When to travel?

The prefecture has a hot and humid summer, dry and cold winter, as the prefecture is located inner land.

Best season:  Mar-Nov
Cherry blossoms: end of Mar-Apr
Foliage: Nov-Dec

Events / Festivals

Jan: Hamayumi festival, Mato Kabai (破魔弓祭 的かばい) Tamana, 玉名郡
Jul: Ushito festival (丑の湯祭り), Yatsushiro 八代
Aug: Yamaga Lantern festival (山鹿灯篭まつり), Yamaga 山鹿
Oct: Kawajiri shrine autumn festival (河尻神宮秋季例大祭), Kumamoto
Jul: Onda festival (御田祭り), Aso 阿蘇

Touristic spots

Capital city: Kumamoto (熊本)

Capital city of Kumamoto prefecture, with the population of 740,000 people.  The city has flourished as a castle city, which is a must-see.  The castle was severely damaged by the earthquake which took place in 2016.

With the opening of Shinkansen, the access to and from Kumamoto is much easier than before.

Kumamoto castle (熊本城), the symbol of the city.
Suizenji Joju garden (水前寺成趣園), a traditional Japanese garden constructed by Hosokawa family.
Unganzenji temple (雲巌禅寺), small statues of Buddhas.

Yamaga (山鹿)

The city with a very old history.  Some ruins in the city proof that people lived here as early as 5th century.  Yamaga Lantern Festival (山鹿灯篭まつり), which is held every August, is so famous.

Yamaga Lantern festival, illusional scenery.
Kikuchi castle (鞠智城), unlike other Japanese castle, this building is estimated to have been built back in 5th century to fight against Korea.

Tsujunkyo bridge (通潤橋)

This bridge was first made to deliver water to the field.  The stylish design of the bridge then became very famous, and now it is one of the three best bridges of Japan.  The bridge is about 80 meters, and the height is about 20 meters.  Water is released for 15 minutes, once a day.

Kikuchi Hot spring (菊池温泉)

Newly opened hot spring.  Kikuchi valley, where we can enjoy beautiful nature, is also accessible from the hot spring.

Kikuchi valley.

Kumagawa river (球磨川)

Known as one of the three fastest streams of Japan.  The water is so fast, but tourists can enjoy riding on the boat.  Kyusendo limestone cave (球泉洞) is also accessible.

One of the three fast streams of Japan.

Kurokawa Hot spring (黒川温泉)

The most famous and prominent hot spring in Kumamoto.   The old and nostalgic ambiance is popular among Japanese and foreign tourists.  The hot spring has been awarded 2 stars by Michelin Green guide.

Kurokawa Hot spring, Yuakari (湯明かり), hot spring lantern.
Nabegadaki waterfall (鍋ヶ滝), reservation needed.

Mt. Aso (阿蘇山) and Amakusa Islands (天草諸島)

Description available in Kyushu article.