- Visit the site of banished Christian Martyrs in the historical 'Little Kyoto' area.
- Experience a traditional tea ceremony during a tour of a local tea farm.
- Watch a performance of Kagura, Japan's oldest traditional dance.
- Try your hand at pottery making and enjoy a visit to the Hagi Glass Factory.
- Enjoy a dip in a hot spring after exploring the beautiful Yamaguchi countryside.
Fitness: ★★ Skill: ●
The historical castle and world heritage coastal towns tour is a fully guided tour, suitable for anyone who can walk for more than 5 to 10km in comfort. This 3 day, 2 night tour is suitable for groups of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 people.
This three day guided tour includes visits to the small historical castle town of Tsuwano and the World Heritage listed coastal town of Hagi.
The first day will feature a guided tour of Tsuwano, otherwise known as ‘Little Kyoto’, allowing you to explore the historical town, its castle area and also what was once the site of banished Christian Martyrs. Visit a tea farm to see the tea production process, take part in a traditional tea ceremony and enjoy some tea tasting before heading to the grounds of the Taikodano Inari Shrine to take in a traditional Japanese performance of Kagura dance.
The second day starts with a guided tour of the World Heritage listed town of Hagi, with visits to the Hagi glass factory and a chance to try your hand at pottery making. We will then take a walk to the summit of Mt Kasayama and through a camellia forest before strolling through downtown Hagi’s traditional Edo Period streets.
The final day will take us to Hagi-Okan, a roadway which was once used by Samurai to travel between Hagi and Mitajiri (now known as Hofu). Visit the World Heritage Site of Shoka Sonjuku, the school that was once home to many of the individuals who would play an active role in the Meiji Restoration, before strolling around the beautiful Yamaguchi countryside and visiting Buddhist temples such as Rurikoji, the site of a 600 year old, five-storey pagoda.
The tour will end with a trip to Yudan Onsen, where you can enjoy a relaxing dip in one of their many hot springs.
Facing the azure Sea of Japan to the north, the city of Hagi is surrounded by green mountains and is located in the north central region of Yamaguchi.
Its history is rich, having been recorded in the Kojiki as Abu, one of the five districts of Nagato Province.
Home to Ogawa district, Shouka Sonjuku academy and the historic Sasanami, as well as the Hagi O-Kan highway.
Iwami kagura is a traditional Japanese performance art originating in the Shimane Prefecture’s western Iwami region.
It was originally intended as a means to show gratitude for a successful and bountiful harvest of the five grains, with dedication to the deities enshrined at a shrine.
Its choreography is lively, accented by distinctive sublime poetry and prose
It is now a popular folk art, and many people come to enjoy it.
Located on the border of Shimane and Yamaguchi Prefectures is Tsuwano.
In Japanese, it is characterized as a jokamachi, the term referring urban developments in which a city surrounds a feudal lord’s castle.
It is a town that appears to be frozen in time, as the Tsuwanogawa River flows through its center.
It has a tragic history of Japanese Christians, who were persecuted throughout the Edo and Meiji eras due to their faith.
The first extant record of Yadomi is of a Shinto shrine priest, who attended a festival at Abu Oi Hachimangu Shrine in 1352.
Yadomi Village itself was once known as a place where dragons once walked and several myths persist to this day.
It is said that dragons bestowed upon the villagers 83 treasures, one of which is soba, or buckwheat.
Susa Fishing Village
Formerly known as Susa-cho in the Abu District, This beautiful fishing village lies on the northeastern part of Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Susa was first inhabited around 400-300 BCE by maritime people from the Chinese mainland.
Its name is derived from the Japanese myth of Susanoo-no-Mikoto, the brother of the revered sun goddess Amaterasu. Susanoo-no-Mikoto was banished from heaven and descended to the province of Izumo, located in modern day Shimane Prefecture.
Located near Shimane Prefecture in the far northeastern reaches of Yamaguchi Prefecture we find Esaki, a town on the Sea of Japan.
Esaki is remarkably different than its neighbors Hagi and Masuda in Shimane Prefecture. Those two cities served as the pivotal fulcrum of development for the San’you region. It is perhaps as a result of underdeveloped ties with its neighbors that Esaki has been able to evade the tide of modernization, resulting in perfectly preserved rows of houses, enveloped in the picturesque scenery of a fishing village.
The mountainous terrain of Hagi’s Ogawa district borders on Shimane Prefecture. The origins of Ogawa as a station house on the Nagato by-pass, that linked San’in and San’you in feudal times, can be traced back to the Engishiki . The Engishiki is a 50 volume tome about Japanese laws and customs compiled in the early 10th century.
In the present day, Ogawa has faced depopulation and changes in its the economic structure and distribution mechanisms. Most recently the area was devastated by a deluge in July of 2013. Still, traces of its economic past remain thanks to the sake (Japanese rice wine) production at Sumikawa Brewery, and its famed premium drink “Toyo Bijin” (Beautiful Lady of the Orient).
Sasanami is a farming village located in the southern part of Hagi city. As post-town on the Hagi O-kan Highway, Sasami was home to many teahouses and other rest stops that served traveling daimyo. Its townscape was formed in the 17th century and is rooted in agriculture, taking on its current layout as it developed into a post- town. Since then Sasami remains largely unchanged, with a notable number of buildings and its environment well-preserved.
In 2011, Sasanami joined the districts of Horiuchi, Hiyakomachi and Hamasaki as Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. It is worth mentioning that this is a distinguishing honor that can only be matched by the old capital of Kyoto.
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