Attractions

Top Choice Cave in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Akiyoshi-dō

Within the Akiyoshi-dai Quasi-National Park, the rolling Akiyoshi-dai tablelands are dotted with curious rock spires, beneath which are hundreds of limestone caverns. One of these is Akiyoshi-dō, the largest limesto…
Top Choice Historic Building in Hagi

Kikuya Residence

The Kikuya family were merchants rather than samurai. As official merchants to the daimyō, their wealth and connections allowed them to build a house well above their station. This house dates from 1604 and has a fi…
Top Choice Park in Yamaguchi

Kōzan-kōen

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 1404, is picturesquely situated beside a small lake. A small on-site museum displays miniatur…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Hagi

Tōkō-ji

East of the river, near Shōin-jinja, stands pretty Zen Tōkō-ji, built in 1691 and home to the tombs of five Mōri lords. The stone walkways on the hillside behind the temple are flanked by almost 500 stone lanterns, …
Top Choice Market in Shimonoseki

Karato Ichiba

A highlight of a trip to Shimonoseki is an early-morning visit to the Karato fish market. It's a great opportunity to try sashimi for breakfast or lunch and the fish doesn't get any fresher – a fair bit of it will s…
Top Choice Bridge in Iwakuni

Kintai-kyō

Iwakuni's chief claim to fame is this graceful bridge, built in 1673 during the rule of feudal lord Kikkawa Hiroyoshi. It has been restored several times since then, but its high arches remain an impressive sight ov…
Top Choice Cultural Centre in Yamaguchi

Saikotei

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 or admi…
Mountain in Hagi

Kasa-yama

About 5km northeast of the town is this 112m dormant volcano. The top has gorgeous views of the Sea of Japan and a tiny 30m-deep crater. There is also a walking track around the coast. From late February to late Mar…
Park in Hagi

Shizuki-kōen

Within this park, there's not much of the old Hagi-jō to see, apart from the castle's typically imposing outer walls and the surrounding carp-filled moat. The castle was built in 1604 and dismantled in 1874 followin…
Church in Yamaguchi

St Francis Xavier Memorial Church

Yamaguchi was a major centre of Christian missionary activity before the religion was outlawed in 1589. This church resembles a large tent and sits above the town in Kameyama-kōen. Built in 1952 in honour of St Fran…