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Yamaguchi city

YamaguchiMap of Yamaguchi cityYamaguchi city is located near the center of Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is the prefectural capital.
It is the city of politics and education rather than economy in this prefecture.
So it don't have so large population. (About 200 thousand)

In the 14-16th centuries, Oouchi family governed this region based in Yamaguchi city.
A great civil war occured in Kyoto in 1467, then Oouchi received many people of culture who escaped from Kyoto. So the culture in Kyoto flowered in this city, and Yamaguchi was called "Western Kyoto".

Also, Francisco de Xavier (1506-1552) who was the first missionary of Christianity to Japan performed missionary work in Yamaguchi in 1551.
And the Japan's first Christmas party was held in Yamaguchi in 1552.

From the late 16th century, Moori family governed this area.
But they built the castle to govern in Hagi city, so Yamaguchi city lost the function of the center of politics.
Instead, this city had prospered as the key junction between Hagi and Seto Inland Sea side for about 260 years.

But in 1864, just before the end of feudal era, the government of this prefecture was moved from Hagi to Yamaguchi.
From the era down to modern times, Yamaguchi has been the central city of the politics in this prefecture.

There is no route bus in Yamaguchi city.
To visit the following spots, we must use taxi or walk from the station.
Or, we can use the half-day tour bus. It visit some of the spots, but it is operated only from early Match to the end of November.

Yamaguchi City office, Torism Division offocial website

Rurikoji temple /1/

RurikojiIt is a Soto Zen temple located about 2.5 km north of JR Yamaguchi station, and is at the foot of mountains.
The original temple was founded in the end of the 14th century by Oouchi family, and the five-story pagoda was built in 1442.
The pagoda is 31.2 meters high, and is designated as a national treasure. It is one of the important five-story pagodas along with Horyuji's in Nara and Daigoji's in Kyoto, and is the symbol of Yamaguchi city.

There is Kozan Park around this temple, and it has some historic spots such as Kozan-bosho (tombs of the lords), Chinryutei (a house where the samurais had a meeting to overthrow Edo Government in 1867).

Yamaguchi Prefecture Government Archives Museum /2/

Yamaguchi Prefecture Government Archives Museum It consist of former Yamaguchi Prefecture Government office building and prefectural assembly house, and is in the site of current Yamaguchi Prefectural Government Office.
Both Western-style buildings were completed in 1916, and are designated as national important cultural properties.
They had been used until 1984, and are a museum now.

Yamaguchi Daijingu shrine /3/

Yamaguchi Daijingu It is a Shinto Shrine, and is located about 0.3 km west of Yamaguchi Prefectural Government Office.
This shrine was founded in 1520 by Oouchi family, as a branch shrine of Ise Shrine.
Like Ise Shrine, this shrine consists of Naikuu (Inner shrine) and Gekuu (Outer shrine).
In Edo Period (1603-1868), this was the only branch shrine of Ise Shrine, so many worshippers who were too far to visit Ise came here.

Ichinosaka River /4/

Ichiniosaka River It is a small river flowing through the central Yamaguchi city.
In the 14th century, when Oouchi family constructed the city, they used this river to resemble Kamo River in Kyoto.
So Yamaguchi has been called "Western Kyoto".
The cherry blossoms along this river are beautiful in spring, and many fireflies fly in the evening in early summer.

Yasaka Shrine /5/

Yasaka Shrine It is a Shinto shrine, and is located about 0.7 km east of Yamaguchi Prefectural Government Office.
This shrine was founded in 1369 by Oouchi family, as a branch shrine of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto.
The main shrine was built in 1519.

Ryufukuji temple /6/

Ryufukuji temple It is a a Soto Zen temple located near Yasaka Shrine.
It was founded in 1206 by Oouchi family. Originally, it was a temple of Rinzai Zen sect, but changed to Soto sect in 1454.
The temple was destroyed by fire in 1881.
After that, when the temple was rebuilt, Shakado was moved from the other temple to this temple.
It is said that Shakado was built around the 15th century.

Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church /7/

Yamaguchi Xavier memorial Church It is a Catholic Church located about 0.8 km south of Yamaguchi Prefectural Government Office.
The original church was built in 1952 to commemorate the 400 anniversary of Francisco de Xavier's visit to Yamaguchi.
The church was a beautiful traditional building which was built in the image of Xavier Castle in Pamplona in Spain (his birthplace).
But it was destroyed by fire in 1991, then new church was built in 1998.
The new church was designed by an Italian priest and an Italian architect, and the design was completedly novel.
It brought on active debates over its pros and cons, but it became a new spots in Yamaguchi now.

Yuda hot spring resort /8/

Yuda onsen Yuda hot spring resort is in the city of Yamaguchi, and is located about 3 km west of JR Yamaguchi station.
There are several hotels and ryokans, and five foot bathes are in the resort area.
It is the most major hot spring resort on the Seto Inland Sea side of Chugoku District.

Steam locomotive train "Yamaguchi" /9/

Yamaguchi station is on JR Yamaguchi Line.
To preserve discarding steam locomotive in a condition to run, this train has been operated since 1979.
It makes one round trip a day between Shin-Yamaguchi and Tsuwano on Yamaguchi Line (62.9 km), on Saturday, Sunday and holidays from mid-March to November.
The popularity of the train has stayed high.
To enjoy the tour by this train, advance reservations are required.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad

  1. By San'yo Shinkansen, to Shin-Yamaguchi, about 31-34 minutes from Hiroshima, about 2 hours from Shin-Osaka, about 4.5 hours from Tokyo.
  2. Change to Yamaguchi Line at Shin-Yamaguchi. By local train on Yamaguchi Line, about 23 minutes to Yamaguchi.

By airplane

  1. From Yamaguchi Ube Airport, by route bus, about 34 minutes to JR Shin-Yamaguchi station.
  2. From Shin-Yamaguchi, by local train on Yamaguchi Line, about 23 minutes to Yamaguchi.



Five-story pagoda in Rurikoji
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Rurikoji in spring
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yamaguchi Prefecture Government Archives Museum
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yamaguchi Daijingu
Ichinosaka River in spring
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yasaka Shrine
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Ryufukuji
Photo by Railstation.net
Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yuda hot spring resort
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Steam locomotive train "Yamaguchi"
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture

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