Located on the island of Kyushu, Kumamoto is home to religious shrines, natural beauty and the tomb of The Book of the Five Rings author, Miyamoto Musashi. The lush countryside and the nearby active Mount Aso volcano inspired the city s monikers, Capital of the Forest and Fire Country. Kumamoto also hosts the Kamitori and Shimotori shopping districts where visitors can find samples of the city s famous Higo metal inlays and Yamaga lanterns.
The main attraction for many people who fly to Kumamoto is the city s landmark castle. Built in 1607, Kumamoto Castle is the third largest in Japan and features gardens, original buildings and important artifacts. Travelers can also enjoy the hot springs and zoological park found in Shiki no Sato Park as well as the serene Suizenji Gardens, a traditional Japanese garden.
Other buildings worth seeing in Kumamoto include the Honmyo-ji Temple and the Fujisaki Hachimangu Shrine. Visit the Hosokawa Mansion, a centuries-old samurai mansion, to check out Edo-era furnishings and artifacts. The 14th floor of city hall provides views of the castle and skyline.
Aso-Kumamoto Airport (KMJ) is located approximately 11 miles northeast of the city. The humid, subtropical climate in Kumamoto produces summer highs that reach 90 degrees and average winter lows just above freezing. Annual cultural celebrations include the Seishoko Festival and the Nighttime Cherry Blossom festival.
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