Kumamoto Castle has been badly damaged due to the earthquakes happened on 14 and 16 April 2016, no one but inspectors and construction workers are allowed to get into the castle building area. But you can walk around and see how strong the earthquake was. Check out the following photos.
On every weekend and sometimes on weekdays, you can find someone spinning Japanese traditional tops which are called “Higo chonkake-goma”, performed by the members of Higo chonkake-goma preservation club. (“Higo” is a former name of Kumamoto Prefecture, until the end of Edo period ( -1868).) This tricky performance used to be played by children in Kumamoto Pref. during Edo period but sadly ended up an antiquated custom after WW2. But it has been revived thanks to those people who tried reviving this tradition with a lot of efforts nearly 20 years after WW2. You could also have a chance to try playing this under the guidance of those masters.
Kumamoto City is a mid-size city of around 700,000 people. Best known icon of Kumamoto is Kumamoto Castle which was originally built in 1607 by the lord Kato Kiyomasa who has been loved by the local people of Kumamoto as a hero. Now this castle has been chosen as one of the most beautiful castles in Japan.
You can walk around inside the castle area and also get into such buildings as “Castle tower”(=tallest castle building) , “Uto watch tower”(=one of the original buildings for 400 years) and “Honmaru Goten”(=Lord’s palace). And will find the secret of Japanese castles as well as the atmosphere of “The Last Samurai” film. There was the last civil war around this castle in the late 19th century and became one of the models of the world-wide known film “The Last Samurai”.
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