Top choice in Western Honshū

This handsome building was originally a high-end restaurant named Gion Saikotei from 1878 to 1996. In 2004 it was converted into this cultural museum, where you can observe or learn calligraphy, wear a kimono (¥2800 for two hours), drink green tea (¥410, first and third weekends) or admire the garden. The homepage lists all that's on offer; reservations are required for activities.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Honshū attractions

1. Yasaka-jinja

0.04 MILES

A wooden shrine dating from 1520, most notable for Gion Matsuri, a festival that opens with the Sagi-mai (Egret Dance) held held here on 20 July each year…

2. Yamaguchi Furusato Heritage Centre

0.22 MILES

The ground floor of this 1886 sake-merchant building (Manabi-kan; まなび館) has a small display of local crafts, including some Ōuchi dolls (lacquerware…

3. Kōzan-kōen

0.35 MILES

North of the town centre is Kōzan Park, where the five-storey pagoda of Rurikō-ji (瑠璃光寺), a National Treasure dating from 1442, is picturesquely situated…

4. Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum


Opened in 1912, this museum's impressive permanent collection includes science and technology, astronomy, natural science and humanities sections.

5. Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum

0.52 MILES

This interesting gallery focuses on the art of the region, with three rooms showing work from its varied permanent collection; leafy grounds featuring…

6. St Francis Xavier Memorial Church


Built in 1952 in honour of St Francis Xavier, this church burned down in 1991 and was rebuilt in 1998 with a clinically modern interior and geometric…

7. Christian Museum


The ground-floor Christian museum in the St Francis Xavier Memorial Church covers the life of the namesake Jesuit missionary and the early history of…

8. Jōei-ji

1.05 MILES

This temple is notable for its simple, stone-dotted Zen garden, Sesshutei, designed by the painter Sesshū. From the garden, a trail leads uphill through…