While Fukuoka, also called Hakata, has not much to offer to the tourist, our next (only a few hours short) stop, Kumamoto (熊本), boasts a castle.
While quite impressive, it can’t quite compare with Himeji Castle, arguably the most beautiful of Japan. Like many, also the main keep of Kumamoto-jo is a reconstruction, which has been done in concrete in the 1960ies (unlike Himeji-jo, where the interior is redone in wood according to original plans) robbing its interior of any charm. But some adjacent buildings offer traditional interiors with a lot of gold. (more…)