15 Things To Do in Yamaguchi

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Source: onono

Located on the western side on Honshu Island in Japan, Yamaguchi is the capital of Yamaguchi Prefecture and has been rightfully called the Kyoto of the West because of its growth, prosperity, and development. It is a large city and divided into several districts, so you will surely have a lot of places to visit.

1. Rurikoji Temple Pagoda

Rurikoji temple Pagoda yamaguchi
Source: Richard West

Built in 1442, prepares to be engulfed with the breathtaking majesty of the Rurikoji Temple Pagoda. A 5 story pagoda in Yamaguchi, it is one of the iconic symbols of the place. You’ll be impressed by the careful planning of the city as the government was able to integrate modern growth with the ancient temple pagoda.


  • Availability: Daily
  • Time: 9am to 5pm
  • Phone: 81 083-924-9139
  • Fee: Free entrance

2.Xavier Memorial Church and Museum

xavier church museum yamaguchi
Source: Sean

Dedicated in memory of St. Francis Xavier’s visit in Yamaguchi Japan in 1549 to 1551, the Xavier Memorial Church was built by an Italian architect, with the church design presenting a majestic white theme in the interior. You’ll see the dazzling angled windows in serene sea blue. The museum is located on the first floor.


  • Availability: Daily
  • Time: 9am to 5pm
  • Phone: 81 083-920-1549
  • Fee: ¥300 (museum)

3. Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media

In November 2003, the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media or YCAM was created to be an arts and cultural complex that provides an exhibition hall, stage shows, and film theater. Guests can visit the YCAM’s library. The center regularly hosts film screenings, art exhibitions, dance performances, audio/ sound stage, lectures, and workshops.


  • Availability: Monday to Saturday
  • Time: 9am to 5pm
  • Activity: Cultural
  • Website: http://www.ycam.jp/en/

4. Lantern Star Festival

If you will visit Yamaguchi in the summer season, don’t miss the chance to see the Lantern Star Festival which happens from August 6 to 7. You’ll get to see colorful, bright and dazzling lanterns on display in the city capital. The Lantern Star Festival is a popular tourist event in Yamaguchi.


  • Date: August 6 to 7
  • Time: Evening
  • Activity: Cultural Parade
  • Fee: Free

5. Hanchomon Gate

Established in 1863, the Hanchomon Gate should be a part of your travel plans in Yamaguchi. The history of the Hanchomon Gate started when the Mori Clan changed the capital by transferring the seat to Yamaguchi from Hagi. The gate became the entrance to their domain’s headquarters. The building has since been destroyed, but the gate survived.


  • Availability: Daily
  • Time: Open anytime
  • Activity: Sightseeing cultural
  • Fee: Free entrance

6. Akama Shrine

The Akama Shrine can easily be distinguished of its red color theme. In the many shrines in the Yamaguchi prefecture, most appeared in earth tones and the Akama Shrine is one of the red colored shrines in the area. You’ll get to see a scenic view of the Kanmon Strait from the 13 story pagoda, which is said to have been built to offer prayers to God.

7. Kaikyo Yume Tower

Considered to be the highest building in the area, just ten-minute walk from JR Shimonoseki station, the Kaikyo Yume Tower is a popular tourist destination in Yamaguchi. Make sure you get to reach the 30th floor and get a spectacular view of the Kanmon Straits. The place has sometimes been referred as a Lover’s sanctuary, where on the 28th floor; you get to pray for love.


  • Local Name: Kaikyo Yume Tower
  • Address: 3 Chome-3-1 Buzendacho, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture 750-0018, Japan
  • Phone: 0832-31-5600
  • Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm
  • Website: http://www.kaikyomesse.jp

8. Kanmon Pedestrian Tunnel

You’re visiting in Yamaguchi will not be complete if you will not walk and cross the Kanmon Pedestrian Tunnel. Crossing the tunnel is an exhilarating and memorable experience as you would be able to travel across (the sea) towards Honshu from Kyushu in less than twenty minutes. The underwater tunnel is ingenious structure by the Japanese. It is even used as a running track by other people.


  • Availability: Daily
  • Time: Open
  • Activity: Walking, Trekking
  • Fee: none

9. Kintaikyo Bridge

Kintaikyo bridge yamaguchi
Source: ranpie

Make sure to include a visit to the Kintaikyo Bridge in Yamaguchi, a highly regarded architectural masterpiece. It is a wooden bridge made up of five arches. The best time to visit the Kintaikyo Bridge is on spring season so you can have a great view of the cherry blossom trees at the river banks.


  • Availability: Daily
  • Time: 9am to 5pm
  • Activity: Sightseeing, Architecture
  • Fee: 300 Yen

10. Akiyoshido Cave

Akiyoshido Cave yamaguchi
Source: Sean

Akiyoshido Cave is one of the best caves to explore in Japan and considered to be the biggest limestone cave in Eastern Asia. It is large, wide and spectacular that words wouldn’t be able to describe as you enter the jaw-dropping cave. If you didn’t have the chance to study geography extensively, this is a great way to be intrigued by the natural formation of nature.


  • Local Name: Akiyoshido Cave
  • Address: Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
  • Phone:+81 837-62-0305
  • Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm
  • Website: http://www.karusuto.com

11. Iwakuni Castle

Iwakuni Castle yamaguchi
Source: Norio Namura

You may want to include visiting some castles in Japan to appreciate the ancient beauty and majesty of these architectural wonders. One such castle is the Iwakuni Castle, which interestingly is located on the top of the mountain. Inside, you’ll see awesome exhibits such as battle gears, swords, spears and other weapons. You’ll also get a panoramic view of the city of Iwakuni.


  • Local Name: 岩国城 Iwakuni-jō
  • Address: Japan, 〒741-0081 Yamaguchi Prefecture, Iwakuni, 横山3丁目
  • Phone: 0827-41-1477
  • Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm
  • Website: http://www.city.hiroshima.lg.jp/kikaku/kikaku/vi/chiikikankoken/en/top.html

12. Yamaguchi Fun Trail Run

There’s no exciting way to spend summer in Yamaguchi than to participate in a fun trail run activity with your friends and family. A trail run seminar is usually held during May to introduce beginners to the fresh green plateau of the area. The trail running race is held around October. Learn how to climb from the base and surface running techniques from top runners.


  • Availability: May, October
  • Session: Morning and Afternoon
  • Address: Yamaguchi Prefecture
  • Website:http://fun-trails.com/

13. Air Self-Defense Festival in Hofu Airport

Do you like to watch some breathtaking stunts by different fighters’ jets and military planes of the Air Self-Defense Department in Japan? The Hofu Airport holds their air defense show on May. If you’re planning a visit this summer, don’t forget to include a visit to Hofu Airport to watch the Self-Defense Airshow.


  • Availability: May
  • Session: Morning and Afternoon
  • Activity: Military Air Show
  • Website: http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/hofukita/

14. Re-Birth Vintage Store

If you’re a big fan of collectible merchandise, you should visit the Re-Birth Vintage Store in Yamaguchi. There are lots of chic items and ultra affordable prices. From vintage fans, art pieces, clothing, apparel, footwear, accessories, coasters, and collectible toys. There’s an eclectic mix of merchandise that you would definitely have something to buy and take home as a souvenir from Yamaguchi.


  • Availability: Daily
  • Time: 9am to 6pm
  • Activity: Shopping, Souvenirs
  • Phone: +81 83-929-3758

15. Knot Dining Bar

One of the best things to do to cap off a trip to a certain city is to eat. One such place in Yamaguchi is the Knot Dining Bar. The restaurant has a good menu line up with favorites such as their sumptuous authentic hamburger and special chicken curry. It’s a great place to take lunch with your loved ones.


  • Local Name: Knot Dining Bar
  • Address: 2-26, Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi
  • Best Dishes: Chicken Curry, Pasta
  • Opening Hours: 9am to 10pm

Yamaguchi is a beautiful place and worth exploring for an extended period in your backpacking trips. You’ll be amazed by the scenery and panoramic views in Yamaguchi that you would want to come back again in the future.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Chugoku Region, Japan, Yamaguchi Prefecture