Misato, Home of the Longest Stone Staircase in Japan

Somewhere, nestled in the vast forests of Kumamoto stands the largest stone staircase in all of Japan. After wandering the land for months, I’m glad to say I discovered these 3,333 steps and can now reveal to you its secrets.

Ok, so I Google Maps’d it after a friend told me about it, but that still counts!

Funnily enough Japan’s largest stone staircase proved pretty difficult to find! My friends and I drove (and walked) around the area for some time before finding it. I have to be honest with you though, I think that’s just because we’re clueless.

giphyImage from Giphy

Besides, I’ve pinned the location so fear not!

Trust me when I say, the steps are a must-try for anyone in the Kumamoto area. It’s pretty hard graft, and I can guarantee you that when you think you’re at 3,000 you most definitely are NOT. The number is pretty hard to grasp and you just have to do it to see what I mean.

The steps themselves are gorgeous, as you climb up you leave behind the place, weather and even headspace that you occupied before climbing-  it’s a completely different atmosphere. Even though you’re just above where you parked your car, it feels so different!

I did the steps in September and it was amazing. I mentioned it in my blog’s monthly update and basically said that I felt like Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill, so if that doesn’t persuade you I don’t know what will!

378eee21c9d54a02ede217ed60328d8a--zen--kill-billImage from MovieStills

It’s obviously difficult on the way up, because it’s uphill. Stupidly, I didn’t realise how uphill it would be and expecting more flat bits, I mean there were some… but I’m lazy. The way back is so much easier, but just be careful in-case it’s slippery!

giphy (2)Image from Giphy

When you get back, and your legs are feeling a bit like jelly, you feel so amazing and all the hard work was worth it.

Walking the steps was a great opportunity to jolt myself into realising that I am in-fact IN JAPAN! As strange as it sounds it’s taking quite some time for that fact to fully sink in and instead it just kind of flashes into my mind, usually when I end up in some amazingly random place that I never imagined myself being.

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Image from Giphy

You feel like you’re in a game too, like when you reach the top (like actually reach the top and you can see the clearing instead of an ongoing upward stone river) it’s like you just completely every boss in every game ever. You just defeated Donkey Kong, Dragovich, Ganon, all 8 Dragon Priests and about 4 Big Sisters at once (P.S. please enjoy that lovely variety of game references).

giphy (4)Image from Giphy

So, if I’ve managed to convince you to give the steps a go; it gets better! There’s an event!


On 17th November ‘Attack the Steps’ is taking place and you most definitely should do it! All participants get a prize and you get bonus points for wearing a costume! There are volunteers along the steps with refreshments too, which I wish I had after guzzling my water like a funnel on my visit. The event fee is only 1000 yen and the deadline for application is 31st October! For all the info in English, use this link.


If you want to look as cool as me (maybe even cooler if you wear a costume), get some exercise and do some exploring, you should give it a go!

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