Located on the west coast of Kyushu, the most south-westerly of Japan’s four main islands, Kumamoto City is the capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, which covers an area considered the heartland of Kyushu – it was from here that the Hosokawa lords once ruled the whole island. Kumomoto has a spectacular coastline, tracts of forest and a lot of geothermic activity – Mt Aso is the most active volcano on the archipelago, there’s a geopark and plenty of onsen. Looking at these landscapes, it’s easy to see why the area is central to Japan’s creation myths – it was here that it is said the gods first descended to the earth. In Kumamoto City, make sure you visit Kumamoto Castle – it is considered one of the top three castles on the country.
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Kumamoto: