Hitoyoshi is in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. It is famous for its river fog from late autumn to early spring, kuma alcohol, and ayu or sweetfish.
Hitoyoshi is a terminal stop on the JR Hisatsu Line.
Six Limited Express trains make daily round-trip runs between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi: The Kumagawa (くまがわ) and the Kyushu Odan Express (九州横断特急). These trains make the run to Hitoyoshi in 90 minutes and cost ¥3190 each way.
Kumamoto connects to Hakata in Fukuoka via the Relay Tsubame and Ariake limited express trains. From Kagoshima you can take the Kyushu Shinkansen and change to the limited express for Hitoyoshi at Shin-Yatsushiro station.
Local trains run from plain-old Yatsushiro station to Hitoyoshi (70 minutes; ¥1080).
- Eikokuji ( Alias: Ghost Temple ), Dote-machi5, Hitoyoshi-shi (10 minutes-walk from JR Hitoyoshi Station), 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. This temple is famous for a hanging scroll drawn a grim ghost. Jittei Priest, the founder of the temple, drew the ghost of the picture which used to appear by a pond at night. After he showed the picture to the ghost, it never appeared because of its ugly appearance. The pond is behind the temple and there are lots of pond lilies in summer. It's also known for the place Takamori Saigo used as a main camp during Southwest War. Free.
- Hitoyoshi Castle trace, Fumoto-machi, Hitoyoshi-shi (10 minute-walk from JR Hitoyoshi station). 8:30 a.m. ~ 5 p.m., Open 7 days a week. Historical building and place to see cherry blossom with a view of Kuma river and town from the heights.
- Hitoyoshi hot spring Near JR Hitoyoshi station (Get off at Hitoyoshi IC - it's about 2 km and takes 5 minutes from Hitoyoshi IC.) Simple spa, Carbonic acid hydrogen spa, 40~50 Degrees Celsius.
- Hitoyoshi Craft Park Ishino Koen Akaikehara-machi 1425-1, Hitoyoshi-shi (Get off the train at JR Hitoyoshi station and walk for 5 minutes to Hitoyoshi bus terminal. You'll get on a bus to Yunomae for 15 minutes. Then get off the bus at the bus stop in front of the park). 9 a.m.~ 4:30 p.m., Open 7 days a week. Traditional handiworks and the specialties in Hitoyoshi and demonstrate some of them. You can also make them. There are seven plants; a place for making cutlery, a plant that yo can see the process to make Shochu or Japanese alcohol, a traditional cultural industrial place, a papermaking plant, a carpentry plant, ceramics plant and a teahouse in the Japanese garden. These are samurai-style premises. There are also an observatory and amusements for children. 200 yen.
- Mukashi Mukashi is a perfect place to buy traditional Japanese stuff. And what's the best is most of the items are very reasonable. You can also just enjoy watching the displays of ceramic arts, chinas, kimono, old toys and more! They also sell various kinds of coffee beans and teas. Free coffee is always served for the customers. It is very close to Hitoyoshi Craft Park. If you drive toward Hitoyoshi City from the park, you can see Mukashi Mukashi on your right in 3 minutes.
- Kijiya Kijiya-machi 2522, Hitoyoshi-shi (20 minute-drive from JR Hitoyoshi station). 11 a.m.~ 9 p.m., Closed on Wednesdays. This is a special restaurant to serve pheasant dishes. There are few restaurants to serve them in Japan. You can eat fresh meat of pheasants because they raise the pheasants by themselves. There are grilled meat, pheasant rice, sliced raw meat and so on. You can eat pheasant nabe in winter.
- Hananoki Shichiji-machi 888-6, Hitoyoshi-shi. (10 minute-drive from JR Hitoyoshi Station). 11AM-6PM, M-Sa. You can enjoy your teatime looking at Kuma river and beautiful nature. Inside of the building is quiet and made of wood. Fresh banana and strawberry shake is popular.
Many of the hotels with hot springs are along the Kuma river.
- Chisan Hotel Hitoyoshi, Kamiaoi-machi166, Hitoyoshi-shi (5 minute-walk from JR Hitoyoshi Station) Ayu dishes and French food are delicious in this hotel. Golf course.
- Grand Hotel Ayuzato, Kokonoka-machi 30, Hitoyoshi-shi (10 minute-walk from JR Hitoyoshi Station). This hotel on the Kuma gawa riverside and has an ancient cypress spa thought to be good for rheumatism. Ayu or sweetfish dishes is served in summer and autumn. You can eat wild boar nabe in winter. Fishing.
- Hotel Hananosho Komeyama 3316, Higashiaida-machi, Hitoyoshi-shi (10 minute-drive from JR Hitoyoshi Station) Inside of the building has an antique atmosphere. There's a hot spring outside and view of the town. Tennis courts and golf.