Quake-Hit Kumamoto Castle Opens to Public after over 3 Yrs

Society Lifestyle Culture Guide to Japan Travel

Kumamoto, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--Kumamoto Castle, damaged by powerful earthquakes in April 2016, partially reopened to the public Saturday, showing the fully restored exteriors of the main tower in the "tenshukaku" castle keep.

The premises of the castle, where an award-winning Akira Kurosawa movie was shot, had been closed to entry since the southwestern Japan prefecture was battered by the two temblors.

On the day, the square in front of the keep was opened, allowing visitors to enjoy the main tower from a close distance.

"I remember the never forgettable deep sorrow felt at the sight (of the quake-caused destruction) as if it had happened yesterday," Kumamoto Mayor Kazufumi Onishi said in a ceremony to mark the reopening. "I hope everyone will feel reconstruction progress through the reopening after three and a half years," he added.

Kumamoto Castle, one of Japan's three premier castles, is known for its stone walls featuring steep curves to repel invaders. It was a filming location for "Kagemusha" (The Shadow Warrior), directed by prominent director Kurosawa, which won the Palme d'Or award at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press