Kumamoto Castle is a hilltop Japanese castle located in Chūō-ku, Kumamoto in Kumamoto Prefecture.
It was a large and extremely well-fortified castle.
The castle keep is a concrete reconstruction built in 1960, but several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle.
Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, along with Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle.
Thirteen structures in the castle complex are designated Important Cultural Property.
The construction of Kumamoto Castle in the early 1600s took seven years, and it was designed by the feudal lord (daimyo) who ruled the area, Kato Kiyomasa.
Kato was an experienced warrior, and he used his knowledge to build fortifications that were highly regarded for their strategic effectiveness.
Less than 50 years after its construction, the castle and surrounding area were taken from the Kato clan and given to the Hosokawa clan which ruled the area from Kumamoto Castle for the next two centuries.
A few years after the Meiji Restoration (1868), the castle played a pivotal role during the Seinan Civil War, during which the famous samurai Saigo Takamori led an uprising in Kyushu against the new government.
Kumamoto Castle was the main garrison of government troops in Kyushu, and Saigo attacked the castle in early 1877.
Despite being outnumbered and losing many buildings, the government forces were able to withstand Saigo's two month siege, forcing the rebel forces to retreat.
13 of the buildings in the castle complex were undamaged, and have been designated Important Cultural Properties.
In 1960, the castle keep was reconstructed using concrete.
From 1998 to 2008, the castle complex underwent restoration work, during which most of the 17th century structures were rebuilt.
The castle keep has two towers, a main tower with six stories and a small tower with four stories. Great views of the castle grounds and surrounding city can be enjoyed from the top floor of the main tower.
The signature curved stone walls, known as musha-gaeshi, as well as wooden overhangs, were designed to prevent attackers from penetrating the castle.
Rock falls were also used as deterrents.
【Get There and Around】
Kumamoto Castle is located in the center of Kumamoto City, a 15 minute, 150 yen tram ride from JR Kumamoto Station.
Get off at Kumamotojo-mae tram stop. You can also walk from Kumamoto Station to the castle in about 30 to 45 minutes.
8:30 to 18:00 (until 17:00 from November to March)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.
Closed：December 29 to 31
ではでは、See you later, alligator.