Kumamoto (熊本市) has long been the largest and most influential city of central Kyushu.
It is known for its Castle, one of Japan’s Three Great Castles and for Suizenji Park. The original castle, which is one of Japan’s largest and most complete, was partly destroyed in 1877 and restored in 1960.
Kumamoto is also where Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer and ronin (“wanderer”) -Japan’s most legendary samurai warrior- spent his final years.
He is now a popular subject in Japanese movies and TV shows, and the best-seller manga Vagabond is based on his life.
The spirit of Miyamoto Musashi still lives on in Kumamoto, and makes Kumamoto a true samurai town.
Nearby is Mount Aso, Japan’s Moon-Like volcano, and one of Japan’s many secret natural wonders.
Its crater, The Nakadake is one of the most active volcano in Japan. Inside its crater lies a beautiful fuming blue lake and it is even possible for you to see it from above.