Tamana City is located in northern Kumamoto Prefecture; it measures ~17km north-to-south and ~14.5m from east-to-west. The city's total land area is ~152㎢. A region that has continued to prosper since the Tumulus Period thanks to the blessings of the Kikuchi River and the abundant ocean, here there are ruins that tell of prosperous lives since ancient times, as well unearthed artifacts that indicate trade that spread across the ocean from the Ariake Sea. From the Meiji Period onward, in addition to development resulting from rice production due to land reclamation, the promotion of the sericulture industry, and the opening of the railroad, this region has become highly prosperous through farm and sea goods from the Ariake Sea, Kikuchi River, Mt. Shodai, and the mountains of the Kinbou Mountain Range.
Tamana is also a major city within the northern part of the prefecture, almost exactly in the center of Kyushu, located between the Kumamoto Metropolitan Area and the Fukuoka Metropolitan Area. Located in the heart of the city is the Kyushu Shinkansen Shin-Tamana Station, and the JR Kagoshima Honsen also has 3 stations here including Tamana Station. Furthermore, Tamana is also blessed with convenient wide-area transportation such as the Kyushu Expressway Kikusui IC and the Ariake Ferry which links together Nagasu Port and the Shimabara Peninsula.
The city is endowed with historical/cultural sightseeing resources such as decorated ancient tombs, as well as Tamana Onsen which known for its nearly 1,300 years of history and superb spring qualities, and Oame Onsen which has ties to Natsume Soseki. Due to its linkage with Yamaga and Kikuchi, the city of Tamana is expected to develop into a 'wide-area sightseeing hub' in the future.
Located within Tamana City is "Tamana Onsen" which has nearly 1,300 years of history, as well as "Oama Onsen" which has ties to the literary master Natsume Soseki. Tamana Onsen has superb spring properties for smooth skin, and is well known for its skin-beautifying waters. On the other hand is Oama Onsen, which was beloved by the literary master Natsume Soseki to the point that it was the setting for his novel 'Kusamakura.'
When it comes to Tamana's food, you have to talk about 'Tamana ramen.' Said to be the origin of Kumamoto ramen, it has a different flavor than Fukuoka's Hakata ramen or Kurume ramen; it is characterized by a hearty tonkotsu soup which then has burnt garlic added to it. There are numerous ramen shops within the city, so be sure to enjoy a bowlful of each shop's superbly well-crafted ramen.
Tamana City is a location known for beautiful flowers throughout all the seasons. Starting with sakura flowers in spring, throughout the year you can see wisterias, mikans, Japanese iris, plum blossoms, and Keiou cherries.
Takase Uragawa Hana Shoubu Matsuri A festival about love for the Japanese iris flowers and stone bridges along the Uragawa River in the region of Takase, Tamana City. The main event has concerts and more that are bustling with sightseers.
Tamana Oodawara Matsuri During the Edo era, Tamana City was also a place for the gathering of "Higomai" rice. This festival, which started in 1996, is dedicated to honoring that history as well as praying for Tamana's bountiful harvests. It's the only festival of its kind in Japan, in which 1-ton bags of rice are pulled in a race to see who can finish the fastest.