Apr 1, 2014
Though many come here to visit the famed Yuda Onsen, this fascinating city also has many attractions that pay tribute to notable historcal figures.
Flanked on both sides by lush greenery during the spring months, the first glimpse of the five-storied Ruriko-ji temple is breathtaking. Yamaguchi City’s most prominent symbol has its origins in the 16th century when a Samurai built a similar structure to hold memorial services for his family members.
While Buddhism has been and still is the predominant religion in Japan, Christianity enjoyed a brief period of popularity before it was outlawed in 1589. The St Francis Xavier Memorial Church was built to commemorate St Francis Xavier’s mission to Yamaguchi City in 1551 where he spent six months. Of special interest are the beautiful stained glass windows depicting Christian imagery in a contemporary style.
Another attraction not to be missed is Saikoutei Ryotei. As the most luxurious Ryotei (luxurious traditional Japanese restaurant) in Yamaguchi, Saikotei – which operated for 126 years from 1878 – played host to many Prime Ministers and other key government officials. It reopened in 2004 as a museum, and is home to the calligraphy writings of Prime Ministers and members of the nobility.
The Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) serves as an educational centre meant to help cultivate creativity in adults and children. Its cavernous spaces make it suitable for the showcasing of media installations, including those of famed musician Ryuichi Sakamoto.
When you’ve had your fill of history and culture, it’s time to fill your stomach! A 15-minute drive out of the city will take you to the Yamaguchi Narutaki Kogen Brewery, located in the picturesque countryside. This microbrewery offers four varieties of beer: pilsner, wheat ale, pale ale, and stout, along with a European menu that uses locally-sourced ingredients.
There’s no better place to try one of Japan’s most famous delicacies, Fugu or puffer fish, than at Shimonoseki. Be sure to head to the city during the weekend and drop by Karato Sea Market. That’s when this wholesale market really comes alive, and you’ll get to sample Sushi and Sashimi prepared by stall vendors right before your very eyes.