Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Yamaguchi
Population
1,528,107

Yamaguchi

Building bridges old and new

The departure point for Kyushu and Korea, Yamaguchi bridges the urban and rural, the traditional and modern.

At the western tip of Honshu, Yamaguchi Prefecture is the last point on the main island before you reach idyllic Kyushu and the tropical island paradise of Okinawa. You can literally walk to Kyushu from Yamaguchi, which is also a gateway between Japan and South Korea, offering a daily ferry service to and from Busan.

The pace is generally laid-back, though thrill-seekers can get their fill petting Iwakuni’s famous albino snakes or trying Shimonoseki’s potentially fatal dish of fugu (blowfish).

Kintaikyo Bridge in Yamaguchi, Japan.

One of the most scenic spots in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Bordered by both the rural San-in and the industrialized San-yo coastlines, Yamaguchi was once seen as an alternative capital to Kyoto and played a major part in the ending of Japan’s shogun rule. History-buffs should head to historic Hagi City to see the origins of the Meiji Restoration. Samurai quarters and castle ruins make up the town’s picturesque streets. Hagi is also famous for pottery which you can try making at the local craft center.

Iwakuni Castle and Kintaikyo Bridge

Iwakuni is another worthwhile sightseeing stop on your way through the prefecture. Its star attraction is the arched Kintaikyo Bridge, a reconstructed copy of the original five-arched construction built in 1673. It’s the most popular cherry blossom viewing spot in the prefecture. Like Hagi, you can stroll around the old samurai district and Iwakuni castle, stopping for a quick thrill in one of the albino snake-viewing facilities.

Iwakuni Castle in Yamaguchi Japan

Iwakuni Castle.

Head to the Akiyoshidai plateau near Yamaguchi City to see limestone pillars sticking up through the ground like rocky weeds, as well as the largest limestone cave in Japan at Akiyoshido underneath.

What to Eat in Yamaguchi

The narrow Kanmon strait separates Kyushu from Shimonoseki City, the end of the line for Japan’s main island. It’s about 15 minutes’ walk from one to the other through an area steeped in imperial history.

You can either climb or take the ropeway up Mount Hinoyama for some stunning views from the edge of Honshu.

Shimonoseki is also known as the fugu capital of Japan and is probably the safest place to try this deadly cuisine. Less fatal fish is available at the Karato Ichiba fish market, though you’ll have to wake up at an eye-watering 4 a.m. to get in on the action.

Plan your trip to Yamaguchi with the locations below!

Trivia

What to Eat in Yamaguchi

From the delicacy of blowfish to what the old mountain bandits ate, this

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Places to visit

Kintaikyo Bridge in Yamaguchi, Japan.

Kintaikyo Bridge

One of the most iconic bridges in Japan and Iwakuni's most popular cherry blossom viewing spot.


Shimonoseki

The blowfish capital of Japan.

Hofu

Naked men at the forgotten city.


Tokiwa Park

Japan's white pelicans have a home at this lakeside gem.

 Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park

Fascinating fossils and charming chasms.


Yuda Onsen

An epically fox-blessed town.

Hagi

Birthplace of the Meiji Restoration and Japan’s Industrial Revolution.


Tsunoshima

A famous photo spot with hidden wonders.

Yamaguchi City

Discover this old-fashioned capital packed with sacred places and a few surprises.


Yanai Goldfish Lantern Festival

Giant glowing goldfish are paraded through this cute town.

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Yamaguchi

From the delicacy of blowfish to what the old mountain bandit legends ate, this is the Yamaguchi foods crash course!


Nijigahama Beach

Southern Japan's beautiful beach in technicolor.

iwakuni castle

Iwakuni Castle

Yamaguchi's historical masterpiece protected by an unlikely hero.

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