Top Things to Do and See in Yamato

ByJustin Hanus
Aug 30, 2023

Top Things to Do and See in Yamato

Although it’s most famous for Tsujun Bridge, there’s much more to see and do in Yamato. Have a few ideas in mind before you go to make the most of your time in the town.

1. Tsujun Bridge

The reason Tsujun Bridge is famous is that it dates back to 1854 and is still a functional aqueduct. Plus, it’s surrounded by beautiful scenery. Water is released from the aqueduct on weekends at 1:00 p.m. and sometimes also when tour groups visit who have paid in advance for the show.

2. Gorogataki Waterfall

After Tsujun Bridge, the main reason people visit Yamato is Gorogataki Waterfall. It is more expansive than you may expect from looking at photos and is surrounded by a beautiful forest that rarely becomes crowded.

3. Yabekyo Hiking Trail

You can visit both Tsujun Bridge and Gorogataki Waterfall by walking the Yabekyo hiking trail. The advantage of walking this trail is it will take you across a suspension bridge that passes over the Gorogataki Waterfall, where you’ll have the best views. You’ll also visit Fuda Shrine, which is dedicated to Yasunosuke Fuda — the creator of Tsujun Bridge.

4. Heitate Jingu Shrine

Many people report experiencing a sense of peace when they visit Heitate Jingu Shrine. The cedar trees (some of which are ancient) add to the atmosphere. The grounds are large enough for you to wander around for an hour or so, during which time you’ll encounter many treasures.

5. Tsujun Brewers

Kumamoto is known for its breweries. In Yamato, Tsujun Brewers produces a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including sake and plum wine. You can purchase bottles as souvenirs or enjoy food and drink at the brewery in a space that looks out over the garden and pond. The dishes are made with mostly local ingredients, meaning the menu changes with the season. There is also a gallery area upstairs in the brewery that holds cultural events.

6. Seiwa Bunrakumura

Bunraku is traditional Japanese puppet theater with a history of more than 300 years. The performances are related to those of kabuki theater — for instance, the stories are narrated and accompanied by live music. In Bunraku, the narrator uses his tone of voice and body language to express the puppets’ emotions.

At Seiwa Bunrakumura, you can see a performance and visit the small museum that houses the puppets. In the museum, you’ll also find information about how the puppets are made and operated.

7. Tsujunyosui no Enkeibunsui

An unusual site to visit is Tsujunyosui no Enkeibunsui. This is a circular water diversion system for Tsujun Bridge and is mesmerizing to look at. Students in the area often pay trips here to learn about the challenges of building the Tsujun Bridge in the Edo period, the importance of adding the diversion in the Showa period, and the ingenuity of the diversion’s design.

There are many hidden gems in Kumamoto — Yamato is just one of them. Make the most of your time on Kyushu island by properly exploring what’s around.

Ozizo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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