Things to Do with Kids in Kumamoto

ByJustin Hanus
May 29, 2024

Things to Do with Kids in Kumamoto

If you’ve got kids, you’ll know how important it is to have an ongoing list of activities and places to go to entertain them at weekends or during school holidays. Kumamoto has a number of attractions designed for kids and plenty of places where the whole family can have fun. Whether you’re looking to burn off some of their energy or plan something more educational, here is a small selection of great local places to head along to.

Mitsui Greenland Theme Park

This is a bit of a drive as it is in Arao, around an hour north of central Kumamoto but serves as a fantastic day out. The amusement park is part of a larger resort consisting of shops, restaurants, an onsen and even a golf course. Entertainment includes 9 rollercoasters, big wheels, water slides and something called “the chair lift of death”! It’s one of the biggest parks of its kind on Kyushu, with plenty to keep kids busy all day. Entry is 1,400 yen for adults and 700 yen for children. You can pay for rides individually or buy a day pass.

Address: Midorigaoka, Arao, Kumamoto 864-0033

Kumamoto Zoo

Animals are always a good bet when it comes to keeping kids occupied. Kumamoto Zoo is the premier zoo in the prefecture although it’s fairly small by big city standards. However, with around 1,000 creatures from over 100 species as well as an on-site botanical garden with an abundance of flora and fauna, it certainly ticks the box when it comes to good value Kumamoto family days out. Adults pay 300 yen and children 100 yen to see the likes of golden snub nose monkeys, giraffes and snakes. There’s also a small petting zoo where the little ones can get up close to goats, rabbits and guinea pigs, plus a nice little amusement park and a monorail touring the zoo’s perimeters. The zoo is quite central, located on the east side of Lake Ezu.

Website: Kumamoto Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Aqua Dome

The Aqua Dome is a large sports complex in northern Kumamoto. As the name suggests, it features a swimming pool very popular with families in the summer months if they want to take the kids for a splash about. In addition to the pool, there is also a gymnasium, a running track and a health center plus a junior playground right next to the venue. You can come here to cool off in the warmer months. During winter, the pool becomes an ice rink – a whole new avenue of fun for the youngsters.

Address: 2-1-1 Arao, Minami Ward 861-4136

Shimotori Shopping Arcade

One of three main shopping streets in Kumamoto’s busy downtown area (along with Kamidori and Shinshigai), Shimotori is the biggest arcade of its kind in Kumamoto prefecture. There are around 175 outlets here including clothing stores, kids stores and discount stores. You won’t have to worry about the children getting bored as there is entertainment in the form of small rides plus plenty of eateries. The arcade plays host to a few festivals across the year too, including a doll festival every spring.


Mifune Dinosaur Museum

If there’s one thing we know about kids the world over, it’s that they love dinosaurs. Luckily the town of Mifune is one of the nation’s dinosaur hotspots, the location of several fossils from around 100-150 million years ago. Because of this, the town has erected a small and highly informative dinosaur museum. The highlight here is the large T-Rex model. You can also spot various dinosaur statues across the town. Entry to the museum is cheap, just 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for kids.


hyolee2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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