What to Bring?
If you plan on doing a lot of train travel when you are in Japan then I suggest that you decline from bringing large, heavy suitcases. Most train stations in Japan have huge staircases (often no lift) so lugging a big suitcase is not an easy task. I suggest a good backpack would be a good choice. Rainy Season is around June/July and rain weather gear is essential. I just use an umbrella but there have been times that I have got completely soaked!! I can't buy shoes in Japan so I have had to think carefully before I came about what kind of footwear to buy. Note: Easy to slip on and off shoes are best and if you are going to work in a public building you will need 'indoor' shoes to wear. The Japanese always take their outdoor shoes off before entering their house or work.
Kumamoto is hot and humid in summer and has cool winters but snow falls very infrequently. Most things you will need can be purcahsed here. I don't recommend going to a hospital in Japan unless you really need to. In most cases the pharmacist will be able to help you if you tell them what is wrong and what kind of medicine you are looking for (a phrase book will have this in it). Places like Aso-Kuju Mountains in Kumamoto/Oita Prefectures are great places for experiencing outdoors in Japan. Tramping in these hills is a popular summer pastime. Bring your favourite gear as buying this kind of equipment is expensive.