I traveled to Kumamoto using “Kyushu Fukko Wari” (Kyushu Reconstruction Discount Tickets). Since I was impressed with Kumamon (the local mascot character of Kumamoto Prefecture) at Yuru-chara Grand Prix 2016, I decided to visit Kumamoto to see how reconstruction has been moving forward after the strong earthquake. In this article, I will write about Josaien as part of Day 2.
[Visit Places (series of articles)]
* Day 1: Departure for Kumamoto
* Day 2: Kumamoto Castle
* Day 2: Josaien [This article]
* Day 2: Kumamon Square
* Day 2: Kumamoto Night View
* Day 3: Kumamoto Suizenji
* Day 3: Kumamoto Station
* Day 3: Kumamoto Castle (Revisit)
* Day 3: Kumamoto Castle (Evening View)
2016.12.22 – 24
Following the previous post, I went around Kumamoto Castle and then returned to Josaien.
Now Josaen has started to open, so I will look around it.
What is Josaien?
Josaien is a popular tourist attraction, located in Sakuranobaba, at the foot of Kumamoto Castle. It was opened in 2011 to enhance the appeal of the old castle town and convey to visitors the food, history and cultural traditions of the region from Kumamoto Castle.
Josaien consists of “Wakuwakuza” (a facility where visitors can learn the history and the culture of Kumamoto) and “Sakuranokoji” (a shopping arcade where visitors can buy souvenirs and eat local cuisine in Kumamoto).
First, I walked around “Sakuranokoji”. “Sakuranokoji” recreated the former castle town in Kumamoto and there were 23 shops and restaurants.
You can see Kumamoto Castle over there.
I found Kumamon, the local mascot character in Kumamoto.
Then, I entered into “Wakuwakuza”.
Exhibits related to the history of Kumamoto were displayed on the 1st floor.
Visitors can try to wear these clothes.
Several animations and skits were played on the 2nd floor.
Kumamoto Castle Omotenashi Busho-tai stage show
After I left “Wakuwakuza”, I moved to an event stage in Josaien. There were several stage shows.
“Higomarukun” on the left side was the mascot character of Kumamoto city.
“Wakuwakuza” PR stage.
These were photos of Kumamoto Castle Omotenashi Busho-tai stage show.
Horse Sashimi lunch
After I left Josaien, I had a lunch. Kumamoto is known for its horse meat products, so I decided to try it.
I visited “Umazakura”, a local cuisine restaurant which serves horse meat products.
I ordered “Special Sashimi lunch”.
It included five kinds of horse sashimi.
Plus, I ordered Sakura Natto.
Compared to other meats such as beef, chicken and beef, horse meats contain more protein and less calories. So, if you are health-conscious, I will recommend horse meat cuisine 🙂
That’s it for the article about Josaien as part of Day 2. I found every staff who were working for Josaien had a wonderful sense of hospitality. If you have a chance to visit Kumamoto, I would recommend you visit Josaien along with Kumamoto Castle 🙂
In the next article, I will write about Kumamon Square.