Yamaguchi Prefecture (山口県 Yamaguchi-ken) is in the western Chugoku region of the main Japanese island Honshu. It is the westernmost prefecture in the island.
Situated at Honshu's westernmost tip, Yamaguchi Prefecture is largely rural. It is well-known as having produced 8 of Japan's Prime Ministers, more than any other prefecture. Choshu Domain (one of the prefecture's former names) was instrumental in defeating the shogunate and establishing the new government during the Meiji Restoration.
- 1 Yamaguchi - the prefectural capital
- 2 Hagi - one of the most beautiful castle towns in Japan
- 3 Hofu - old city with a famous shrine which is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, kami of scholarship
- 4 Iwakuni - castle town with the beautiful bridge "Kintaikyo"
- 5 Mine
- 6 Sanyo-Onoda
- 7 Shimonoseki - historical city guarding the Straits of Kanmon, and the largest city in the prefecture
- 8 Ube - modern city with sculpture, park and airport
- 9 Yanai - city with culturally important Shirakabe No Machi
- 1 Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park
- 2 Shunan
People speak Yamaguchi Dialect, which is very similar to the dialect that is spoken in Tokyo, but the vocabulary is somewhat different.
When you get in Yamaguchi prefecture, you may see the sign of "Oidemase (おいでませ)", meaning "Yokoso" or "Welcome" in Yamaguchi Japanese.
In Iwakuni, there is an American base, so some people understand English well. But in other areas, especially in rural areas, few people understand English well. So learning some basic Japanese phrases will help you so much.
In Shimonoseki, there are many Koreans. You will find some signs and guides written in Korean. You might also find people who speak Korean if you try.
- 1 Yamaguchi Ube Airport (UBJ IATA). The prefectural airport is in Ube city. Yamaguchi Ube Airport regularly connects to Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. Both JAL and ANA are offering the flights from Haneda to Ube. It's about 90 minutes' flight from Haneda to Ube.
- 2 Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport (IWK IATA). Service to Tokyo-Haneda and Naha.
There are five shinkansen stations in this prefecture: Shin-Shimonoseki, Asa, Shin-Yamaguchi, Tokuyama and Shin-Iwakuni.
Several ferries depart from Shimonoseki Port International Terminal:
- The Kampu ferry to Busan in South Korea regularly.
- The Orient ferry to Qingdao in China regularly.
- The Orient ferry to Shanghai in China regularly.
- Walk across Kintai-kyo Bridge, one of the nation's most iconic and picturesque bridges (Iwakuni)
- Explore the Akiyoshido Caverns then traverse Akiyoshidai Karst landscape above (Mine)
- Meditate around Joeiji Temple's Sesshu garden (Yamaguchi)
- Visit Ganryujima where Musashi Miyamoto defeated his rival Kojiro Sasaki (Shimonoseki)
- Fugu. Yamaguchi prefecture is famous for its Fugu (Globe fish).
- Kawarasoba. This is a kind of soba (buckwheat noodle) boiled, stir-fried, and put on a tile together with beef, liver, shredded omelet (kinshi-tamago), spring onion and lemon. The famous restaurant of this soba is in Kawatana Grand Hotel.
Bars are concentrated in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi and Shunan.
- Kitakyushu on Kyushu island is just 650m from Shimonoseki. You can walk under the Kanmon strait through an undersea tunnel.
- Miyajima is twenty minutes' ride on train from Iwakuni.