Kumamoto Highlights Tour: Half-day Samurai City Sightseeing by Tram
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Kyushu Walking Tour
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- Overview :
1. Take a tour around a little castle town that retains the history and tradition of samurai from several hundred years ago.
2. At Suizenji Park, look forward to sipping some matcha green tea in a traditional cultural building with a front view of the beautiful stroll-style garden.
3. Take advantage of this time when scenes from behind the stone walls and astonishing restoration methods on Kumamoto Castle, one of Japan's most famous castles, can be seen.
4. Includes a 1-day ticket for trams that run around the town.
08:05-08:15 10(min) Meet in front of Kumamoto City Hall Front Entrance Please show your reservation confirmation sheet at reception. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the departure time.
08:15-08:45 Board a Tram Throughout Japan, there are only 17 places where trams can be seen running through the streets. One of them is in Kumamoto City. Have an enjoyable time exploring Kumamoto like a local with trams, the transportation connecting sightseeing spots and used by people everyday.
08:45-09:30 45(min) Suizenji Park Stroll & Matcha Green Tea This is a garden created by Hosokawa Tadatoshi of the Kumamoto Domain. The large pond contains water that springs out and is perfectly clear, making it one of the best ponds to see koi fish swimming around. This was made to resemble Tokaido, Japan's ancient main route connecting Tokyo to Kyoto. Amidst the stillness of the morning, sip some matcha green tea and taste some Japanese sweets while taking in the view of the garden from a tatami room in Kokindenju no Ma, a Japanese-style building designated as an important cultural asset.
09:40-10:00 Board a Tram Take a tram to the heart of the city.
10:10-12:00 110(min) Kumamoto Castle VR Lecture & Sightseeing from Aerial Gallery This castle remained impregnable from every warrior's attack. However, it was rebuilt after being almost completely burned down in Japan's largest civil unrest after the Meiji Restoration. Its stone walls show its form when it was built, and is one of Japan's most magnificent structures. However, parts of it were damaged for the first time by a series of earthquakes in 2016. Today, areas behind the stone walls can be seen from an aerial gallery constructed around the castle. Visitors can see history’s truth uncovered, as well as the painstaking restoration efforts of each stone being returned to their former location through AI. Before viewing, an explanation will be given through a VR video. After viewing, feel free to visit the many shops near the castle offering Kumamoto specialty food and items.
12:00-12:10 Board a Tram The tour will move to an area with traces of the old castle town.
12:10-12:30 20(min) Higo Zogan Shop Mitsusuke - Visit & Shopping Visit a long-established shop that makes products with the traditional craft of Higo Zogan, inlays of gold and/or silver. The shop used to make this craft on the swords of samurai long ago. This shop made modern accessories offered as gifts for the leaders at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. Their products are excellent souvenirs from Japan.
12:40-13:00 20(min) Coffee Break at Nagasaki Jiro, a Retro-style Cafe with Tram View This retro-style cafe is a relaxing, refreshing haven for the locals, offering views of trams running through old streetscapes. Here, enjoy a break with coffee (or black tea). There are everyday Western-style dishes that Japanese people love, so having lunch here is recommended. The guide will assist in ordering.
-13:00 Tour Ends The tour ends at the cafe. Those who would like to return to the city may return with the guide via tram after the coffee break. As the tram ticket lets you hop on and off trams for one day, feel free to continue exploring Kumamoto City in the afternoon as well.