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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

YAMAGUCHI Hofu

A powerful samurai clan's base, with one of the most spectacular shrines in Japan

Located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Hofu faces the Suo Sea and the Seto Inland Sea. The city has long been associated with the lords of the Choshu Domain (the old name for Yamaguchi Prefecture), the powerful Mori clan. The clan built their main residence and a garden here. There's also a magnificent shrine that dates back to the 10th century here, Hofu Tenman-gu, and a museum that chronicles the Mori clan's history.

Don't Miss

  • Stunning Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine
  • Mori-shi Garden and the Mori Museum
  • Suo Kokubunji Temple, built in the 8th century

How to Get There

You can reach the general vicinity of Hofu via rail and air.

Shin-Yamaguchi Station is accessible via the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo in four and a half hours and Osaka in two hours. Flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo reach Yamaguchi Ube Airport in one and a half hours. From Shin-Yamaguchi Station in Yamaguchi City, take the JR Sanyo line train in the direction of Iwakuni to JR Hofu Station.

A shrine dedicated to improving the mind

The grand Tenmangu shrine known as Hofu Tenman-gu was Japan's first dedicated to the god of learning, Tenjin, the deified Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), was a scholar, poet, and politician of the Heian period. Just passing through the gates, you already have a sense that Hofu Tenman-gu is a very special place. Many lords and ladies have walked the stone steps leading up to the shrine since it was constructed in the 10th century.

Bamboo festooned with streamers and wishes line the path to the shrine on July 7th for Tanabata Festival

Hofu Tenman-gu Shrine is one of the Three Great Tenmangu shrines

A museum and garden honoring an ancient samurai clan

Rulers of the Choshu Domain for generations, the Mori clan, is central to the history of Yamaguchi. They relocated here after being on the losing side in the Battle of Sekigahara (1600).

Mori-shi Garden and Mori Museum, just two kilometers from Hofu Tenman-gu, have some of the finest gardens in Yamaguchi. This expansive garden has something to offer for every season. Look out over the tranquil lake and admire the colors of the leaves in the fall. The museum presents artifacts including uniforms, writings, and artwork associated with the clan.

Suo Kokubunji Temple

This 8th-century Buddhist temple is very quiet but has a number of very striking buildings to see. For the history buff, this is the only surviving Kokubunji Temple to retain its original layout. Kokubunji Temples were founded in every province in Japan in the 8th century to promote Buddhism.

Spiritual sites central to the history of Yamaguchi

Like many places in Hofu, Suo Kokubunji Temple has a strong connection to the rulers of the Choshu Domain, the Mori clan. Several of the buildings at this temple, including the imposing gates, were reconstructed with the support of the Mori lords.

To navigate and see the various main sites in Hofu, plan to visit for at least a few hours, or longer if you are a history buff.

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