Situated on the southern island of Kyushu in Japan, Kumamoto has a rich history full of samurai legend as clearly seen in the Kumamoto Castle. Not only is the city an interesting stop over but it acts as a gateway to the wider region with sites of interest including Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan.
Kumamoto and Kyushu island itself does not feature widely on most itineraries however, with its spectacular scenery and interesting history it is well worth a visit. Kumamoto Castle is famed as one of the top three castles in Japan and its surrounding gardens are beautiful and even feature a miniature version of Mount Fuji. Sadly, the Castle was badly damaged in the 2016 earthquake meaning that it cannot be visited in its entirety.
Mount Aso stands within Aso Kuju National Park and the Aso-san volcanic caldera is one of the largest in the world, at 128km in circumference. The National Park is one of Japan’s oldest and one of the country's best places to explore on foot. Of course with the volcanic landscape comes a plethora of naturally existing onsens and there a whole host of hotsprings to visit in the surrounding area which can be visited.