Bordering the rapid-flowing Kuma River and surrounded by the mountains of southern Kumamoto, the historical castle town of Hitoyoshi (Kumamoto Prefecture) has an abundance of attractions for visitors.
Known as ‘Little Kyoto’, thanks to the temples and shrines dotted around the town and its periphery, the town also boasts the ruins of Hitoyoshi Castle, once the residence of the long-ruling Sagara family.
Boat rides on the Kuma River, or biking and strolling along its banks, are recommended to fully appreciate the town. Follow all that up with a soak in one of Hitoyoshi’s many onsen, and the town is perfect for a two- or three-day stay.
One of the 100 hidden towns in Japan chosen for this publication.