The Hosokawa Mansion in Kumamoto was one of our favorite stops during a recent trip toJapan. Located about 15 minutes by foot from Kumamoto Castle, this restored mansion of a feudal lord is beautiful in its elegant simplicity. Our visit took us through many rooms (some, like the kitchen, we could only peek into). The furnishings helped us imagine what life was like forthe lord, his family, and their servants. I loved the courtyard gardens and especially enjoyed seeing different views of the same garden as I moved around the home. An English-language brochure and signage in some of the rooms helped us better understand the home’s history and the culture of the Edo period (I should have read the TA reviews more carefully as I now see that an English-language tour is available; we didn’t notice any signs about the tour nor did the person at the ticket window mention it). We spent about an hour inside the home and then some time in the surrounding gardens, but if I had had more time, I could easily have spent an additional 30 to 60 minutes in the mansion, lingering in the rooms to absorb the serene atmosphere. I highly recommend that Kumamoto visitors include the mansion in their plans.
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