A region on the Seto Inland Sea coastline that features Tenman-gu Shrine, dedicated to the sacred god of learning.
Situated in the south of Yamaguchi, Hofu faces the Sea of Suo in the Seto Inland Sea. Hofu was the center of the Suo area until the end of the 19th century, during the time when Yamaguchi was still divided into the Suo and Nagato districts. The region is blessed with a mild climate, and has prospered since the 7th century.
Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine, founded in the 10th century and dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, a scholar and a politician who came to be widely known as a god of learning, is the oldest of Japan's three Tenjin (grand shrines dedicated to the deified spirit of Michizane). Within the precinct of the shrine is the Hofu Tenman-gu Historical Museum, in which a number of treasures are on display, including eight important cultural properties.
To the east of the shrine sits Suo Kokubun-ji Temple, built in obedience to the Emperor Shomu's wish in the 8th century. Its main hall, Kon-do, a national important cultural property, was rebuilt by Mori Terumoto, a ruler of the region from the 16th to the 17th century.
The Mori family ruled over the region for generations and had its residence and garden built there early in the 20th century using the best building and construction techniques available in those days. The residence is located to the northwest of Suo Kokubun-ji Temple, with the Mori Museum standing in a corner, and the nearby garden is designated as a scenic spot.
[Air] 1h 30 min from Haneda to Yamaguchi Ube Airport, and 30 min from the airport to Shin-Yamaguchi Station by bus. 16 min from Shin-Yamaguchi to Hofu Station by JR Sanyo Line.
[Rail] 4h 30 min from Tokyo to Shin-Yamaguchi Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 16 min from Shin-Yamaguchi to Hofu Station by JR Sanyo Line.
[Rail] 2h from Shin-Osaka to Shin-Yamaguchi Station by Shinkansen.