The jewel in Yamaguchi's crown, Hagi (萩) is known for producing some of the finest ceramics in Japan and has a well-preserved old samurai quarter. During the feudal period, Hagi was the castle town of the Chōshū domain, which, together with Satsuma (corresponding to modern Kagoshima in southern Kyūshū), was instrumental in defeating the Tokugawa government and ushering in a new age after the Meiji Restoration. The importance of Hagi's role in the modernisation of Japan was recognised in 2015 by Unesco, who decreed World Heritage status on five historical industrial sites.
Western and central Hagi are effectively an island created by the two rivers Hashimoto-gawa and Matsumoto-gawa; eastern Hagi (with the major JR station Higashi-Hagi; get off there for the main sights) lies on the eastern bank of the Matsumoto-gawa.
Hagi's proximity to the Sea of Japan, quiet pace and bucolic vistas make it the prefecture's most worthwhile destination.