By Mandy Bartok
Hagi is a historical World Heritage City, located around 2 hours from Yamaguchi-Ube Airport. The airport is easily accessible with JAL offering four flights to Haneda Airport each day. Once you touch down in Yamaguchi, you can take a taxi for around 3,600 yen (please make an advanced reservation at 0838-22-0942, Japanese language only) or take a bus to Shin-Yamaguchi Station and transfer to the bus bound for Higashi-Hagi.
Historically, Hagi was the epicenter of modernization in Yamaguchi; and during the Edo Period it was the capital city of the feudal Choshu domain. The architecture and streetscape of Hagi is virtually untouched since this period and when compared to other historic castle towns, Hagi is revered for its quiet and authentic Japanese atmosphere.
Come and join this tour where you can experience the traditions of historical Hagi, the home of feudal lords and wandering samurai.
Experience Hagi Pottery
Why not take a stroll around the historical castle town in kimono and revive the spirit of Edo? You can rent kimono and summer yukata from cafes and kimono shops in the castle town and Edoya Yokocho.
Choose a kimono to suit your taste, then explore the traditional streets and imagine what life was like in the Edo period!
2-39, Hagi City, Gofukucho / +81-838-21-7000 / Closed on Thursdays, open for national holidays
From 3,980 yen
Around 20 minutes
*For group reservations, please proceed at least 2-3 weeks before.
Around 15 minutes
Around 15 minutes
Yukata wearing only
Around 10 minutes
* Please make a reservation before the experience day, otherwise we might decline your request. Please bring your own tabi (split-toe socks) or buy them in the shop.
3 Shimogoken-machi, Hagi City / +81-838-22-6169 / Closed on Wednesdays
For komon (fine pattern)
Around 15 minutes
For nishakusode (formal type)
* Please make a reservation at least three days before the experience and pick out your kimono from our website. Please bring your own tabi (split-toe socks) or buy them in the shop.
Walk around Hagi's old downtown
The town of Hagi is a "museum without a roof." In fact, a municipal project has been launched under the name of "Machijyu Hakubutsukan" to further preserve and hand over the local social, cultural, and natural heritage to the next generations. You are invited to walk through the districts of this historical town.
The Ruins of Hagi Castle - Shizuki Park
The Hagijo Castle was constructed on the foot of Mt. Shizukiyama by Terumoto Mori in 1604, and was therefore also known as Shizukijo. Thanks to its location, it is categorized in the group of hirayamajos. It was composed of a hommaru/tenshukaku (tower keep), aninomaru (intermediary bailey), sannomaru (outermost bailey), and tsumemaru (citadel). The tsumemaru, almost independent from the other elements, is located at the top of Mt. Shizukiyama. In 1874, all the wood constructions, including tenshukaku and yagura (both forming the tower keep together), were broken down by the government.
Therefore, today, only the stone walls and a portion of the fosse testify the location of the castle. In 1967, this site, with surrounding areas, was listed on the National Register of Historical Sites. In 1879, at the location where the old hommaru was standing, a shrine (Shizukiyama Jinja) was constructed to honor the successive lords of Hagi Domain.
On that occasion, lands of a total of 200,000 m2 of the ancient castle premises were transformed into a public park (Shizukikoen). This is the site where in spring, species of cherry tree, such as several midoriyoshino trees (the local prefecture's protected species, found nowhere but here) and more than 600 someiyoshino trees are in full bloom.
- Address: Horiuchi, Hagi
- ☎ +81-838-25-1826
- Entry: adults (over 16 years): 210 yen; children (elementary school/junior high school students): 100 yen
- Open: 08:00-18:30 from April to October; 08:30-16:30 from November to February; 08:30-18:00 from March. Open daily.
Pier for Sightseeing Boat
The Hagi Hakkei Tour Boat follows a 40-minute round-trip route. The tour starts from the Shizukibashi Bridge, passes by the canal near the Hagijo Castle ruins, enters the main branch of the Hashimotogawa River and returns to the starting point. This tour boat offers passengers the sight of the residences once lived in by samurais in the Horiuchi and Hiyakono preservation district of historic buildings. Passengers can listen to the boatman’s explanation (in Japanese) of the sites and have time to enjoy the interesting aspects of the town.
- Address: Horiuchi, Hagi, Hagi Sightseeing Boat Office (boarding point)
- ☎ +81-838-21-7708
- Fares: adults (over 12 years): 1,200 yen; children (3-12 years [elementary school students]): 600 yen
- Cruising: 09:00-17:00 from March to October (application before 16:00; last cruise starting at 16:20); 09:00-16:30 from November (application before 15:00; last cruise starts at 15:30)
The house of the merchant Kikuya who provided services to the Hagi clan was constructed early in the Edo Era. The house was assigned as the honjin (accommodation base) for the Tokugawa government's junkenshi (field survey inspectors). The premises contain warehouses, annexes, and other buildings of which the main house, the principal warehouse, the treasury, the rice warehouse, and the kitchen house have been listed on the National Register of Important Cultural Properties.
Address: Gofukumachi, Hagi ☎ +81-938-22-0005
Entry: adults: 600 yen; youth (junior/senior high school students): 300 yen ; children (elementary school students): 200 yen Open: 08:30-17:15. Closed 31 December.
Kubota Family Old Residence
The Kubota House, whose owners were drapers or brewers, was first built in a late period of the Edo Era. It consists of a main house, a gate, walls, and an annex which all face the Kikuya House with Onarimichi Street in between. The main building of the Kubota House has a tsushinikai (pseudo-second story) that is actually an assembly of warehouses and sleeping rooms for employees in the attic. This construction makes the house higher than the main building of the Kikuya House. This difference of height corresponds to the difference of construction dates between these two houses. The main building of the Kubota House presents more advanced architectural designs, structures, and techniques. Used up to the middle of the Meiji Era, this house reminds us of the owners' business successes in brewery. The house is one of the most important buildings which comprise the historical Hagijo Castle Jokamachi. There is a permanent-resident guide on the premises.
- Address: Gofukumachi, Hagi
- Open: 09:00-17:00. Open daily.
- Entry: 100 yen
Hagi is a traditional world heritage city you can reach from Tokyo's Haneda Airport in just 2 hours:
- Take a taxi from the Yamaguchi-Ube Airport where there are four flights per day from Haneda Airport.
- Take a bus from the Airport to Shin-Yamaguchi Station and take another bus bound for Higashi-Hagi).
- If you take a taxi, you have to make a reservation in advance (+81-838-22-0924) and there is no English service. A one-way trip costs 3600 yen.
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