Considered one of Japan’s most magnificent castles, Kumamoto Castle was designed and built by local feudal lord Kiyomasa Kato between 1601 and 1607. The massive castle grounds include two castle towers, 49 turrets, 29 castle gates and 18 turret gates. While very few of the structures are original, the reconstructions with original materials and methods give visitors a feel of what walking the castle grounds would have been like for its original feudal lords.
Today, the castle interior serves as a museum, where Samurai weapons and armor, palanquins, artifacts from the Seinan Rebellion and models of the castle are on display.
Late March and early April see the castle’s 800 cherry trees come into bloom, making the spring season a particularly popular time to visit.
Give yourself about 90 minutes to visit the castle, Honmaru Goten Palace and the Uto Turret.