The “Little Kyoto” of Kumamoto

The “Little Kyoto” of Kumamoto
“Please visit Miyazaki again,” a sign reads at the entrance to the prefecture’s last tunnel burrowing through the Kyushu Mountain Range on Route 219. When you emerge on the other side, another one is waiting to greet you: “Welcome to Kumamoto!” It’s as if the passageway is a portal, transporting you to another world. And that’s exactly what Hitoyoshi feels like: a dreamy hidden town that’s come to life from the pages of a storybook.

Just a two hour’s drive from Miyazaki City, Hitoyoshi is located in southernmost Kumamoto, in a basin that’s enveloped in fogs from late autumn to early spring. Once a lake, the town is also an onsen resort, fed by the alkaline and carbonated hot spring waters that flow from rock layers containing fossilized trees.

More than 25 public baths are scattered around town and dotted along the banks of the Kumagawa. Flowing from its source in the Kyushu Mountains down to the Yashiro Sea, the 115 km-long (71 mi) river turns to powerful white water once it reaches Hitoyoshi, making it an ideal location for canoeing and an abundant source of ayu, or sweetfish.

 

Kumagawa

Kumagawa

River cruises down the Kumagawa are a popular attraction in the summer, when visitors can experience its fast-flowing rapids from traditional wooden rafts steered by local oarsmen. In the winter, a more tranquil course is available on boats equipped with kotatsu, or heated tables.

It’s said that river cruising in Hitoyoshi dates ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: The “Little Kyoto” of Kumamoto
Guide Location: Japan » Hitoyoshi
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Hitoyoshi Station   Taverna da Mizumoto’s   Eikokuji Temple   Sagaragokoku Shrine   Oigami Shrine   Aoi Aso Shrine  
Author: Simone Armer
Read it on author's website: http://www.simonearmer.com/the-little-kyoto-of-kumamoto/