Kyushu Holiday – Part two


This is a long-overdue second instalment of my trip to Japan some months back.

Continuing our Kyushu adventure from Fukuoka, my parents and I arrived by train to Kumamoto, a castle town with elements of old and new, as can be seen here.


We lived within walking distance of the castle, and I greatly enjoyed my visit there. I love its wide open spaces, and even though the city was just behind the trees it didn’t feel that way within the castle compounds. I was happy to be in nature, away from city buildings.

P1220300P1220298P1220299 P1220301

Here’s where they keep the Higo Irises. Higo is the old name for Kumamoto. The fake plastic crow is rather life-like, I think it is probably an effective method of keeping the crows away. I didn’t see a single one in the immediate area.

P1220304 P1220305

We also saw some fruits of sorts in the trees. Not sure what they might be.

P1220307 P1220310

I also saw some Oxalis Debilis, also known as Pink Woodsorrel, growing among the rocks.

P1220312P1220351Here’s another area where seedlings are grown.


Aside from seeing the castle, I was looking forward to seeing the great gingko tree. The original castle was burnt down in 1877 and then rebuilt. I read online that the gingko tree had been burnt as well, but somehow a new shoot appeared and it has grown into the epic tree it is today.

P1220313 P1220314 P1220318

Here’s the great gingko tree. It looks so grand. The castle was also amazing to see up close.

P1220320 P1220323 P1220325 P1220329

We climbed 6 storeys to the top for an incredible view of the city from all sides. It was a hot summer’s day but there was a comforting breeze that could be felt at the top.

Afterwards, we went to visit the reconstructed inner palace. This wooden porch corridor is called an “engawa”, and it spans 31.5 metres. I love the elaborate and highly detailed painted screens indoors, I’m sure it was changed seasonally, such is the Japanese attention to detail.

P1220335P1220341P1220348We also visited  the Prefectural Traditional Crafts Centre, which showcased art pieces such as pottery, metal jewellery inlaid with gold, denim, among others, and the premises also has a working space for art activities. I especially enjoyed the courtyard. I sat there with a cup of tea, which they offer to guests on a complimentary basis.


Here are some other sights at the shrines near the castle and crafts centre. P1220272 P1220267

Here’s a mini farmer’s market outside our hotel. We bought some green tea as souvenirs.


Some city sights.

P1220261P1220236 P1220246 P1220247While I was having an orange almond cake and a scone at a cafe, I spotted Rohan Anderson’s book, Whole Larder Love, a pretty nice surprise to find it here. He has an interesting blog on self sufficiency which I enjoy reading. You can see one of his talks on his lifestyle here.


During our stay, we had some washoku cuisine at the hotel we were staying at. I love the view to a Japanese garden, it really enhanced our dining experience, and remains a special memory to me.


After spending two nights here, we went by train to Beppu, known for its hot springs. More on this last leg of my Kyushu journey soon!

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.