When people think of downtown Kumamoto, Kamitori Arcade and Shimotori Arcade, which stretch north and south from Torichosuji, are what springs to mind. During the Showa period, the area suffered from war damage and flooding, but expanded during rezoning after reconstruction. Since then, it has made great progress as an arcade shopping street, and is now a popular spot that is crowded with locals and tourists every day.
The Kamitori Arcade is 600 meters long and 11 meters wide, extending from Torichosuji to Namikizaka. The high-ceilinged, all-white arcade was built in the image of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Ipe, a wood deck material from South America, is used to pave the center of the sidewalks, giving the shopping area the warmth of wood. Lined with stores of every type, including fashion, sundries, books, stationery, etc., the area has a mix of shops that have been in business for over 100 years and those that cater to younger audiences. A charming town where old and new live side by side.
The Shimotori Arcade is 511 meters long and 15 meters wide. It is the largest shopping district in the prefecture, located in the center of the downtown area. A nearby tram stop and a bus terminal provide easy access. It features a bright, open atmosphere with natural light coming in through its resin roof. It is a center of fashion and amusement, and is also famous as a gourmet area with numerous restaurants, including local restaurants, taverns, and cafes, as well as large commercial facilities. The arcade is always full of energy, with entertainment such as street musicians and more.