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===By train===
Kumamoto, is a major stop on the '''JR Kagoshima LineKyushu Shinkansen''', is easily accessible . Trains run several times per hour from Hakata station in [[Fukuoka]] (40- the terminating stop on the San'yo Shinkansen line. From here, three limited express trains run to Kumamoto every hour: Two ''Relay Tsubame'' trains50 minutes, ¥4990) and one ''Ariake'' train. The trains make varying stops, reaching Kumamoto in 75[[Kagoshima]] (50-85 60 minutes. The one-way charge is , ¥3,900 for a reserved seat6760). The trip is covered under the Hourly ''Sakura'Japan Rail Pass'services connect Kumamoto to stations on the San''; if you do not have a rail pass, JR Kyushu sells discounted multiple-trip tickets. A round-trip, for example, costs yo Shinkansen: Hiroshima is about 1 hr 45 min away (¥412970),600 reserved Okayama 2 hr 30 min (¥2,350 per person one-way16230) and a four-trip ticket costs ¥12,920 reserved (¥Osaka 3,230 per person one-way). Non-reserved mutli-trip tickets are cheaper (¥4,600 for a round-ticket hr 20 min (nimai kippu) and ¥8,000 for four tickets (yonmai kippu)18020). More than one person can combine on a multiple-trip ticket, in a similar fashion to the Faster ''Mizuho''services also run during the morning and evening hours, but Japan Rail Pass holders cannot use '[[Seishun 18 Ticket]]'Mizuho'', i.e. four people can travel one-way on the four-trip tickettrains.
Local trains take 2 1/2 From Tokyo, Kumamoto can be reached by train (a combination of ''Nozomi'' and either ''Sakura'' or ''Tsubame'') in as little as 6 hours . Japan Rail Pass users can travel from Tokyo to reach Kumamoto (change in Omuta) at 7 hours using a cost combination of ¥2,070''Hikari'' and ''Sakura'' trains.
Travel times Local trains from Hakata will be reduced significantly when the last section of the '''Kyushu Shinkansen''' becomes fully operational Fukuoka take 2 1/2 hours to reach Kumamoto (change in the spring Omuta) at a cost of 2011¥2,070.
In addition to the central station, JR operates a second at Kamikumamoto just to the north, near the Fujisakidai baseball ground. Streetcars into the city centre also connect from here.
If you're coming from Nagasaki, the numerous ferry services may be preferable. One such route invloves travelling via Shimabara. Take the JR line from Nagasaki city through to Isahaya then switch to the private Shimabara line. Its not JR but don't go through the ticket gate to get there, its tucked away on Platform 0 (yes, in Kyushu they count from zero, go figure) and you buy your tickets from the rather inquisitive drivers on the train. Two ferries depart towards Kumamoto from different ports along this line but the most convenient is likely the one from '''Shimabara Port''' itself direct to Kumamoto Port. Walking maps from the stations to the ports are scrawled at each train station. After a rather scenic 30-60 minute cruise, you'll have to connect to a bus to actually reach central Kumamoto city.
Thats 4 modes of transport total and the times don't always match up so allow perhaps 4 hours for the journey unless you carefully plan it out using one of the big transport books at JR Nagasaki's ticket counter. Its all in there ''somewhere'', I promise. Expect the entire trip to only set you back roughly 2500 yen, most of which goes to the Shimabara train company despite being the shortest leg. English-language signage along this route is minimal. Incidently, the final Kumamoto-bound ferries depart at 8 pm 8PM daily, and one daily train reaches Shimabara a few minutes after that so ''don't get caught out''.
==Get around==
===By bike===
Kumamoto is a comfortable city to ride around. For reference, it takes about 30 minutes by get to Kumamoto Gakuen University from Kamikumamoto.
*'''Kumamoto Castle 熊本城''' is one of the most beautiful castles in Japan, and the third largest. Though in actuality the real Kumamoto Castle was burned down during the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877, the current keep is a concrete reconstruction built during the sixties, though some of the other buildings are the originals, nevertheless, it is a must see attraction which is effectively the heart of the city. A single adult's ticket costs ¥500. During the [[Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossoms Spots|cherry blossom season]], the castle grounds are filled with hundreds of beautiful blossoms.
*'''Lake Ezu'''
*'''Suizenji Gardens 水前寺公園''' is a renowned Japanese traditional garden, considered one of the four best in Japan. You can walk around a lovely course of trees and mini hills covered in grass right in the middle of the city, and it feels like your in the country side! Food stalls are also to be found in the immediate vicinity.
*'''Hikari no Mori (光の森)''' is a large shopping center. There are many shops including: Kinokuniya, Shinseido, Mujirushi, Starbucks café, and so on. It also contains a large cinema complex with 9 cinema theatres.
*'''Tsuruya'''- there are 6 "Tsuruya" department stores in Kumamoto city. They are "The Main building and the East building of Tsuruya", "New-S" and "WINGⅡ", "Comme ca store", "Nextage", and "Brooks Brothers". These buildings are located in "Shimotori" or "Kamitori".
*'''Kumamoto HanshinKenmin Hyakkaten(県民百貨店)'''- Kenmin Hyakkaten (renamed from Kumamoto Hanshin )is a big department store and it is located near the "Kumamoto castle" and next to Kumamoto bus terminal. Kumamoto Hanshin Kenmin Hyakkaten sells goods of "Hanshin Tigers", a popular Japanese baseball team.
*'''Rice Terrace''' is a general shop at ''Kamitori''. It is opened in November. You can buy any cute goods at a low price. There are bags, accessories, glasses and many goods.
*<buy name="Diamond City CLAIR Shopping Mall" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">CLAIR as it is known by locals is the biggest shopping mall in Kumamoto and at the time of building the biggest mall in Kyushu. It has about 190 stores, a huge Warner Brothers Movie Theater, and a Food Mall with some good restaurants. It is on the far south side of the city and takes about 30-45 minutes to get there from downtown depending on how bad traffic is.</buy>
*'''Ringo no Ki''' is a cafe at ''Shimotori'' in downtown. You can eat apple pie and some breads. Especially, I want to recommend coffee and tea. The coffee beans are rare and the taste is really good. Moreover, you can drink the tea which tastes and smells apple.
*'''Basashi馬刺し''' is raw horse meat.
*<eat name="AzumaZushi 東寿司" alt="" address="熊本市水前寺5丁目5-14" directions="betwee the Suizenji Park and the Kumamoto Budokan" phone="096-383-2468" url="" hours="" price="" lat="32.792742" long="130.73754">Probably the oldest and the best sushi restaurant in Kumamoto: the rice for the sushi is made according to the traditional recipe of the owner's family. Besides from sushi you can find a lot of great Japanese foods and beverages. Here works the only female sushi chef of the entire city - very cute ;) . The place is new, clean, and comfortable; staff is nice, friendly and fast. A must in Kumamoto!</eat>
*<eat name="Kumamoto Ramen熊本ラーメン" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Kumamoto ramen is very famous</eat>
*<eat name="Ni no ni 弐ノ弐" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">There are two of them downtown. One is just off of Shimotori on one of the side streets south of Ginza St. The other is on Kami-no-ura St. 上乃裏通り which runs parallel to Namigizaka St. 並木坂通り a couple blocks to the east (Namigizaka is the continuation of Kamitori after the arcade roof ends). Ni no ni is very famous for the gyoza 餃子. I recommend Try the tan tan men 坦坦麺and Taipei Karaage 台北風唐揚げtoo. Most of the foods are under 500 yen. So you can buy a few foods and have a beer for under 2000 yen easily. </eat>*<eat name="Plaza del Sol" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="from 7pm 7PM " price="" lat="" long="">this is the only Mexican restaurant in Kumamoto. There used to be two with the same owner but he closed one and Plaza del Sol is all we have that is left. There are actual Mexicans making the food so it is pretty good. The Mexican beer is great. It is just off of Shimotori south of Ginza. You will see a Mexican wooden figure in Shimotori pointing to the entrance. It can be expensive if you have more than a couple beers. Look to spend between 2000-3000 yen. </eat>
*<eat name="Yokobachi よこばち" alt="" address="Kami-no-ura St. 上之裏通り" directions="Walk to the place where Kami-tori's roof ends, face North (away from the roof). Go to your right 2 (maybe 3) blocks, turn left, and look for a blue and white YOKOBACHI sign within 20m on your left hand side. Across from one of the Ni no Ni" phone="" url="" hours="open until midnight" price="" lat="" long="">This is a great Japanese restaurant. You can get many traditional foods and some local stuff too. They have outdoor and indoor seating. In the spring and fall its great sitting outside under the stars. Menu is in Japanese only, but if you can say the names of some local specialties or typical izakaya dishes you might be okay. Everyone in Kumamoto knows this place so if you cant find it just ask someone。</eat>
*<eat name="Sri Lanka スリーランカ" alt="" address="Sannenzaka St. 三年坂通り" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This place has some of the best curry in town. The curry is spicy but the taste is amazing. I recommend the noodle curry. Some of the side dishes such as the Sri Lanka Rolls are also good. You can try Sri Lanka beer if you want but I wasn`t a big fan. The lunch special is a bargain. You get curry, salad, tea, and dessert for only 750 yen!!! This is just off of Shimotori and very close to Daiei Dept. Store.</eat>
*<eat name="Star of India" alt="" address="Sannenzaka St. 三年坂通り" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This is the best Indian food in town, it is just behind the downtown Tsutaya and between Shimotori and Kagomachi-doori St.</eat>
*<eat name="Second Sight" alt="" address="Sakae St. 栄え通り" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This building has various restaurants and places to have fun. The Swiss Bakery and Chinese restaurant are on the first floor. The second floor is a great Italian restaurant and the top two floors are themed karaoke rooms. You can sing in jail, on the beach, etc...When the weather is good Second Sight has a retractable wall that opens up and brings in the sun to the main lobby. </eat>
*<eat name="Yayoiken " alt="" address="Shimotori, Kamitori" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="600-1000 yen" lat="" long="">this place is open 24 hours and there are one in Shimotori and Kamitori. It is a great place to go when you have been out all night drinking and are sick of McD`s. The tonkatsu is good and the rice is all you can eat.</eat>
*<eat name="Goro`s " alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="4:30-10pm10PM" price="400-550 yen" lat="" long="">this is the place with the best Turkish kebabs in Kyushu. Goro makes them fresh right in front of you from his van. Unfortunately it isn`t downtown. If you take the tram towards Kengun it is between the Miso Tenjin Mae and Shin Suizenji Stops. It is an orange van behind the Mitsubishi gas station. Goro speaks English and welcomes foreign guests. He also recently opened up a kebab restaurant downtown near Kaminoura St.</eat>
*<eat name="Nikumaki" alt="" address="Ginza Doori" directions="in the heart of downtown at the center of Shimotori Arcade and Ginza St. intersection" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Nikumaki is a recent Kumamoto fad. It is an onigiri (rice ball) but instead of being wrapped with seaweed (nori) it is wrapped with meat(niku), you can add cheese too. it is awesome and pretty cheap. they are a good snack when you're drunk after midnight or you just gotta have that meat edit</eat>
*<eat name="Okada おかだ" alt="" address="1F, Lofty Nishiginza-kan, 1-11-21, Shimotori, Kumamoto-shi" directions="" phone="096-356-3883" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Excellent seafood directly from local fishermen and from Hokkaido as well as a variety of local cuisine for amazingly reasonalble price! Good selection of Sake and Shochu, Japanese distilled spirit.</eat>
*'''Timeless''' is a cafe (not a chain) with an exceptionally nice old style atmosphere, usually playing jazz. It is located on the right when you exit the Kamitori shopping mall. They have an international selection of coffees (though espresso could be added) and some European style cakes that are worth trying.
*'''Pronto''' is an Italian-style coffee shop located in (again) Shimotori. Aside from coffee, the selection includes various alcoholic beverages, pizza, and desserts.
*'''Sinh to''' is a stylish cafe looking down onto Shimotori street from the 2nd floor.
*The '''Ginza''' district comprises many bars and clubs of the western style, it runs parallel to Shimotori, though be warned the area also houses some of the city's seedier attractions.
*<drink name="Rock Bar Days" alt="" address="Sakaba St. 酒場通り" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This is the bar with 5000 CDs. Mainly rock and alternative music from the 70s-90s. Beer is a little expensive for the quality at 600 yen a pop but you can tell them what you want to hear and they`ll play it. It is a little hard to find. Sakaba St. is just off of Shimotori. If you go down the side with the Sakaba St. gate about 100 meters, a sign will say DAYS in black and white. Its on the 3rd floor.</drink>
*<drink name="Club Django" alt="" address="Fuji St. " directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This is the main place for local rock, punk and metal. Sometimes touring bands from overseas play here. Fuji Street is just off of the Shinshigai Arcade新市街. Club Django is underground so it is easy to pass by it without seeing it. It is almost directly accross the street from the Comfort Inn Hotel.</drink>
*<drink name="Drum Be-9" alt="" address="" directions="on the north side of downtown and just off of Kamitori on Oaks St" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This is another place for local and national acts to be seen. Mainly rock and alternative music. The new building just opened in March 2010. It is three stories and three stages with music most nights of the week.</drink>
*<drink name="Shark Attack" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">this is a small foreigner bar just off of Kagomachi St. 鹿児町通り its accross from 7-11 on the 8th floor. The floor is covered in sand. edit
*<drink name="Bar Sanctuary" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This is a four storey bar with areas for dancing, pool, darts, karaoke, and just chillin`. The name recently changed but everyone still calls it by the old name. It is just off of Shimotori and behind the Taigeki (Bowling Alley) Building. City Hall is also very close. They used to stay open until 10am 10AM but I think they recently changed it to 4am4AM. </drink>
*<drink name="Shotengai 商店街" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">In Japan new bars open and shut down every day. As long as you stay in the Shimotori/Kamitori/Shinshigai Arcade area you are bound to find something that looks interesting. There are thousands of places to go in that area.</drink>
*<drink name="Good Time Charlie`s" alt="" address="Ginza St. 銀座通り" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This bar is one of a kind. It is owned by Charlie Nagatani, the most famous country musician in Asia. From the 1960s-90s he played many times at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. His band has shows every night of the week at the bar. They serve Coors beer here. Its not very cheap but its worth experiencing Japanese cowboys at least once. The bar is on Ginza St. across from the Karaoke-kan カラオケ館building on the 5th floor</drink>
*<drink name="Hideout Bar Eighty One" alt="" address="Shiromichoudoori, 城見Buikding 2F" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="9pm-6Am" price="" lat="" long="">Small bar very close to Jeff's World Bar. Sometimes many foreigners.</drink>
*<drink name="FRESCO" alt="" address="Hanabatacho 11-14, KOHEN Building 2F" directions="" phone="096-323-1229" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">This dance club is in the fairly new KOHEN building just above Zawatami Izakaya. Some nights it gets really crowded, but its still a fun place. </drink>*<drink name="Precious Kumamoto" alt="" address="Tetorihoncho 4-12, Fain Bldg. 5F" directions="" phone="096-352-2139" url="" hours="From 9pm 9PM until everyone is gone" price="" lat="" long="">Precious is nice because its a free dance club and its open as late as you're there. Some nights it crowded and other nights its empty. They also have a pool table. </drink>
*<drink name="Crossroad`s" alt="" address="Nishi Ginza Doori" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">a recently reopened international bar. it has a nice atmosphere and sometimes can be crowded. its in the fujiichi building on the 7th floor right across the hall from Club Jail</drink>
*<drink name="Cowboy Bar" alt="" address="Nishi Ginza Doori" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="1000 yen" lat="" long="">one hour of all you can drink for 1000yen, need i say more? Its right across the street from the big Don Quixote store downtown</drink>
*<drink name="Cowgirl Bar" alt="" address="Pools Court Rd" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="1000 yen" lat="" long="">same owners as Cowboy Bar have one with only women serving on Pool`s Court Road, which is just one road over from Nishi Ginza</drink>
*<drink name="Retro Cowboy Bar" alt="" address="Nishi Ginza Doori" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="1500 yen" lat="" long="">another one owned by the Cowboy Bar folks. its just down the street from Cowboy Bar but its in the basement so its easy to pass by. a little more expensive than the other cowboy bars but more things to do like free karaoke and dartsss="Ginza Doori" directions="in the heart of downtown" phone="" </drink>*<drink name="Battle Stage" alt="" address="Kamitori, Kumamoto City" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Another place to see live music in the city. Its a former movie theater transformed into a big live house. Many rock shows and DJ parties occur here. Many national touring bands and local bands can be seen here.</drink>
*'''Toyoko Inn'''
There are several around Kumamoto and are conveniently located. The rooms are small but have everything, including free internet. The staff are courteous and helpful and tolerant of English speaking guests. Breakfast was good. It is great value. You can book on the internet but can only book a certain time in advance. Suido cho one is well placed for tourists to Kumamoto.
 *'''<sleep name="New Sky Hotel'''The New Sky Hotel is one of the very best, in Kumamoto. This is where Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan stay during his visit here. NA Hotel HOTEL KUMAMOTO NEW SKY " alt="" address="2 HIGASHIHigashi-AMIDAJICHOKUMAMOTO, KUMAMOTO, 860 8575JAPAN Hotel Reservations: 1 800 993 3563Hotel Front Desk: Amidajicho" directions="" phone="+81963 54-96-3542111 Hotel Fax: 2111 " email="" fax="+81963 54-96-3548973 Check-In Time: 1:00 PMCheck-Out Time: 11:00 AM[[]]l[[8973" url="]]" checkin="1PM" checkout="11AM" price="">This hotel is where Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan stay during his visit here. </sleep>
==Get out==
*[[Takachiho]] in adjacent Miyazaki Prefecture is easily accessed by bus from Kumamoto. Services run once in the morning and once in the evening every day.
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[[WikiPedia:Kumamoto, Kumamoto]]
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