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Trip Courses to Enjoy Hot Spas, Nature and Cuisine in Kumamoto Prefecture Recommended by Celebrities

December 7, 2016 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Various areas throughout Japan are ablaze with autumn colors from late October to late November each year. Particularly in Kyushu, known for its mild climate, you can enjoy autumn scenes in which a sharp contrast between red, yellow and orange leaves is beautiful even though the temperature is not very low. Moreover, Kyushu is known as an island with numerous hot springs. You can refresh yourselves in a hot spa and then enjoy seafood and mountain vegetables while being dressed in a “yukata” bathrobe.

 

Kumamoto is a large prefecture in Kyushu with numerous attractions. You cannot visit all of Kumamoto’s tourist spots in a two-night, three-day stay in the prefecture. We would like to introduce courses suitable for two-night trips in Kumamoto recommended by celebrities from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the continent as well as a well-known blogger.

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– Kurokawa-Aso course recommended by Taiwanese celebrities

— Kurokawa

Kurokawa, situated in northern Kumamoto Prefecture and near the border between Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, is regarded as a lesser-known hot spa area. The townscapes in the Kurokawa hot spa area and its vicinity touch the hearts of travelers.

Visitors who buy a “bathing passport” can bathe in open-air baths at three of the 24 registered hot spa facilities in Kurokawa.

Visitors can enjoy strolling on back alleys in the Kurokawa hot spa area wearing a yukata (Japanese bathrobe).

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(Left) A 1,300 yen, six-month “bathing passport,” which allows visitors to bath at three of registered hot spa facilities while the passport is effective; (Center) A counter where visitors can rent a “yukata” bathrobe for 1,000 yen; (Right) Dorayaki (two small Japanese-style pancakes with bean jam in between) produced and sold by the Kurokawa Onsen (hot spa) Dorayaki Doradora confectioner

Food served at an inn in the Kurokawa hot spa area, which includes “karashi renkon” (“tempura” of a lotus root filled with “miso” fermented bean paste mixed with mustard).

— Aso

Driving in the northernmost island of Hokkaido is popular in Japan, but the Aso district of Kumamoto Prefecture is also an attractive driving spot.

Drive along the Yamanami Highway to the foot of magnificent Mount Aso while enjoying beautiful and diverse natural landscapes including Mount Kuju along the route.

Yamanami Highway

Aso Farm Village ( within Aso Farm Land)

Aso Farm Village is a hotel with dome-shaped cottages — mainly for couples and families. Taiwanese celebrities, Kimi Ji and Yako Chan who goes by her stage name Ya Tou, have visited the facility. It is a large village in the middle of a vast wilderness comprising accommodation and facilities where visitors can enjoy various activities. The village offers visitors extraordinary experiences.

*Although some facilities at the village are closed, visitors can stay at Aso Farm Land at reasonable prices because the “Kyushu Fukko Wari” discount program applies to the hotel. The program is a government scheme subsidizing visits to Kyushu. It is aimed at revitalizing the Kyushu economy as the number of tourists to Kyushu has substantially decreased as a result of harmful rumors on the area triggered by the April 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake.

– Amakusa course recommended by a Hong Kong celebrity

— Amakusa

The Amakusa Islands are situated in southwestern Kumamoto Prefecture. There are many historical Christian sites, such as Sakitsu Church and Oe Church, since Christianity was introduced to the island in ancient times. These sites remind visitors of the history of Amakusa as a port town.

Travel to Amakusa, remote islands in Kumamoto, by ferry while feeling the sea breeze for “treasure hunting”: The one-way fare for Amakusa Takarajima Line ferry service between Misumi and Hondo is 2,200 yen.

Amakusa known as “treasure islands”

Amakusa is called “treasure islands” because there are famous stones on the islands and Amakusa is rich in natural resources, although there are various stories about its nickname. Landscapes on the islands themselves look like treasures, let alone local cuisine. Look at these “treasures” with your own eyes.

A beautiful sunset in the East China Sea is seen in Amakusa. There are many classical inns in Shimoda that has a long history as a hot spa area.

Hong Kong celebrity Stephanie Sun has visited Amakusa. You can see wild dolphins there. Dolphin shows and fresh seafood are attractions in Amakusa.

– Hitoyoshi-Kuma course recommended by a Chinese blogger

— Hitoyoshi

The Hitoyoshi district is situated in the southernmost part of Kumamoto Prefecture and near the prefecture’s border with Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. Hitoyoshi is also recommended for railway enthusiasts because the JR Hisatsu Line, the Kumagawa Rail Road and other railway lines that operate unique trains in terms of both exteriors and interiors are in this area. When strolling in this castle town, you should visit Aoi Shrine designated as a national treasure as well as the ruins of Hitoyoshi Castle. You should also drop in at miso (fermented soybean paste) and soy sauce factories and sake (rice wine) breweries while strolling in this area.

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(Left) The ruins of Hitoyoshi Castle (Center) an eel dish served at the Uemura Unagiya eel restaurant; (Right) Chinese blogger Hanen Xixi poses next to Kumamon, a popular mascot character in Kumamoto Prefecture

The “Isaburo Shinpei” train operated between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi stations on the JR Hisatsu Line.

How do you like the sightseeing courses in Kumamoto Prefecture introduced in this article? You can fully enjoy beautiful scenery and cuisine in Kumamoto Prefecture throughout the year, not just in autumn.

The “Kumamoto Fukko Wari” program subsidizing trips to Kumamoto Prefecture is under way. If you type in “Visit Kyushu Special Campaign” in a search engine and find this logo, you can find information on the tourism of Kumamoto.

If you want to see more attractions in Kyushu, visit the following website:
https://kumanago.jp/hereiam/tw/

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