Towards the end of the bullet train track on the southern island of Kyushu is Kumamoto, where one of Japan’s official top three castles is located. Although most of it is a reconstruction, some of the original buildings and turrets remain. The other parts have been faithfully rebuilt and can be entered, including Honmaru Palace with its illustrated walls and sliding doors. It is one of Japan’s top blossom viewing spots, along with the hundreds of trees by Minamata Cherry Line south of the city. The dormant caldera of Mt Aso, captured in the James Bond movie ‘The Living Daylights’, and the atmospheric hot spring town of Kurokawa are also fascinating day trips ythat can be done from here.