Kumamoto Castle gets all the attention in this town, but an equally impressive piece of history is a short walk away and shouldn't be missed. Kyu-Hosokawa Gyobutei is the manor of a 17th century samurai clan. The city of Kumamoto relocated it to the castle grounds and beautifully restored it.
The museum lets you walk in sock feet through the grand ongenkan main entrance, which was previously reserved for Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi, high-ranking retainers and important guests. Continue through room after tatami-lined room, imaging the privileged life in Japan hundreds of years ago.
The residence is open 8:30-5:30 in March-November and 8:30-4:40 in December-February. Admission is 300 yen for adults and 100 yen for elementary and junior high students. A combined ticket for the residence and Kumamoto Castle is 640 yen for adults and 240 yen for kids.