Discover the Japanese "Land of Fire"
Kumamoto Castle, Japan | MSC Cruises

Discover the Japanese "Land of Fire"

Situated along the delta of the Kuma River in Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture, the city of Yatsushiro is known for its holy shrines, vibrant cultural festivals, and outstanding natural beauty. Making a name for itself as the largest producer of igusa grass, this bustling port is the perfect place to begin a daytrip to see Kyushu island’s many wonders.


An MSC Asian Cruise destination, Yatsushiro/Kumamoto is the gateway to Mount Aso (Japan’s most active volcano) as well as being home to historic castles, landscaped gardens, and mysterious underground caves. You’ll also enjoy eclectic Japanese dining while exploring this fascinating city like sushi, barbecue, and fusions cuisine.

Select a tour from a list of MSC Cruises excursions including:
Discover Kumamoto and its Lovely Sites
The Best of Hitoyoshi

Kumamoto is a fascinating hilltop castle that dates back to 1467. Thirteen structures in the complex have been designated Important Cultural Property titles thanks to their architectural beauty and historic significance. With its undulating mountain backdrop and 800 plus cherry trees, Kumamoto Castle is a visual feast for the senses. While on-site, visit the ancient Uto Turret and the reconstructed Honmaru Goten Palace that boasts Edo-period domestic architecture and opulent interiors.


Founded by Japan’s Hosokawa family in the 17th century, Suizenji Garden is an awe-inspiring miniature reproduction of the 53 post stations of the Tokaido: the road that connected Edo and Kyoto during the Edo Period (1603-1867). It even includes a small-scale Mt. Fuji (Japan’s highest mountain), so make sure you have your camera ready! A former tea retreat, the garden is best enjoyed by wandering a circular path where you’ll happen across the Izumi Shrine, the Statue of Hosokawa Tadatoshi, and a mirrored pond filled with multi-coloured carp. Suizenji has been declared a Historic Site of Scenic Beauty by the national government thanks to its inimitable features and artful landscapes.


The largest limestone cave system in Kyushu, Kyusendo enthrals with its 3-million-year-old stalactites and stalagmites that span 4.8 kilometres. Over 20,000 greater horseshoe bats live inside this ancient grotto (but don’t be scared — they don’t like headlamps!). This natural limestone masterpiece offers two distinct routes that feature tunnels, pillars, and waterfalls that are well worth venturing underground to see. Afterwards, splash your cash at the on-site gift shop or grab a bite at the bakery.

Cruises from / to Yatsushiro/Kumamoto

Excursions & Activities Yatsushiro/Kumamoto