A castle town located on the delta of the Abu-gawa River, dotted with traditional Japanese buildings.
Located in the middle of Yamaguchi along the coast of the Sea of Japan, Hagi is a former castle town sitting on the delta of the Abu-gawa River surrounded by mountains on three sides. Its coastal area belongs to Kita-Nagato Coastal Quasi-National Park.
Early in the 17th century, Mori Terumoto, a then samurai ruler, built Hagi Castle at the foot of Mt. Shizuki-yama in the northwest of present-day Hagi, and the area served as the seat of the Yamaguchi Prefectural government until the administration was moved to the city of Yamaguchi in the middle of the 19th century. At the transitional stage of Japan late in the 19th century, Hagi produced many capable men who played leading roles in the construction of modern Japan, including Takayoshi Kido and Hirobumi Ito.
The Hagi Castle Ruins, on which some portions of the castle walls and stone walls remain, is open to the public and today called Shizuki-koen Park. If you go east of the Hagi Castle's outer moat where the castle town once stood, you can see old-time alleys and white storehouses with 'namako' walls covered with square tiles jointed with raised plaster. The area containing three parallel bystreets: Edoya-Yokocho; Iseya-Yokocho; and Kikuya-Yokocho, is where several old-time residences are open to the public, and it is listed as a national historic site as the castle town of Hagi. Horiuchi, east of the remains of the outer castle moat, is an area where high-ranking samurai lived and is designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings.
Also, when you visit Hagi, known for Hagi-yaki pottery, do not miss the Ishii-Chawan (bowl) Museum exhibiting masterpieces of Ko-Hagi (old Hagi) pottery, together with about 130 pieces by contemporary ceramic artists, including bowls and other works.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 30 min from Haneda to Yamaguchi Ube Airport, and 1h 30 min from the airport to Hagi Bus Center by bus.
[Rail] 4h 30 min from Tokyo to Shin-Yamaguchi Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 1h 25 min from Shin-Yamaguchi to Hagi Bus Center by bus.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 2h from Shin-Osaka to Shin-Yamaguchi Station by Shinkansen.