Kikuchi City is a city located in the northeastern part of Kumamoto Prefecture.
It was formed on 22 March 2005 when the cities and villages of Kikuchi, Shichijo, Shisui, and Kyokushi merged together.
It is adjacent to Aso in the east and to Oita Prefecture's Hita City in the north; the Kikuchi Valley, which serves as the source of the top-class Kikuchi River, is also located here.
The city's primary products are farm goods and livestock, with a variety of delicious farm goods like beef, pork, melons, and more. However, of particular note is the fact that the rice produced here has been awarded the "Special A" class by the Japan Grain Inspection Association 11 times for 9 years straight, firmly establishing it as a production region for delicious rice.
Also: Kikuchi Onsen is well known for its skin-beautifying waters, Kikuchi Park is known for its beautiful sakura trees, and the city is rich with the history of the Kikuchi Clan-- Kikuchi City is a city full of nature, culture, history, food, and much more to enjoy.
While Kikuchi Onsen's history may be short, as the hot spring only sprang up in 1954, each of the ryokans and hotels here have their own water sources, which provide a large amount of colorless, transparent, alkaline water. The water, also called 'water of beautiful skin' and 'cosmetic water' is beloved by many tourists, known for its beneficial effects on skin texture. The gentle qualities of this water have an effect on beauty, neuralgia, rheumatism and more. This hot spring has been acknowledged within the "100 Best Famous Hot Springs in Japan" as a hot spring with exceptional recuperative and restorative properties.
In addition to recuperative facilities like the Shichijo Onsen Dome and Kyokushi Four Seasons Village, there are numerous family baths where you can enjoy the hot springs.
The 'Kikuchi Fukudon' is a type of 'donburi' (rice bowl dish) that you can enjoy at 12 shops in Kikuchi, made with local ingredients and rice. Visitors can enjoy the various characteristics of each store's donburi.
You can also enjoy walking around the various shops to try sweets like Kikuchi ice-cream and Japanese confections.
Aside from enjoying the clear streams and seasonal scenery of the Kikuchi Valley, there are a variety of occasions to enjoy throughout the seasons: in spring there are sakura blooms at Shiroyama Park, in early summer there are fireflies at Kyokushi, and you can enjoy cosmos flowers at Shichijo in fall.
Several events are also held, such as the "Kikuchi Natsumatsuri" (early August) in which a legendary white dragon dances majestically, the "Shisui Koshi Park Natsumatsuri"(mid-August) where huge spherical fireworks are launched into the sky, and the Kikuningyo Kikumatsuri (November) which is decorated with famous historical scenes of the Kikuchi Clan created out of large amounts of chrysanthemum flowers.