Kumamoto Prefecture lies in the heart of Kyushu, on the southern borders of Fukuoka and Oita prefectures.
“Kumamoto Castle is one of Japan's three major castles”
The earliest human activity can be traced back to approximately 1,000 BC, and the area became known as Higo Province around the 7th century. The abolition of the feudal system at the Meiji Restoration of 1868 led to the creation of prefectures, with Higo Province renamed Kumamoto Prefecture.
Among the many interesting roles that Kumamoto Prefecture played over history include being a main center for Christianity’s growth in Japan. For samurai buffs, it was in Kumamoto that the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi completed his opus on martial strategy and philosophy, The Book of Five Rings. Kumamoto Castle, in Kumamoto City, dates back to 1467 and is known as one of the top three castles in Japan.
Today, Kumamoto Prefecture has a population of 1.8 million and is a center for education and tourism in Kyushu. As with the other RWC2019 host locations, convenient air and Shinkansen bullet train links connect Kumamoto with the other major cities and transportation hubs in Japan.
The prefectural capital is Kumamoto City, nicknamed the Forest City for the verdant wooded areas around and within the city. Natural spring water is another major theme of the city, which proudly has the greatest abundance of groundwater in Japan, and is of a quality so high that the city’s tap water comes directly from this source. With such natural assets and in proximity of excellent local provenance from land and sea, its no surprise that Kumamoto’s gourmet scene is simply packed with many delicious options. The not-to-miss local specialties include the eponymous Kumamoto ramen, karashi renkon (lotus root stuffed with mustard and miso and deep fried) and for the adventurous, basashi or horsemeat sashimi!
For another kind of appetite, Kumamoto also offers many temptations to your tastes in history, art and craft. Local artisans, gardens, galleries and museums await your arrival with an array of displays and creations.
“the Aso which has one of the world's largest volcanic caldera”
There are two national parks in Kumamoto, one of which contains the Amakusa region, a string of 120 islands. The other is the Aso, which has one of the world's largest volcanic caldera. Kumamoto Castle is one of Japan's three major castles and is visited by 1.6 million people annually.
Some 4,500 dancers make their way around central Kumamoto City as part of Otemoyandance as a variety of events that take place along one of the largest shopping streets in Western Japan. At the festival of Yamaga Tourou, women elegantly dance while carrying a lantern on their heads, the lanterns entrancing the summer evening with color.
“Taipien (vermicelli soup with vegetables)”
Kuma Shochu is one of the few wine or spirit brands protected by the WTO for geographical indications (others include Bordeaux and Cognac), while Higo inlaid metalwork has a history of more than 400 years. Karashi renkon (lotus root pickled in mustard), mung bean starch vermicelli and the healthy dish taipien (vermicelli soup with vegetables) are among the Kumamoto's famous foods. The prefecture is also a major watermelon producer.
Venue – Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium
For more information on Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto City and their attractions, please see the following links: