The pretty grounds surrounding Kumamoto Castle are a great picnic spot.
Kumamoto Castle boasts the most extensive grounds of all the samurai castles in Japan. With a huge range of outhouses, turrets and large castle walls, it's fun to explore the grounds which are especially atmospheric in spring when the 800 cherry blossom trees are in bloom.
Due to various fires and sieges over the centuries, the castle keep originally built in 1607 is now a reconstruction but this has been sympathetically handled and the main building houses an interesting museum charting the castle's history.
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Discover the impressive landscapes and vibrant cities of Kyushu on this journey from the forests of Yakushima to Kurokawa Onsen's hot springs
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