As a tourist who wants to discover the north part of Kyushu Island and experience with JR Limited Trains only for Kyushu, the JR north Kyushu Pass can be the best choice for you. You can use this pass to visit Kumamoto as well by Shinkansen. Only around 30 minutes from Hakata Station, you can access to the Kumamoto city. Here is some information for new travellers who want to discover this city for one day.
You can purchase the North Kyushu pass from Hakata Station. (8,500 yen for 3-days pass and 10,000 for 5-days pass). For more details check this link.
So now you got your ticket already. It’s time for checking the train schedule. You can check this link. This site is easy for you to check and plan your journey. If you know track number and departure time already, let’s discover Kumamoto!!!
Photo: Hayaoki Nigate on Pinterest
When you arrived at Kumamoto, you will meet the famous mascot of this city “Kumamon” at Kumamoto station. It’s the well-known mascot in Japan, which is always appeared on the television, and souvenirs everywhere in Japan, especially in Kyushu Island. Don’t forget to take a picture with him before you start your trip in Kumamoto!
Firstly, you need to buy the one-day pass ticket at the Kumamoto Station. There are many type of tickets, it depends on your choice. My choice is “One-Day Tramway Pass” Only 400 Yen. This pass you can access easily to many attractions with the comfortable tramway. I’m really fancy Kumamoto Tramway because there are many style of Tramway such as vintage style, luxurious style etc.
For more details about tramway in Kumamoto click here.
Kumamoto Tramway can be divided in to two lines: A and B. Most of tourist attractions can access from line A. You can take this line directly in front of Kumamoto Station.
Only 6 stops from the train station, you will find the Kumamoto Castle. This castle was built in 1467 by Ideta Hidenobu. During the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, the castle was destroyed by fire until in 1960 it was reconstruct again. Kumamoto Castle became one of the beautiful castles in Japan.
Inside the castle you will get more information about the history of this castle through the permanent exhibition. On the top of the castle is one thing that you don’t miss also. It is the panorama view of Kumamoto city.
Before you leave the castle, don’t forget to check out the Honmaru Goten Palace where you can appreciate their luxurious decorated fittings and walls paintings.
Address: 〒860-0002 Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto, Chuo Ward, Honmaru, 1−1
Hours: 8:30 to 18:00 (until 17:00 from November to March)
Entry Fee: 500 yen
Are you hungry? Do you find somewhere for your lunch, right? Here is my suggestion for your lunchtime in Kumamoto city. Only one tramway stop from Kumamoto Castle station to our destination at Karashima-Cho station. Here there is the big shopping street called Sunroad Shinshigai. You have to access to this place first, then you walk around 60 meters from the entrance and turn right. Then you only walk around 50-60 meters, you will find my favourite Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) of all time when I visit Kumamoto! Here is Katsuretsu Tei Restaurant.
Katsuretsu Tei Restaurant
Address: 〒860-0803 Kumamoto, kenkumamotoshi Chūō-ku Shinshigai 8 − 18
Open Hours: Daily from 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM
After you have finished lunch, it’s time for shopping!! Sunroad Shinshigai is quite big shopping area where is contained many shops, restaurants, movie theater, bars, convenient stores, karaoke, coffee shops etc. It’s also connected to other walking streets such as Shower Street, Shimotori Arcade Street, Kamitori Arcade Street, and Namikizaka. Look up your favourite brands and then let’s go shopping! Enjoy!
Finally, before you back to Hakata Station why don’t you try Ekiben at Kumamoto Station for your dinner on the train? Ekiben is a type of bento boxed meal which is always sold at train station. In Kumamoto station you can find various type of Ekiben such as my favourite one, Kumamon Ekiben. So, now grab your bento boxed and enjoy your dinner on Shinkansen.