Best way to travel Yamaga, Kumamoto (1000 Dancing Women)


Yamaga (山鹿), is best known for Yamaga Touron Mingeikanin, it means “1000 dancing women with lantern attached above their heads”. It is located in the Kumamoto prefecture in Kyushu island Japan.

Yamaga has rich agriculture because of Kikuchi river. So, Yamaga’s rice is very popular in Japan due to its high quality and delicious taste. It has also many hot-spring resorts. . If you are planning to visit Yamaga then, here are all the tips you’ll need to know for your first visit to Yamaga.

How to get in: Public Transport

Yamaga is very easy to access from Kumamoto Station or Kumamoto Kotsu Center by local Bus. But, those tourists who want to come from outside Kumamoto, then they first need to read how to access in Kumamoto.

Local Bus:

Sanko Bus for Yamaga

Sanko Bus for Yamaga

Sanko Bus runs on every 20-30 mins from Kumamoto Sta. or Kumamoto Kotsu Center. It takes approx. 75 minutes and the cost is 950 Yen from Kumamoto Station.

⇨ Depart from Kumamoto Airport (Platform #1)

⇨ Depart from Kumamoto Kotsu Center (Platform #14)

Sightseeing Spot:

The history and the culture make Yamaga a special attraction to the visitors not only in Japan but across the world. Here are the lists:

Yamaga Onsen (Hot-spring):

Yamaga Onsen (Hot-spring)

Yamaga Onsen (Hot-spring)

Yamaga is blessed with many natural hot-springs and with rich agriculture. The hot spring of Yamaga has alkaline spring water of pH9.5 which is creamy and it makes you relax just like having a full body massage (Thai massage).

It has both indoor and outdoor hot-spring. There are many hot-springs operators which offer the same day tour or overnight tour. More details Click..

Yamaga Lantern Festival (山鹿灯籠):

Yamaga Lantern Festival (山鹿灯籠)

Yamaga Lantern Festival (山鹿灯籠)

This is the most popular festival in Yamaga even in Kumamoto prefecture. The main attraction of this festival is that 1000 women with lantern attached above their head perform folk dance and local people perform live on traditional music and sing songs.

During the folk dance on traditional local songs, the environment is just amazing in the evening. It is held in summer with more than 5,000 rockets at the Kikuchi riverbank.

Yachiyo-za 八千代座 :

Yachiyo-za (Play theater)

Yachiyo-za (Play theater)

Yachiyo-za is Drama or Play Theater which was built in 1910. It is nationally designated as an important cultural property in Yamaga.

There are various events and plays performed in Yachiyo-za like; Kabuki, Noh. Actually, it is most famous for Kabuki performance. More details Click..

Don’t forget:

  • Rickshaw Ride : 1500 Yen for 20 min;
  •  Experience Lantern on the head with Kimono
  • Yamaga rice tour: 600 Yen for 1 hr (free gift)


Yamaga is blessed with its natural ground water resource which makes the rice very delicious. The most popular foods are House curry (馬カレー) Bashashi (Horse meat) Sushi (raw fish).

In sweets or Souvenir tourists can buy Lantern-Monaka which is made by red beans paste (Anko) shaped and then wrapped with steamed rice flour. Matsukaze made by rice flour and beet sugar, egg and poppy seed are mixed into it. You can enjoy it with a cup of green tea.


Tourists can come to Kumamoto by air, bullet train or express bus. Airport Limousine Buses are available from Aso Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto downtown.

Take a local bus (for Yamaga Bus Center) either from Kumamoto Sta./Kumamoto Kotsu Center which takes approximately 75 min. Hope it will help you in traveling to Yamaga, Kumamoto. Have a nice journey!

Link & Resources:

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