We visited Kumamoto castle (the third castle of this winter trip) in Kumamoto City, Kyushu, Japan.
This is one of the Top 10 castles in Japan, beautiful exterior, large castle ground and a rich display of historical artefacts in the castle itself.
The castle and some surrounding stone walls were damaged by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, just months after our trip. And so we were rather fortunate to visit before the disaster. Restorations of the castle had begun and is expected to complete by 2019.
Since then, Kumamoto city had been doing aggressive tourism promotion. We kept seeing advertisements on Singapore and Taiwan Tv, as well as multiple events in public areas promoting the City. And because of that, Kumamon (Mascot for Kumamoto prefecture) is becoming increasingly famous!
Took a photo with one of the samurai on duty. There were quite a few of them. Very friendly and willing to pose for travellers.
Pretending to be a samurai. It was fun to go behind these costumes for a photo taking session. And they are free to use too. Remember to look out for these when you are at Kumamoto Castle.
Kumamoto Castle is definitely high up on our list of highly recommended castles in Japan, along with Himeji castle and Osaka castle. Do give it a visit if you are in the Kyushu region.
BUT, take note, it seems like the castle is now closed while it undergoes renovation work… You can still see the castle from outside the ground though.