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Kyushu Earthquake Information

A strong earthquake centered in Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu occurred in the evening of April 14, 2016, followed by an even stronger one in the night of April 16. In addition, strong tremors centered in Oita Prefecture were occurring, as well. The area between Kumamoto City and Mount Aso was worst affected. Several dozen lives were lost, thousands of buildings and many roads were damaged, and landslides occurred. With a few exceptions, most tourist spots, roads and train lines have reopened in the meantime.

Transportation

The following train sections remain out of service (see also map above):

  • JR Hohi Line between Higo-Ozu and Aso. The line is scheduled to get fully reopened on August 8, 2020.
  • Minamiaso Railway between Tateno and Nakamatsu. Efforts are made to reopen the entire line by 2023.

The main road between Kumamoto and Aso (National Route 57) is still interrupted, causing travelers to make detours: see map. The road is expected to be reopened around October 2020.

Tourist Sites

Kumamoto Castle suffered considerable damage, as some turrets and stone walls collapsed and roof tiles fell. Furthermore, Aso Shrine suffered severe damage, as its celebrated Romon Gate and offering hall collapsed. A majority of other sightseeing spots in the area have reopened, but a few of them remain closed.

Read our 2016 report from Kyushu