Top things to do in Yamaguchi

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 1442, is picturesquely situated beside a small lake. Its eaves are lit up dramatically at nig…
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/yukata…
Church in Yamaguchi

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 stained-glass windows. Sitting above the town in Kameyama-kōen, i…
Dance in Yamaguchi

Gion Matsuri

During the Gion Matsuri, dedicated to warding off demons, the Sagi-mai (Egret Dance) is held at Yasaka-jinja on 20 July. On 24 July, Yamaguchi's streets come alive with 20m-high hand-pulled floats, 1000 dancers and …
Historic Building in Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi Furusato Heritage Centre

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 speciality of Yamaguchi), and the building itself is interesting. …
Buddhist Temple in Yamaguchi

Jōei-ji

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 the woods to several more temples. About 4km northeast of JR Y…
Cafe in Yamaguchi

Sabō Kō

A cosy atmosphere prevails in this low-ceilinged little eatery, where customers perch on wooden stools sipping coffee. The speciality on the Japanese-only menu is the generous, rustic omuraisu (omelette filled with …
Italian in Yamaguchi

Mottimo Pasta Yuda Onsen

In Yuda Onsen, Mottimo offers a variety of Japanese twists on Italian faves, including eight kinds of delicious hot, buttery, flavoured bread sticks (think honey, basil and custard cream!), a small selection of pizz…
Cultural in Yamaguchi

Tanabata Chōchin Matsuri

From 6 to 7 August, thousands of decorated paper lanterns illuminate the city, hanging from bamboo poles and in a street parade. A good place to see them is along commercial Eki-dōri, or leafy Park Rd in Kameyama-kō…
Gallery in Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum

This interesting gallery focuses on the art of the region, with three rooms showing work from its varied permanent collection; leafy grounds featuring modern sculpture; and regular special exhibitions (admission ext…