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The Ryokan Collection
Discovering Kumamoto
Kumamoto Castle, built in 400 CE, was heavily damaged by two earthquakes in 2016, but thanks to a wellspring of generous donations, the main keep was partially reopened on October 5th. The castle is well on its way to returning to its former glory.
Suizenji Jojuen, commonly called Suizenji Park, was established in 1636 as a teahouse and garden. The beautiful grounds cover over 240,000 square meters, encompassing the popular Izumi Shrine, dedicated to the Hosokawa feudal lords that ruled the region.
Taipien, a Chinese-fusion vermicelli soup packed with vegetables, is a regional specialty, as is dagojiru, a soup of meat, vegetables, and flat flour dumplings.
Home-style karashi renkon are slices of lotus root stuffed with a spicy miso mustard. And ikinari dango are steamed buns filled with sweet potato and sugary red beans.

After enjoying the historic architecture and regional cuisine of Kumamoto, complete your trip with a relaxing ryokan stay. Within a two-hour drive of the city, Ryokan Collection members Takefue and Shinsen are waiting to welcome you.
Takefue maintains a refined rustic style, the farm-type buildings all black beams and straw-and-plaster stucco. Interiors are likewise rustic, but with modern amenities and huge windows giving access to the lovely surrounding forest. There are numerous ryokan in the neighborhood, but the bamboo forest effectively muffles all sounds from outside the grounds, preserving the feeling of deep-forest privacy.
The cuisine is kaiseki haute cuisine, incorporating inaka ryori, or country fare, and taking full advantage of the delicate and delicious mountain vegetables of the area.
The onsen hot springs are generated by the same geological processes that keep nearby Mt. Aso rumbling. Most of the rooms boast their own private rotemburo outdoor baths - some of which are huge. There is also an enormous public rotemburo, which can be reserved for private bathing.
The lovely Shinsen ryokan is nestled serenely in the rolling hills on the flanks of Mt. Aso, in the center of the main Japanese island of Kyushu. With its mix of tradition and comfort, Shinsen gives its guests a taste of old Japan, while offering all the luxuries and conveniences of the modern world. All the rooms feature beautiful Japanese gardens with artfully arranged rocks, trees and raked gravel, as well as high-end furnishings and amenities.
Kumi Sato, the okami, or proprietress of the ryokan, says, “Our goal is to offer the highest quality of traditional hospitality, along with a light and playful atmosphere to help her guests relax and leave their serious lives and worries behind.” Arising from this philosophy is the most striking feature of Shinsen – the individuality of the rooms. Each has its own unique style and personality, presented with flair, and outfitted with the highest quality furnishings and decorated with beautiful art, traditional ceramics and other crafts.
This and the staff’s unsurpassed omotenashi, or traditional Japanese hospitality, have earned Shinsen a reputation as one of the finest ryokan in Kyushu, drawing repeat customers from around the world. The Satos have formed numerous close relationships with their guests, many of whom come seeking a more authentic Japanese experience in regional Japan.
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For more information and queries, please visit www.ryokancollection.com or contact our concierge at info@ryokancollection.com or +81 3 6824 1015.
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