Going to Kumamoto with Kyushu Reconstruction Discount Tickets: Part 3 Josaien

城彩苑 アイキャッチ画像


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)

[Travel Date]
2016.12.22 – 24

[Main Part]

Following the previous post, I went around Kumamoto Castle and then returned to Josaien.城彩苑1

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.城彩苑2

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.城彩苑 桜の小路1

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You can see Kumamoto Castle over there.城彩苑 桜の小路3

Rest space.城彩苑 桜の小路4

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I found Kumamon, the local mascot character in Kumamoto.城彩苑 くまモン1

城彩苑 くまモン2


Then, I entered into “Wakuwakuza”.城彩苑 湧々座1

Exhibits related to the history of Kumamoto were displayed on the 1st floor.城彩苑 湧々座2

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Visitors can try to wear these clothes.城彩苑 湧々座6

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Several animations and skits were played on the 2nd floor.城彩苑 湧々座9

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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.ひごまる

“Wakuwakuza” PR stage.城彩苑 湧々座14

These were photos of Kumamoto Castle Omotenashi Busho-tai stage show.城彩苑 熊本城おもてなし武将隊の演舞1

城彩苑 熊本城おもてなし武将隊の演舞2

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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.馬桜

I ordered “Special Sashimi lunch”.horse sashimi1

It included five kinds of horse sashimi.horse sashimi2

Plus, I ordered Sakura Natto.馬桜 桜納豆

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.


[Related Link]
Kumamoto Nagomi Tourism Site
Visit Kumamoto – Kumamoto City Official Tourist Guide

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