Best way to travel Kumamoto-Hitoyoshi (Mini Kyoto of Kyushu)

Hitoyoshi (人吉) is known as mini Kyoto of Kyushu region which is located in southeastern part of Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The famous spots are national treasure over 1200 of history of Aoi Aso Shrine, Kumagawa river, locomotive, hot-springs, Kyusen Cave, Hitoyoshi.

Tourist can experience the traditional culture of Japan as well as outdoor activities like rafting, bungee jumping, mount climb. That’s the region it attracts not only Japanese but foreigner too! Here are all the tips you’ll need to know for your first visit to Hitoyoshi.

How to get in: Public Transport

Hitoyoshi-go Express Bus bound form Kumamoto-Hitoyoshi. The total journey takes around 2 hours from Kumamoto City in the lap of nature. More details about the bus stop Click..

Kumamoto~Hitoyoshi Bus

Kumamoto~Hitoyoshi Bus

⇒ Depart from Kumamoto Kotsu Center

Bus Fare:

  • Kumamoto – Hitoyoshi : 2,180 Yen / Person

Sightseeing Spots:

Hitoyoshi has full of nature sightseeing and activities such as; Aoi Shrine, Hitoyoshi Castle, Hot-springs, Rafting, Bungee and more.. Here are the most popular things to do in Hitoyoshi.

Kuma River:

Kuma River

Kuma River

Enjoy the thrilling @ Kuma river. The Kuma river is one of the 3rd fastest moving river in Japan. Also, it is very clean. The scenic view view of this river is amazing. So, it attracts visitors.

Access from Hitoyoshi Sta. by train, takes around 10 min; by walk takes around 25 min.

Aoi Aso Shrine:

Aoi Aso Shrine

Aoi Aso Shrine

This wooden carving Aoi Shrine has over 1200 years history. The 5 structures has been recognized National Treasures in 2008; The gate, Mail hall, Corridor, Offering hall and Oratory. There are various carving in each corner which represent human emotions, anger, sadness, pleasure.

Access from Hitoyoshi Sta. by walk, takes around 12-15 min.

Kyusendo Cave:

Kyusendo Cave

Kyusendo Cave

Kyusen cave is the longest in Kyushu and 3rd longest cave in Japan with 4.8 km. It is located @ Kuma Village (National route 219). There are 2 types of Cave tour course; 500 m tour course and 40 meter adventure course. More details Click.. (Japanese Only)

Access from Hitoyoshi Sta. by train, takes around 15 min.

Adventuring: Rafting / Bungee

Bungy @ Itsuki Village

Bungy @ Itsuki Village

Hitoyoshi is surrounded by beautiful mountain. So, there are many outdoor activities like bungee jumping, rafting, mount climbing and more… The height for bungee 66 meters from the Itsuki Village.

There are some company who operate outdoor activities;

Rafting Kumagawa ABC

Land Earth Outdoor Sports Club

Bungy Japan

Steam Locomotive/Train:

Steam Locomotive

Steam Locomotive

There are very few active steam locomotives in Japan and Hitoyoshi has one of them. So, if you get the change experience it. Hitoyoshi Locomotives are still in operation over 100 years of the train history.

Hitoyoshi trains are very special in design, interior seats, drink-bar etc.. There is a blue & green train called Express Kawasemi & Yamasemi.

Don’t forget:

  • Itsuki Village (Bungy Japan)
  • Kuma Village (Kyusendo cave, Hot-spring)
  • Mizukami Village (Mount Climb)
  • Dining


Sushi & Yakiniku

Sushi & Yakiniku

Hitoyoshi has very delicious meals either it would be meat or either it would be fish or  even vegetables. Thanks to Kuma river because its very pure. Many restaurants serves very fresh raw fish and meat.

Fish-lovers can choose, Sashimi , Sushi; Meat-lovers can choose Yakiniku, Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki by all means the original taste of beef. Have Enjoy!


Hitoyoshi is really full of thunders and mysteries. 1 day is not enough to do adventuring like bungee, rafting, mount climb. Tourists can choose any one activity as per your choice.

If you have time, stay there at least 1 night. Anyhow, those have only view hours to visit here, then must visit Kuma Village. Hope it will help you in traveling to Aso and how to enjoy there! Have a nice journey!

Link & Resources:


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