700 years of Sagara have given birth to conservatism and
progressive (enterprising) culture
Hidden village "Hitoyoshi Kuma
Hitoyoshi Kuma was ruled by the Sagara clan for about 700 years from the Kamakura period to the Meiji Restoration, During the long period of rule, a culture of worship, enjoyment, and protection of shrines, temples, Buddhist statues, and kagura (Shinto music and dance) was fostered together.
The history of Hitoyoshi Hot Spring is long, and although the date of its opening is unknown, it was founded in 1492 by Tamesugu, the 12th head of the Sagara family. There is a record of a hot-spring cure.
Hot springs are scattered along the Kuma River, with more than 80 sources.
It is also popular among women as "Bijin-no-yu" (hot water for beautiful women) because the water is soft and effective for beautifying the skin.
National Treasure Aoi Aso Shrine
Aoi Aso Shrine, affectionately called "Aoi-san" by the people living in Kuma Hitoyoshi, was built about 1,200 years ago in the first year of Daido (806). It enshrines the guardian deities of the Aso region and the twelve branch deities of the Aso Shrine.
It is the first thatched shrine and temple building in Japan to become a national treasure.
The splendid decorative carvings, based on Chinese stories and seasonal motifs of flowers, birds, wind, and the moon, use the latest technology from the Keicho period.
Hitoyoshi Castle Site
This is the site of a modern castle built by the Sagara clan, who ruled the Hitoyoshi Kuma area for approximately 700 years after Nagayori Sagara, under the orders of Minamoto no Yoritomo, became the head of the Higo region in the early Kamakura period.
Hitoyoshi Castle, located on the south side of the Kuma River, is a flat mountain castle that skillfully utilizes the natural surroundings to the east, west, south, and north as natural walls. It is said that no castle tower was built in the castle's main circle, but a gomado was located there.
Today, it is a park and a place of relaxation for local residents.
Near the ruins of the castle is the Hitoyoshi Castle History Museum.
going downstream (in a boat)
The Kuma River is considered one of the three most rapid rivers in Japan along with the Mogami River and the Fuji River, and has been selected as one of Japan's 25 most scenic spots.
Deep in the Kyushu Mountains, a small stream begins in Mizukami Village, Kuma County, and merges with the Kawabe River near Hitoyoshi City to form a large, rich river.
Currently, river rafting by canoe or rafting boat is also popular.
Founded in 1408, this Soto Zen temple was founded by the ninth generation Sagara lord Maezoku and founded by the monk Sanezoko Choshin. It is famous for its hanging scrolls of ghosts.
The pond, which is said to be haunted, is a spring-fed pond where visitors can enjoy seasonal flowers such as azaleas and flowering trees in the spring and water lilies in the summer.
It is also known as the headquarters of Saigo's army during the Seinan War.
The waterfall consists of Otodaki Fall, selected as one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan, with a 36-meter drop, Feminataki Fall, with a 30-meter drop, and Hiradaki Fall, with a gentle flow.
The roaring sound and the white droplets of water cascading down vertically are a sight to behold.
The area around the falls is chilly even in mid-summer, making it a popular summer retreat.
There are still many things to see and do in Hitoyoshi Kuma, the Hidden Village.
Kumamoto rice shochu
It is the representative of rice shochu in Japan. It has been passed down unchanged for over 400 years in the Hitoyoshi Kuma region, which is blessed with high-quality rice and water.
Also available for purchase at the hotel.
Secret Base Museum
Ruins of the former Hitoyoshi Naval Air Base. The "Underground Torpedo Control Area," which can be visited with a guide, is the largest underground facility in existence, with a total length of 233.6 meters.
Sagara 33 Kannon Tour
There are many Kannon Halls in the Hitoyoshi Kuma region, where Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, is enshrined. It is still carefully protected today as a spiritual center for the local people.
Hitoyoshi Craft Park Ishino Park
This facility exhibits traditional handicrafts and local toys of Hitoyoshi Kuma, and offers various handmade craft experiences. There is also a local products museum, a campground and a park with playground equipment.