Kumamoto Castle in Japan is a beautiful castle surrounded by trees. It suffered damages from an earthquake in 2016, and is currently being repaired, and its spectacular appearance is being restored. The restoration is progressing well enough to have special openings of the outside view of the Tenshu, which is the symbol of the castle, in October of 2019. We will introduce things such as highlights of Kumamoto Castle in this article.
History and what’s to come for Kumamoto Castle
Kumamoto Castle is one of Japan’s beautiful castles built in 1607 using the most advanced technology of the time. It was built with many things, such as the Tenshu varying in size, which is the symbol of the castle, as well as an armory, a turret used to attack when being attacked by enemies, and a palace. It is also the castle in which Miyamoto Musashi lived in his later life.
Although many buildings such as the Tenshu were burned down during the Meiji Era, there are many things that still remain from when the castle was built. In autumn of 2019, there will be a celebration of the restoration of the outside appearance of the Large Tenshu, and a portion of a restricted area will be opened up, and a route to go around the outside will be opened. In spring of 2020, even more of the area is scheduled to be opened up. Even now, you can see the castle, which is a famous sakura sight, from Ninomaru Park and the observatory lobby in the city hall.
Highlights of Kumamoto Castle
One of the Three Great Castles in Japan, the Tenshu of Kumamoto Castle
There are two Tenshu in Kumamoto Castle: The Large Tenshu and the Small Tenshu. The Tenshu is a beautiful building that serves as the symbol of the castle. Although the outside appearance of the Large Tenshu looks like a trio of towers, it has six floors above-ground and one basement floor on the inside. The current Tenshu was rebuilt in 1960 after it was burned down during the Meiji Era.
Said to be the third Tenshu, Uto Yagura was not damaged during The Seinan War in the Meiji Era, and is one of the buildings that didn’t suffer much damage during the earthquake. It is worth seeing the buildings that survived throughout history. In addition, you can see the Tenshu and Uto Yagura lined up from Ninomaru Park.
The Stone Wall of Kumamoto Castle Holds the Nickname of “Musha Gaeshi”; where Samurai and Ninjas are Held Off
The stone wall of Kumamoto Castle is curved in a way making it seem as if it is easy to climb. However, it curves back as you go up, making it impossible to climb. It is a beautiful stone wall that got its nickname of “Musha Gaeshi” from its ability to hold off Samurai and Ninjas.
Opening Hours and Entrance Fee of Kumamoto Castle
From October 5th, 2019, it will have special openings on Sundays and holidays only, and from 2020, it will be opened on weekdays as well. It is open from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. During the special openings, the entrance fee for high school students and up is 500 yen, 200 yen for elementary and junior high students, and free for preschoolers. The entrance fee for after restoration is finished has not yet been decided.
Where is Kumamoto Castle? Accessibility from the Airport and Station
Kumamoto Castle is in a place convenient for tourists. From the airport, you can arrive by the Airport Limousine Bus to Kumamoto Bus Terminal in 50 minutes. It is a 10-minute walk to the castle from there. In addition, you can ride the tram for about 17 minutes from Kumamoto Station to Kumamoto Castle/City Hall Station, where it is a 10-minute walk away.
- Spot name: Kumamoto Castle
- Street address: 1-1 Honmaru Chuo-ku, Kumamoto, 860-0002
- Access: About 50 minutes by Airport Limousine Bus from Kumamoto Airport, 10-minute walk after getting off at Kumamoto Bus Terminal. About 17 minutes by tram from Kumamoto Station, 10-minute walk after getting off at Kumamoto Castle/City Hall Station