Visit Japan - Kumamoto

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Kumamoto, Japan - Gotta visit em’ all!

Kmamoto is a prefecture located in the Kyushu Island, and it’s a special place that everybody should visit.

熊本県 - Kumamoto Prefecture

You may not know much about Kumamoto, however, maybe you’ve seen this guy around somewhere before:

kumamoto mascot the kuma bear

That’s right, he’s くまモン (Kumamon), the one and only character that represents Kumamoto. According to his website (http://kumamon-official.jp/), he was born in Kumamoto on March 12th, he’s a government employee, and his job is share the joys and surprises he finds in Kumamoto with everybody in Japan. He goes on business trips all over the country to reveal and showcase the delicious foods and the beauty of Kumamoto to everybody. Recently he even went to Paris, and you can read all about it in his blog (http://kumamon-official.jp/blog). Because he’s so darn adorable, he has a huge fanbase from all over Japan (and the world) - how can you not love him?

(This video alone should be enough to convince you to go to Kumamoto.)

Kumamoto is also known to be a hot spring hot spot, as the prefecture is home to the largest active volcano in Japan, Mount Aso.

kumamoto mount aso

Though volcanoes may seem terrifying when they erupt, the area is optimal for some quality hot springs.

One of Kumamoto’s finest ryokan, Takefue, is in the Kurokawa Onsen area, and it offers quite a view while you bathe, eat, and relax.

kumamoto takeue kurokawa onsen

kumamoto takeue kurokawa onsen

kumamoto takeue kurokawa onsen

Before you get ready to call for a reservation, you should know that the pricing can come to around 60,000 to 200,000 yen per person, per night. But this includes a dinner and breakfast, that can look something like this:

kumamoto delicious kaiseki

I’m sold. (If I had the money)

While this may be a luxury not all can afford, nature is always free, and Kumamoto is filled with nature. Approximately 20% of the nature in Kumamoto’s land is protected, including the Aso-Kuju and Unzen Amatsuka National Park.

kumamoto national park

kumamoto national park

Within these parks, Kumamoto is also home to many waterfalls that will take your breath away:

(Nabegataki Falls)

kumamoto nabegataki falls

(Shiraito Falls)

kumamoto shiraito falls

(Sugaruka Falls)

kumamoto sugaruka falls

Now after a long day of exploring the national parks, and after you cleanse your soul by meditating underneath a waterfall, you might start to get really hungry.

kumamoto misogi

The local Kumamotoians love to eat this:

kumamoto local ramen

While this looks like a delicious bowl of ramen, it’s not quite that. It’s タイピーエン (tai-pi-en), and it’s a Chinese dish similar to ramen, but instead of ramen noodles, they use harusame, or vermicelli, noodles.

kumamoto taipi-en ramen

Since these noodles are extremely low in calories, a bowl only has about a third of the calories in a typical bowl of ramen. But don’t let that fool you, the rich, fragrant broth with fresh vegetables and meats will go so well with the crisp, refreshing noodles, and make you want even more. It’s so popular that is has it’s own exclusive instant noodles for it.

kumamoto instant ramen

What would you do in Kumamoto?