Japan Northern Kyushu 2017 travel blog

One of the older Kumamoto trams

Kumamoto Castle repairs underway on the main keep towers

Uto Yagura has damage either side but mostly intact

Wall damage around and under this yagura

The wall was shaken out from under

Nishi-Ota yagura and gate fared badly, no work done here yet

How the large stones are numbered and stored. Just one of many...

An unpruned Ginko Biloba showing off its koyo

A surviving yagura that seems undamaged

Kumamoto Castle keep on 29th March 2016, 16 days before the earthquake.

Kumamoto Sat 25th Nov. 4-14°C, cloudy.

Our rooms in the Comfort Hotel come with views of Kumamoto Castle. Unfortunately for us the castle is under cover for repairs to extensive damage caused by the April 2016 earthquakes. Earthquakes exceeding JMA Seismic Intensity 6 occurred 7 times in three days since 14th April 2016. Maximum magnitude was 7.3.

Walked around Kumamoto Castle to see the damage caused, and repairs underway. The damage is extensive, there are rows upon rows of large stones, precisely numbered for repositioning. Some buildings have been dismantled, their timbers carefully numbered and housed in purpose built storage on site.

The sounds of heavy machinery and jackhammers can be heard throughout the site. In some areas huge sandbags and large cable nets have been placed against the massive stone walls to prevent further collapse. Work is being carried out on the main towers and yagura(turrets), but there are still heavily damaged sections yet to be attended to.

Busloads of tourists are viewing the damage and attending the Kato Shrine to donate funds towards repair. The Kato Shrine in Kumamoto Castle is dedicated to Kiyomasa Kato, who redesigned and greatly expanded the castle from 1601 to 1610.

It’s great to see that the repairs are underway, as this is one of the most spectacular castle complexes in Japan, and a great tourist drawcard for the area.

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