsaien.jp/
Kumamoto Castle
The construction of Kumamoto Castle, also known as Ginnan Castle (ginkgo castle), started in the 1601 and took seven years, and it was designed by the feudal lord (daimyo) who ruled the area, Kato Kiyomasa. Its beautiful curved lines are the result of utilization of the natural topography using unique construction technology. It is also popular as a cherry blossom spot, and 3 types of cherry trees – mountain cherry, Higo cherry and Somei Yoshino Cherry –, about 600 tress in total are planted within the grounds, attracting over 100,000 visitors during the cherry blossom viewing period. The trees are lit up in the night, enabling a spectacular night view of the cherry blossoms against the castle.
The castle has ranked top for 3 consecutive years in the “Japanese castle” ranking on the world’s largest word of mouth travel website called the “TripAdvisor” which highlights its popularity.
•Location: 〒860-0002 1-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi
•TEL: 096-352-5900, FAX: 096-351-2954 * Kumamoto Castle General Enquiry
•Opening Times: March ~ November 8:30~18:00 (Final entry 17:30)
December ~ February 8:30 ~ 17:00 (Final entry 16:30)
*However the final entry time to the buildings such as the castle tower is 30 minutes before the closing time.
•Holiday: 12/29 ~ 12/31
•Website: http://www.manyou-kumamoto.jp/castle/
Kato Shrine
Built between the main building and the Uto Yagura of the Kumamoto Castle, the Kato Shrine was built in 1871 as “Nishikiyama Shrine” in accordance with the decree to separate Shintoism and Buddhism by the Meiji Government. Enshrined are Katō Kiyomasa, as a main deity, Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin. It was moved to Kumamoto-shi, Kyomachi, when the Kumamoto garrison (Chinzei Chindai) was erected in 1874 and then on January 23rd, 1962, it was relocated to the current address of 2-1 Honmaru, Kumamoto-shi.
•Location: 〒860-0002 1-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi
•TEL: 096-352-7316、FAX: 096-352-7369 
•Website: http://kumanago.jp/en/spots/detail/430000000969.html
Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Centre
Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center exhibits total of 80 traditional works of Japanese art that have been designated by the prefecture including, woodwork, dyed textile, bamboo products, pottery, and cutlery. In addition to looking at the exhibition, you can also purchase souvenirs and there is also a chance to have things custom made. Visitors can also view unique and cute folk toys such as Higo spinning top, Kinta the ghost, Kiba Monkey and Kiji Horse (guides available).
•Location: 〒860-0001 3-35 Chibajo-cho, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
•TEL: 096-324-4930、FAX: 096-324-4942 
•Opening Times: Open 9:00 ~ 17:00, Holiday Monday (when it falls on a National Holiday, then the following day), end of the year and the New Year
•Website: http://kumamoto-kougeikan.jp/
Kamitoori/ Shimotoori
The population of Kumamoto-city is over 700,000, and it has the largest shopping arcade in West Japan. The arcade has a length of over 1 km, and is located right beneath Kumamoto castle in central Kumamoto city. The arcade houses department stores, electronic goods stores, drug stores and clothing stores. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the delicious food of Kumamoto, and choose from various restaurants and bars
•Location: 〒860-8586 4 Tedorihonmachi, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
*Torichosuji Station near the entrance of Kamitoori/ Shimotoori
•TEL: 096-353-1638 (Kamitoori-Shoeikai), 096-352-3377 (Shimotoori-Haneikai)
•Website: (Kamitoori-Shoeikai) http://www.kamitori.com/, (Shimotoori-Haneikai) http://shimotoori.com/
Kumamoto Station
Kumamoto Station is the main railway terminal of the city of Kumamoto and operated by JR Kyushu Railway Company. The station has the East exit for the Shinkansen and West exit or the Shirakawa exit. Gathered near the two exits are many shops serving food and drink and souvenir shops that sell the specialties of the Kumamoto region. Visitors can have an enjoyable shopping and dining experience by finding local cuisine and traditional confectionaries such as horse meat sashimi, mustard lotus root and Korean candy, and also encounter new products that are full of innovative ideas.
•Location: 〒860-0047 15-1 Kasuga 3-chome, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto-shi,
•TEL: 096-352-0212, 096-354-8200
•Opening Times: Opening Times 5:40 ~ 21:00 Open all year round
•Website: http://ekimachi1-kumamoto.com/ * Ekimachi 1-chome
Mount Aso
Mount Aso has one of the largest caldera in the world. It also offers a huge array of plants and over 1500 species have been recorded to be found in the diverse environment of Aso. Among them are plants that journeyed during the time Japan was connected to the Chinese continent about 150,000 years ago, and some plants that moved down south from the north regions have also been identified. Around end of May ~ beginning June, the top of Mount Aso is covered with the pink flowers of the 300,000 Miyama Kirishima plants.
*Due to the Volcanic Alert Level of the middle section of Mount Aso, the entry into the area may become restricted. Please refer to the Kumamoto tourism site “Nagomi Tourism Site” (http://kumanago.jp/) for more details.
•Location: 〒869-2225 Kurokawa, Aso-shi, Kumamoto * Middle part of Aso
•TEL: 0967-22-3174, FAX: 0967-22-4566  * Aso-shi Tourism Department
•Website: http://kumanago.jp/en/spots/detail/430000000209.html
Kusasenrigahama
With an incredible view of smoking Mt. Nakadake, Kusasenrigahama makes a great trip destination. It’s a shallow square prairie spread over the northern base of Mt. Eboshidake, and the scenery is truly idyllic: there’s a large pond in the center and horses graze on the pasture. This is a popular spot filled with many tourists just about all year round.
Besides the beautiful scenery in the summer filled with lush green, and the magical white snow in winter, Kusasenri offers great amenities like, horse-back riding and hiking. This is one of Aso’s iconic landscapes where numerous Japanese poets have written songs about its beauty in the past.
•Location: 〒869-2231 Nagakusa, Aso-shi, Kumamoto
•TEL: 0967-32-1960, * Aso-shi Information Centre
•Website: http://kumanago.jp/en/spots/detail/430000000210.html
Aso Shrine
Aso Shrine is a Shinto Shrine with over 2,500 years of history. Walking through the streets of Ichi no Miya-machi, an area located in the city of Aso, many large romon, two-storied gates, will catch the eye of visitors, including one of the three large tower gates in Japan. Including Takeiwatatsu Nomikoto who is known as the grandchild of the Emperor Jimmu, the founder of Japan, this shrine is one of the 500 throughout Japan where twelve other Gods are enshrined. The Sando (road leading to the shrine) is known as the “Yoko Sando”, or Horizontal Sando, as it runs parallel to Aso Shrine, a rarity in Japan. A series of agricultural festivals including the “Onda Festival” and the “Tajitsu Festival”, where the shrine is used as a stage, were designated as important intangible folk culture assets in 1982 (Showa 57).
At the Ichinomiyamon-mae Shopping Arcade located beside Aso Shrine is the fountain of spring water called “Mizuki”. The water from this spring is highly prized as from deity, and many revere as the water of immortality as well. The people of Ichi no Miya have used this water of the Gods as their daily drinking water. Hoping that more people would drink this beautiful water, the people of Ichi no Miya placed wooden and stone Mizuki fountains in front of stores several years ago, allowing people returning from visiting Aso Shrine to taste these waters while enjoy the walking course.
•Location: 〒869-2612 3083-1 Miyaji, Ichinomiya-cho, Aso-shi, Kumamoto *Aso Shrine
•TEL: 0967-22-0064  * Aso Shrine
•Website: http://kumanago.jp/en/spots/detail/430000005020.html
Ichinomiya Monzen-mae Shopping Arcade
Ichinomiyamon-mae Shopping Arcade is a shopping arcade located near the Aso Shrine. Visitors can eat or shop for food and products that use the local produce from Aso. People can also enjoy drinking the abundant water from the spring.
Daikanbou
This peak is located on the northern outer rim of Aso in the northeast side of Uchinomaki Onsen. Originally called “Tomigahana”, it was later renamed to “Daikanbo” when the town mayor, Mr. Kojima made a request to Soho Tokutomi (a well-known writer) in May 1922. From here you can see a fantastic view of Aso Gogaku and the Kuju Mountains, in particular, when the mountains surface from a sea of clouds. The peaks of Aso Gogaku from this spot is called “Nehanzo” as it resembles the Buddha lying on his back. From the observation deck visitors can overlook the entire Aso City, and there is also a souvenir shop and a restaurant. The area is also known to be a great spot for celestial observation.
•Location: 〒869-2231 Nagakusa, Aso-shi, Kumamoto
•TEL: 0967-32-1960, * Aso-shi Information Centre
•Website: http://kumanago.jp/en/spots/detail/430000000210.html
Senomoto Kogen
Senomoto Kogen expands over the southern foot of Oita Prefecture’s Kuju Mountain Range. The view from the 600 to 800-meter plateau is ecstatic and the green pasture extends through the meadow as far as you can see. Selected as “The Best Landscapes of Greenery in Kumamoto”, the Highlands gives a clear view of the five peaks of Aso, Kuju Mountain Range, and the beautiful swaying susuki grass in the autumn winds.
The Yamanami Highway is a popular driving and/or hiking destination as well.
•Location: Senomoto Kogen, Minamioguni-cho, Kumamoto
•TEL: 0967-42-1111 *Industrial Development Department, Minamioguni Town Hall
•Website: http://kumanago.jp/en/spots/detail/430000000354.html
Kurokawa Spa
The appeal of Kurokawa Spa are the historic and tasteful buildings of the ryokan (Japanese-style inn) that surrounds the Chikugo River, and the atmospheric (Rotenburo) open-air baths that have been uniquely arranged by the ryokan and hotels. If you purchase an Onsen-Hopping Pass, you will be able to try out the various open-air baths at your leisure. Also we recommend taking advantage of the “Kurokawa Spa Route Coupons” when you go on an onsen-hopping or when you go out for a stroll. It is priced at JPY500, which includes price for 5 tickets that you can use to buy at shops with the onsen town that sells confectionaries and croquettes. These coupons are sold together with the Onsen-Hopping Pass at the Kurokawa Onsen Tourist-Inn Cooperative (Kazeno-Ya).
With a view to protect the Chikugo River where the fireflies flutter about, the Kurokawa Spa promotes water shed protection and tree planting and the use of ecologically friendly soaps and shampoos.
Moreover, there are many shops in the atmospheric spa town, that sell confectionaries and souvenirs that utilize local ingredients.
•Location: 〒869-2402 Kurokawa, Oaza Mangan-ji, Minamioguni-cho, Kumamoto
•TEL: 0967-44-0076, Fax:0967-44-0819  *Kurokawa Onsen Tourist-Inn Cooperative
•Website: http://www.kurokawaonsen.or.jp/