Powerful Volcanoes and a Fighting Spirit
Kumamoto is symbolized by two powerful landmarks: Kumamoto Castle in the city, and Mt. Aso, Japan's largest volcano, further inland. The forces of nature have formed the land and forged the region's fighting spirit. Close to Mt. Aso, you can relax in the hot springs of Kurokawa Onsen. Just off the coast, the idyllic Amakusa islands have a fascinating history of Christianity to explore.
Tokyo to Kumamoto is less than 2 hours, and just over 1 hour from Osaka by air. The train takes 4 hours from Osaka or 40 minutes from Fukuoka. Take a ferry from Shimabara Port in Nagasaki to Kumamoto Port, in 30 minutes.
Within Japan, there are daily direct flights from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. There are also daily flights to and from the Amami Islands and Okinawa. From Aso Kumamoto Airport, you can get to the city's main destinations including Kumamoto Station by Airport Limousine, within one hour. If you're planning to explore the region by car, there are rental car desks at the airport. Taxis to and from the airport are also reasonable.
Buses and trams connecting the main sights, which are easy to navigate. A Kumamoto One Day Pass offers unlimited travel within a day. IC cards such as a Suica card also work on local buses and trams. Ferries take you from Misumi Port to the Amakusa island
Train travel in Kumamoto is fun, with many special trains and scenic routes. The A-Train from Kumamoto Station to Amakusa has a sophisticated jazz theme, with a bar. The luxurious Kawasemi Yamasemi takes visitors to Hitoyoshi along the Kuma River, and train buffs will love the SL Hitoyoshi that steams along the same route. Aso Boy! Is a colorful train filled with playful details, taking passengers from Beppu in Oita, to the famous Aso volcano region. Around Aso, the Minamiaso line runs between Takamori and Tateno.
Within the city, the Shiromegurin bus takes visitors from Kumamoto Castle to the main tourist spots for a small flat fare per trip, or you can get a One Day Pass to hop on and off as you like. A Highway Bus is the easiest way to reach Aso and Kurokawa Onsen, with buses leaving from Kumamoto Kotsu Center.