【1】 Kintai-kyo bridge
|Address||1 Iwakuni, Iwakuni 741-0062, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
The Kintaikyo bridge is one of the most iconic landmark in Iwakuni and is one of the oldest bridge in Japan. It is close enough to Hiroshima and Miyajima Island that it is easy to visit from either place.
There is a very convenient bus that goes between the JR Iwakuni Train Station, the Kintaikyo Bridge and the Iwakuni JR Shinkansen Station. The bus stops across the street from the bridge and is very timely and inexpensive. Kikko-koen (Kikko Park) on the other side of the bridge is also very much worth the time to stroll through any time of the year. The tram that goes to the top if the mountain to Iwakuni Castle is a bonus and should not be missed.
|Address||Yokoyama, Iwakuni 740-0001, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:00 AM – 4:45 PM|
the original castle was constructed in 1608 but only lasted few years before ruling Shogunate put it for demolished. Today’s castle is a reconstructed one, 4 storeys castle keeps with a small museum within. The castle small history museum contains armor, weapons, and other artifacts of the Kikkawa family. As most castle museum there is a good collection of samurai swords too.
The site of the castle was chosen for its natural defensive location on top of Mount Shiroyama and there’s even a natural moat the Nishiki River flowing by its side.
A ropeway provides access to Iwakuni Castle. The ropeway’s lower station is at one end of kiko Park and just within 10 minutes walk from the Kintaikyo Bridge.
There are two routes up to the castle; one route traces a path around the back of Iwakuni Castle strolling through a wooded area and smoother while another takes you a direct way to Iwakuni Castle before you head up some difficult steps.!
【3】Akiyoshi Limestone Caves
|Name||Akiyoshi Limestone Caves|
|Address||Shuhocho Akiyoshi | Kurotani Entrance, Mine 754-0511, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
A very peaceful place and you can take lots of time to venture into the limestone cave. It’s a plus point that there are English audio descriptions near the more famous formations in the caves. Just press the button for English and enjoy the view while the vocal illustration reverberates in the cave.
From end to end, you can expect to take a slow 45 mins stroll (with stops along the way). At the end, you can take an elevator to the Akiyoshidai Plateau (though you do have to trek slightly upwards for another 20 mins to actually reach the plateau)
【4】Ruins of Hagi Castle
|Name||Ruins of Hagi Castle|
|Address||1-1 Horiuchi, Hagi 758-0057, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||8:30AM – 4:30PM|
If you like atmosphere and exploring mysterious locales away from the tourist hordes, this is the place for you. A word to the wise – bug spray is highly recommended, especially if you’re planning to hike to the top of the mountain.
The ruins of the castle are picturesque and lovely, and the reconstructed buildings are definitely worth a visit. But the real highlight for me was the hidden contemporary sculpture park, accessible from the main ruins by veering right soon after entering. How is this site not better known?! A must for photographers or contemporary art enthusiasts—a beautiful sculpture park without the crowds.
【5】Motonosumi Inari Shrine
|Name||Motonosumi Inari Shrine|
|Address||498 Yuyatsuo, Nagato 759-4712, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||sunrise to sunset|
This shrine is very unique and I must see for anybody visiting the Yamaguchi area. It is quite difficult to get to but hopefully this will change if it becomes more popular. It was not very well known before but everything changed in 2015 when it was selected one of the 31 most beautiful scene in Japan by CNN.
You’ll have a great experience throwing donations into the box at the top of the gate and the views are simply breathtaking! To get there, you had to drive or take a taxi from the nearest JR station.
|Address||Yudaonsen, Yamaguchi 753-0056, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||depends on the establishment|
The discovery of this Onsen is associated with the story of a wounded fox. This is why you can find many statues of fox in this town. Some Japanese inns offer the possibility for tourists to take the bath without overnight: this is called “Higaeri Nyuyoku”. You should definitely try it.
From Shin-Yamaguchi Shinkansen station, take a local train for Yamaguchi, and get off at one station before Yamaguchi!
|Address||Kozancho | Inside Kayama Park, Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||24 hours|
The pagoda castle is located in eco-friendly environment, well managed with numerous visitor services at the site like souvenir shops, restaurants and interpretation/guiding services. This was built in 15th century, and is one of the three major 5-storied pagodas in Japan. You’ll also find a koi pond right under the pagoda.
|Name||Kaikyokan (Shimonoseki Aquarium)|
|Address||6-1 Arukapoto, Shimonoseki 750-0036, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:30AM – 5:30PM|
A very well designed aquatic centre with loats of interesting fishy exhibits, the giant ocean sun fish, the massive almost prehistoric amazon river fish and the massive variety of puffer fish are highlights but there are a lot to see.
The aquarium itself is not so big as the Osaka one but it has a collection of more than 100 types of puffer fish known as Fuku in Japanese language. There is also a small area for sea show but it’s only one round a day (please check the schedule on official the page).
|Address||Koen-ku, Shunan 745-0874, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
Tokuyama Zoo is an old and rundown zoo that is still making its way to shine again. The petting zoo spot is a lot better than the rest of the area. Its transformation is really taking so much time but it is understandable enough. We only want the best for the habitats of the zoo.
The entrance fee is around ¥600 or you can get a 1 year passport for only ¥1,500. One thing that is satisfying about this zoo is the feeling of strong connection to the animals in a close distance.
|Address||1138-1 Hekinaka, Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture 759-4402|
|Operating Hours||24 hours|
Senjojiki is located on top of a hill and there is a good view of the rice fields near Nagato-Furuichi Station. It got slightly foggy which was quite interesting. You can also see some birds (eagles or falcons maybe) circling the skys. This is definitely worth a visit if you visit Nagato city!
You may want to visit this spot after visiting Motonosumi Inari as this place is just a short drive from the Inari. Plenty of parking space available and there is actually a cafe here where you can take relaxing time aside from the beautiful view.