Kumamoto castle: Recovery and a new hope for the future

Several months before a series of large earthquakes shook Kyushu Island on the 14th April 2016, I was fortunate enough to visit the spectacular Kumamoto Castle.
 
Designated as one of the top three castles in Japan, Kumamoto was originally built in 1467 but further expanded and fortified until 1610. Even before last year’s tragic earthquake, Kumamoto has had a turbulent history. This can be seen when looking at the Satsuma Rebellion during 1877, where the main keep and several other parts of the castle were burnt down. However, even after these disasters Kumamoto has been able to rise from the ashes.
 
Similarly, even despite the damage caused by this recent disaster, we can take much hope in the fact that on 8th 2016, it was announced that restoration work will begin. Although it may take many years and a lot of work, there is great optimism that Kumamoto Castle will once again be restored to its former glory.
 
For anyone heading here the good news is that although the interior is closed it is still possible to view much of this castle when walking along its outer perimeter. For anyone interested there are also volunteer guides situated outside the castle who will be able to update you on the current statues of the renovation.
 
 
Important note: Present Condition
 
At the time of writing, several of the castle’s turrets have been destroyed along some sections of the walls which have totally collapsed. In addition, the main keep has suffered severe structural damage. 
 
Visitors can view the castle and reconstruction efforts from a special walkway which runs along the castle's outside perimeter. For the latest information please visit www.wakuwaku-kumamoto.com
 
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Steve Morton