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Kyushu | Kumamoto | Kumamoto City

Kumamoto Castle

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Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle is one of the three most famous castles in Japan along with Osaka Castle and Himeji Castle. The castle was constructed in 1607 by Kato Kiyomasa, to provide a center of power in Higo Province during the final years of the Toyotomi clan. After the completion of the newly expanded Kumamoto Castle, it was regarded to as the impenetrable fortress heavily compared with Osaka Castle. During the Edo period, the Hosokawa clan was appointed to the castle as the new ruling lord. Most of the castle structures were burnt down during the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877 with only 13 surviving to this day. The castle we see today was reconstructed in 1960 as a ferro-concrete model of the original. Displays of the castles history along with ancient artifacts including samurai weapons, armor and historical letters can be viewed by visitors. Modern reconstructions of high quality and traditional techniques are applied to many of the new buildings. The reconstructed Honaru Goten Place was opened to the public in 2008 with 25 rooms totaling 580 tatami mats where the lord lived and conducted government business, in contrast to the original, consisting of 53 rooms and 1570 tatami mats. Visitors can see the lavishly decorated palace in which the lord would receive guests, a special look into the life of the samurai culture. Kumamoto Castle is also a local favorite for viewing sakura during spring season with over 1000 cherry blossom trees for visitors to enjoy Japanese hanami.