An ancient city called the “Kyoto of the West.” Dotted with temples and shrines designated as important cultural properties.
Yamaguchi City is located nearly in the center of Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is the center of the local administration. Built in the middle of the 14th century by a warlord in the Ouchi family in imitation of Kyoto, then the capital of Japan, the city was called the “Kyoto of the West” and it prospered.
The five-storied pagoda of Ruriko-ji Temple in Kozan-koen Park, a 31.2-meter-tall national treasure built in the 15th century, is a reflection of the Kyoto culture adopted by the warlord Ouchi. Yasaka-jinja Shrine was erected in the 14th century as a branch of Yasaka-jinja Shrine in Kyoto and relocated to where it is now in the middle of the 19th century. The Yamaguchi Gion-matsuri Festival, modeled after the Gion-matsuri Festival in Kyoto, is staged at the shrine every summer, and the Sagimai Shinji (a ritual heron dance) is dedicated to the shrine.
Also in Kozan-koen Park are historic buildings like the Rosan-do, a bower built for the Mori family that ruled this area in the middle of the 19th century, and the ‘uguisu-bari,’ the “singing” stone pavement that emits sounds when walked upon that echo throughout the whole neighborhood. Next to the park is Toshun-ji Temple where the graves of the Mori family are located.
Ima-Hachiman-gu Shrine, said to be an ancient shrine already in existence before the Ouchi family arrived to rule Yamaguchi, features the architectural style peculiar to the Yamaguchi region with the entrance gate, front shrine and main shrine all standing in a straight line. It is designated as an important cultural property of Japan.