Kumamoto (熊本市 Kumamoto-shi) is the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.
As of April 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 737,812 and a population density of 1,900 persons per km2. The total area is 389.53 km2.
Greater Kumamoto (熊本都市圏) had a population of 1,460,000, as of the 2000 census. As of 2010, Kumamoto Metropolitan Employment Area has a GDP of US$39.8 billion. It is not considered part of the Fukuoka–Kitakyushu metropolitan area, despite their shared border. The city was designated on April 1, 2012 by government ordinance.
On February 1, 1991, the towns of Akita, Kawachi, Tenmei and Hokubu (all from Hōtaku District) were merged into Kumamoto.
On October 6, 2008, the town of Tomiai (from Shimomashiki District) was merged into Kumamoto.
On March 23, 2010, the town of Jōnan (also from Shimomashiki District) and the town of Ueki (from Kamoto District) were merged into Kumamoto.
A series of earthquakes struck the area beginning April 14, 2016, including a tremor with moment magnitude 7.1 early in the morning of April 16, 2016, local time.
Within the outer walls of Kumamoto Castle is the Hosokawa Gyobu-tei, the former residence of the Higo daimyō. This traditional wooden mansion has a fine Japanese garden located on its grounds.
Miyamoto Musashi lived the last part of his life in Kumamoto. His tomb and the cave where he resided during his final years (known as Reigandō, or "spirit rock cave") is situated close by. He penned the famous Go Rin no Sho (The Book of Five Rings) whilst living here.
Kumamoto is also home to Suizen-ji Jōju-en, a formal garden neighboring Suizenji Temple approximately 3 kilometers southeast of Kumamoto Castle.
A notable shrines are Takahashi Inari Shrine, Fujisaki Hachimangū.
Suizenji Park is also home to the Suizenji Municipal Stadium, where the city's football team, Roasso Kumamoto used to play regularly, but nowadays they use the larger KKWing Stadium in Higashi Ward.
Kumamoto Prefecture is in the center of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four major Japanese islands. It is bordered by the Ariake inland sea and the Amakusa archipelago to the west, Fukuoka Prefecture and Ōita Prefecture to the north, Miyazaki Prefecture to the east, and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south.
Mount Aso (1592 m), an extensive active volcano, is in the east of Kumamoto Prefecture. This volcano is located at the centre of the Aso caldera.
As of March 31, 2008, 21% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as natural parks: the Aso Kujū and Unzen-Amakusa National Parks; Kyūshū Chūō Sanchi and Yaba-Hita-Hikosan Quasi-National Parks; and Ashikita Kaigan, Itsuki Gokanoshō, Kinpōzan, Misumi-Ōyano Umibe, Okukuma, Shōtaisan, and Yabe Shūhen Prefectural Natural Parks.