Arao is a small city in north Kumamoto, situated about 45 minutes by train from Kumamoto City, with a population of around 50,000. Arao was famed as a mining town, however, when the pit closed in the 1990’s the population of the city declined rapidly. Recently the Miike Coal Mine, Japan’s largest coal mine was listed as a World Heritage Site. Arao is also home to two very popular theme parks in Kyushu; Mitsui Greenland and Ultraman Land.

In terms of nature, Arao’s coastal mud flats have protected Ramsar status due to its unique ecological habitat and important feeding grounds for a variety of water birds.

Arao is also home to another rare breed, a traditional Japanese swordsmith who allows you to visit his workshop and yield a genuine Katana – the samurai sword.

Arao’s well known products are the Arao Nashi – a large, sweet Japanese pear which fruits from late summer to early autumn and the traditional Shoudai Pottery, a type of stonewear which has been produced in the area for over a thousand years.

Below are activities and sights you can explore in and around the Arao area. Click on the picture links to find out more. Then why not plan your own custom made guided or self-guided tour and contact Explore Kumamoto for a quote.

Samurai Swords Tour - Wield a katana and watch a master swordsmith at work This tour offers you experiences which you would find it very hard to
Read More
nagomi, kumamoto
Tonkararin If you love a good mystery - or dark, narrow spaces! - , then you are bound to be intrigued by Tonkararin. The many questions surrounding Tonkararin 
Read More
One of the largest theme parks on the island of Kyushu, Mitsui Greenland dominates the small city of Arao an hour's drive north of Kumamoto.
Read More
The World Heritage Manda Pit, also known as the  Manda Kou in Japanese, is part of the Miike Coal Mine, which was once the largest coal
Read More