Kumamoto Prefecture is at the center of Kyushu Island.
Overall, this prefecture is mountainous, and most of the cities are
along the coastline.
At the northeast part of this prefecture, there is Mount Aso which is an large active volcano.
It is the symbol of Kumamoto Prefecture, so this prefecture is often called "Hinokuni" (Land of Fire) after theactivity of the volcano.
In the south part of the prefecture, Kuma River flows and
forms Hitoyoshi Basin in the middle part of the river.
It is one of the the three fastest rivers in Japan along with Mogami River in Yamagata Prefecture and Fuji River in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Kumamoto city is the prefectural capital, and is located to the north.
To visit Kumamoto Prefecture, we can use the limited express of JR
From Hakata to Kumamoto, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Kumamoto Airport is located about 18 km east of Kumamoto city.
It has the flights from Haneda (Tokyo), Itami (Osaka), Chubu, Nagoya and some other cities.
Additionally, it has the international flights from Seoul.
And Amakusa Airport is in Amakusa Island, and has the flights from Kumamoto and Fukuoka.
On April 14 of 2016, very strong earthquake occured near Kumamoto city.
And after that, strong afterquakes occur again and again.
All areas in Kumamoto prefecture are damaged.
|Average value 1981-2010||JAN||FEB||MAR||APR||MAY||JUN||JUL||AUG||SEP||OCT||NOV||DEC|
|Highest Temperature (deg C)||10.5||12.1||15.7||21.3||25.6||28.2||31.7||33.2||29.9||24.6||18.5||13.0|
|Lowest Temperature (deg C)||1.2||2.3||5.6||10.3||15.2||19.8||24.0||24.4||20.8||14.2||8.3||3.1|
|Mean monthly rainfall (mm)||60||83||138||146||196||405||401||174||170||79||81||54|
It is a series of events held around Mount Aso.
Loosely speaking, various events are held somewhere in this area from late February to late May.
One of the main events is the great bonfire in the form of a kanji character "fire" on the mountainside, and it is held in the middle of March.
Fireworks display is also held at the same time.
Another main event is the annual festival of Aso Shrine.
It is the festival to pray for the productiveness of grain, and many torches are set alight and they are swung by many people.
This event is held in late March.
It is the annual festival of Oomiya Shrine in Yamaga city
located at the north part of Kumamoto Prefecture.
The women wearing Yukata (Japanese summer kimono) dance with putting a lantern on their head. The lantern is made of golden and silver papers. Of course, candlelight is in the lantern.
In the evening on the second day, a thousand women dances with the lantern, and the graceful scene is the highlight of this festival.
It is a local food in Kumamoto Prefecture.
"Karashi" means "mustard", and "renkon" means "lotus root".
The holes of boilded lotus roots are filled with miso and musterd mixture, and they are deep-fried after coating with wheat flour.
The turmeric is added into the flour, so the surface is yellow. Of course, the fillings of the lotus root are also yellow.
It is a local dish around Kumamoto city.
It looks like ramen using Chinese bean-starch vermicelli instead of Chinese noodle.
Shrimp, squid, pork, Chinese cabbage, bamboo shoot and so on top the vermicelli and soup, and fried egg is also added.
The original dish is one of Fujian cuisines in China, and it is said that Chinese people introduced it to Japan in the 19th century.
It is very popular dish in Kumamoto, so most of them thought it was served throughout the Japan.
But it has been the very local dish.
It is the sashimi of horse meat, literally.
Raw horse meat is sliced thinly, and we eat it after dip them into shoyu (soy sauce) adding grated ginger or garlic.
It is one of the famous local cuisine in Kumamoto.
When Kiyomasa Kato who built Kumamoto Castle was fighting, he had no choice but eating the meat of war-horse beacuse of cutting off the supply route of foods.
After he came back to Kumamoto in safety, it is said that he spread this taste in this region.
It is a local sweets in Kumamoto Prefecture.
The main ingredient is sweet potato.
A small amount of red bean jam is applied on a sliced sweet potato, and it is steamed after coating with batter.
We can get it in Kumamoto Prefecture.
But it has been one of the traditional sweets which is made in home.
Shochu is Japanese distilled spirit.
Kuma shochu has been made around Hitoyoshi Basin at the south part of Kumamoto Prefecture, where Kuma River flows.
It is made from rice, and the taste is rich a little.
It has been brewed in this area since the 16th century, and there are 28 breweries now.