Yamaguchi prefecture is located in the Island of Honshu, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Western Japan with its many attractions that encompasses culture, history and traditions. If you ever find yourself in this section of the country, be sure not to miss out on the following sights and activities, all of which will surely make your trip to Japan one great travelling experience.
Culture, Traditions and Festivals
Japanese culture is popular for a lot of things, and if you visit Yamaguchi, you’re bound to enjoy and experience most of them. Taking part in an authentic Japanese festival or celebration is a great way to really immerse yourself in their culture. There are various festivals held in different times of the year, and some of the most famous ones include the Goldfish Lantern Festival where Giant goldfish lanterns are paraded in the streets; the Yamaguchi Gion Festival which signifies the starts of summer; and the Simonoseki Bakan Festival which is the prefectures largest celebration, attracting more than 5,000 visitors with its street market, free shows and live concerts.
Yamaguchi is also known for the many onsen or hot springs scattered around the prefecture. It is one of the prefecture’s offerings that has gained them popularity in the field of health tourism because of their acclaimed pro-health properties. The Hagi Onsen Hot Spring Village for example, prides itself for the many minerals found in their hot springs like calcium, radon, and boric acid to name a few. The Ofuku Onsen Hot Spring on the other hand uses natural tourmaline (a semi-precious mineral which accordingly helps detoxify the body) in its circulating waters, and thus alleviates muscular and joint pains. So when in Yamaguchi, forego the hotel spa and head on the hot springs.
Japan’s history is as colourful as it gets, and much of it is reflected in the many historical sites and remains that still stand until today. One such structure is the Rurikouji Temple in Yamaguhi Shikozan Cho. This five-storey pagoda was constructed in the 15th century and is considered to be one of the most beautiful pagodas ever built in Japan. Taking a walk in and around the pagoda is like travelling back in time, as you find yourself surrounded by lush gardens and clear water ponds. Another famous landmark of Yamaguchi is the Kintaikyo Bridge. This walking bridge which was built during the Meiji and Taisho era is not like any other bridge that you normally see. This particular bridge is a series of five arched bridges made of wood and crosses over Nishikigawa River. It stretches for almost 200 meters and is a fine example of the beauty and strength of Japanese architecture.
So if you’re tired of the usual tourist destinations of Japan like Tokyo and Osaka, why not give Yamaguchi a try? This section of Western Japan is filled with so many quaint and charming attractions, all of which are bound to make your trip to the area memorable.
Photo by isadocafe on Flickr