Top Choice Park in Yamaguchi


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 onsite museum displays miniature…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Tsuwano


Just above the castle chairlift station, thriving Taikodani-Inari-jinja, built in 1773 by the seventh lord Kamei Norisada, is one of the five major Inari shrines in Japan. Walk up the hillside to it through a tunnel…
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 …
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 fin…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Hagi


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, …
Buddhist Temple in Shimonoseki


This National Treasure is the family burial temple of the local Mōri lords, and has a Zen-style hall dating from 1327, making it the oldest example of Zen Buddhist architecture in Japan.
Gallery in Shimonoseki

Shimonoseki City Art Museum

The Shimonoseki City Art Museum is on the main road at the edge of the old Chōfu area. It houses an eclectic collection of local art, which is rotated based on changing themes. There are regular temporary exhibits, …
Tower in Shimonoseki

Kaikyō Yume Tower

This 153m tower looks like a midget skyscraper topped by a futuristic billiard ball. Head to the observatory for 360-degree views.
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 Fra…
Historic Building in Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi Furusato Heritage Centre

The ground floor of the 1886 sake merchant building (the Manabi-kan; まなび館) has a small display of local crafts, including some Ōuchi dolls, and the building itself is interesting. Go upstairs to get a closer look at…