A city in southern Japan is developing a convention facility alongside a historic fortress as it seeks to attract international business events, incentives and conferences.
Kumamoto Castle, which dates back to 1607, will be a focal point for a 34,000 sqm facility due to open in 2018 that will connected to the city’s historic icon via a rooftop garden walkway.
The city’s convention bureau chiefs hope to share in the rise of neighbouring prefectures in Japan’s Kyushu region such as Fukuoka, which is 35 minutes away from Kumamoto by high-speed train, and has a growing number of international air links.
Rather than being solely an excursion destination for post-conference groups from neighbouring cities, Kumamoto is seeking a place on Asia’s meetings and incentives circuit. Convention bureau chiefs want to do this without trying to wrest bids from larger cities and by playing to strengths such as the castle and surrounding scenery.