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Full of Nature-rich Spots. Five Recommended Destinations in Kumamoto, Kyushu.

Kumamoto Prefecture, which is located in the middle of Kyushu, has a variety of attractive tourist destinations, including places where you can enjoy its majestic nature. This time, we've carefully selected five spots to introduce!

1. Mt. Aso

First, we introduce Mt. Aso, an active volcano which is sometimes considered to be a symbol of Kumamoto Prefecture. It is a classic composite volcano that is 1,592m at its highest point. It has one of the world's largest calderas, spanning about 18km east to west and approximately 25km north to south. The area is full of fantastic views created by nature. You can take a ropeway from Asosan Nishi Station at the end of the bus line to Kakonishi station at the rim of the caldera and see the desolate landscape and grand caldera from its large windows.
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Mt. Aso Ropeway Round Trip Fare: 1,200 JPY/adult (junior high school and older), 600 JPY/child (elementary school and younger)

1. Mt. Aso

808-5 Kurokawa, Aso-shi, Kumamoto

2. ASO Farm Land

This is a theme park built around the concept of fully enjoying one's health. It has a variety of facilities and areas. There's the Sports zone with a variety of playground tools and equipment to get exercise while having fun, the Experience zone where you can interact with adorable animals such as the capybara and Patagonian mara, the Healing zone where you can enjoy large open-air baths, the Gourmet zone where you can enjoy local foods such as fresh vegetables, the Stay zone with a unique dome-shaped hotel, and the Shopping zone where you can purchase a variety of gifts such as regional products and Hello Kitty goods only available in Kyushu. Entry is free.

2. ASO Farm Land

5579-3 Kawayo, Minamiaso-mura, Aso-gun, Kumamoto

3. Kurokawa Onsen

This is a famous onsen hot spring district along Tanoharu River in western Mt. Kuju in the northeast of Kumamoto Prefecture. It is a sulfur spring with hot water between 45℃ and 96℃. It is famous for the abundance of onsen hot spring water and has many benefits, such as for rheumatism and wounds. The onsen hot spring district has many traditional-style ryokan inns where you can stay, as well as public baths that you can check out.

3. Kurokawa Onsen

Kurokawa Sakura-dori, Minamioguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto

4. Nabegataki

Nabegataki is a famous waterfall with a height of about 10m and width of about 20m, known as one of Kyushu's best spots for fantastic views. It is also famous for the view at the back of the waterfall. You are sure to be captivated by the graceful movements of the curtain-like falling water. During the Golden Week in May (May 2, 3, and 4), it is lit up in the evening, creating a mystical view.

4. Nabegataki

2263 Kurobuchi, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto

5. Suizenji Garden

This is a picturesque garden long beloved by the locals. Its grounds are vast and span approximately 76,000 square meters. It was originally built in 1636 as a teahouse for the Kumamoto feudal lord, but was landscaped over the years to create the beautiful garden that it is today. It is a kaiyu shiki teien (stroll garden with a central pond) in the Momoyama style that is designed to be enjoyed by walking around it. It is also said that it was designed to represent the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido* and includes an artificial hill that was created in the image of Mt. Fuji. It is designated as a place of scenic beauty and a historical landmark by the national government.

Admission: 400 JPY/high school and older, 200 JPY/elementary school and junior high school

The 53 shukuba (inns and restaurants for travellers) along the route between Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period (1602 - 1867). They are famous ukiyo-e motifs.

5. Suizenji Garden

8-1 Suizenji Koen, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto

Located two hours by plane from Tokyo and three hours from Osaka on the shinkansen bullet train, Kyushu is easily accessible from major cities in Japan. It is also full of wonderful gourmet food!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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