Nevertheless, the fact that the main structure of the over 400-year-old castle managed to survive the quake is testament to the strong foundation and architectural skill applied to its design, and remains a breathtaking sight to be seen.
Located just a short tram ride southeast of the Kumamoto Castle, the some 400-year-old garden took 80 years to build under the orders of three feudal lords of the Hosokawa clan. The layout of the garden is meant to represent the 53 stations of the Tokaido highway from Kyoto to Edo (now Tokyo), which explains the miniature Mt Fuji statue located in it.
An eye-opening day trip from Kurokawa Onsen to Mt Aso is highly recommended, and this caldera will offer a stunning view, being one of the world’s largest with a circumference of over 100km. However, due to volcanic activity, a no-entry zone of 1km from the crater is applied and hiking trails to the crater are closed though the road is open up to the lower ropeway station.