Located about an hour and a half from Haneda Airport, Yamaguchi Prefecture is rich in nature, with a surprisingly large number of photogenic, scenic and Instagrammable gourmet spots.
In this article, I’ll introduce you 15 spots that I recommend to photographers such as Sho Takano, who has a great view of the sunset and is a popular spot for young couples.
And, Yamaguchi is close to Fukuoka so it’s also good to visit from Fukuoka for one day trip.
Let’s take a look at some of the best spots in Yamaguchi Prefecture!
The journey begins as soon as you arrive at Yamaguchi Ube Airport!
I recommend you to rent a car or take taxi in Yamaguchi Prefecture because there is a lot to see and do in the area.
Still, There many places where you can visit via public transportation.
From Yamaguchi-Ube Airport, you can take public transportation to Kusae Station on the JR Ube Line, which is about a 7-minute walk.
If you take a few trains, you can access Hagi, Iwakuni, Shimonoseki and Tsunoshima area.
The flight between Haneda and Yamaguchi-Ube Airport takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
It is served by two major domestic airlines and Star Flyer.
Star Flyer, based in Kitakyushu, is an airline with cool interiors and exteriors and a premium atmosphere.
There are plenty of comfortable facilities that you wouldn’t expect from a domestic flight, such as ample seating space.
And yet, the price is sometimes cheaper than other companies, which is surprising.
With Star Flyer, there are no classifications and you will receive high quality hospitality in every seat.
The leather upholstered seat pitch is one of the largest in the economy class.
Touch monitor, AC power supply, USB socket, footrest, etc.
The emergency exit seat has a recliner and headrest that can’t be moved, but a lumbar cushion is provided.
Once you get on board, you will be addicted to it.
“Kiwa La Beach” Recommended to go at low tide
Yamaguchi Prefecture is dotted with many stunning spots, but first I’ll introduce you a beach not far from the airport.
Kiwa la Beach is a shallow beach to visit at low tide.
The wave-shaped sandy beach that naturally forms when the tide goes down and the reflection of the setting sun are photogenic.
It takes about 20 minutes by car from Yamaguchi Ube Airport and Shin-Yamaguchi Station on the Shinkansen.
At low tide, one of the largest sandbars in Japan appears, about 2km wide and 700m deep.
The east area of the beach has a collection of large rumbling rocks, which can be used effectively to take interesting pictures.
You can easily take instagrammable photos if you take them when it’s windless.
On a windy day, enjoy the wave patterns.
I also recommend visiting before sunrise or during magic hour after sunset!
Address: 54-3, Aza-Kanomae, Higashikinami, Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Kiwa Station on the JR Ube Line
Kirara Beach Yakeno, one of the top 100 sunsets in Japan
Kirara Beach Yakeno is located about a 20-minute drive west of Yamaguchi-Ube Airport.
Kiwa La Beach is facing east, so you can enjoy the west side of the beach in the opposite direction.
The setting sun over Kyushu on the opposite shore is so beautiful that it has been selected as one of the “100 best sunsets in Japan”.
The photo was taken from the walkway in front of the Kirara Exchange Center toward the monument on the central jetty.
The silhouette over the setting sun looks like a scene from a drama.
Of course the setting sun is beautiful, but please enjoy the view after the sun goes down.
The ever-changing color of the sky is a must-see.
At the Spanish restaurant “Sol Poniente“, you can enjoy a romantic dinner while watching the sun set over Kirara Beach Yaeno.
Address：Yakino Kaigan, Sanyo Onoda City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Access: About 10 minutes on foot from Nagato Honzan Station on the JR Onoda Line.
Lots of sunflowers! A sea of flowers(Hana no umi)
San-yo Onoda City in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Hana no Umi, one of the largest system farms in western Japan, is located near Hanyu fishing port overlooking the Kanmon Strait.
As the name implies, the sight of a vast field covered with flowers in full bloom every season is truly a sea of flowers.
The summer sunflower fields are planted at different times of the year, so you can enjoy them from the end of July to the end of August.
The “Sea of Flowers” can be enjoyed throughout the year, and in autumn, you can enjoy the sight of cosmos all over the place.
After enjoying the flower garden, be sure to stop by the management facility.
You can also enjoy sweets made with fruits from the “Sea of Flowers”.
Local farmers and seasonal vegetables harvested from the farm are sold at reasonable prices in the direct sales section.
Address: 3392 Hanyu, Sanyo Onoda City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Telephone number: 0836-79-0092
Business hours: 10:00 – 17:00
Access: 5 minutes by taxi from JR San-yo Main Line “Hanyu Station”.
UBE Biennale, where you can enjoy art and forest bathing
The UBE Biennial, a biennial open-air sculpture public exhibition held in front of the Tokiwa Museum of Greenery, Flowers and Sculpture in Tokiwa Park, is an art event with a history that began in 1961.
It’s held every two years.
After the exhibition, the top winning works will be moved to the city, parks and schools, and the city will always have a chance to view 200 arts from the past years.
The “Ant Castle”(Arino shiro) in the photo was created in 1962 and is a memorable object that all Ube residents have known for a long time.
The exhibition space on the lawn hill changes every year, but this work has been on display for nearly 60 years.
Stylish art that makes you want to take a picture!
In Tokiwa Park, there is a tropical botanical garden, a zoo and an amusement park, which are popular among families.
I recommend lounging on the lawn or taking a walk.
In the spring, it also becomes a cherry blossom viewing spot.
Address: 3-4-1 Norisada, Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Telephone number: 0836-54-0551
Parking: Paid (free for up to 15 minutes)
Access: 15 minutes on foot from JR Ube Line “Tokiwa Station”.
Each facility is closed on Tuesdays.
(If Tuesday is a national holiday, the next day is closed. (Some holidays are irregular.)
Crispy with tiles? Kawara-soba, a specialty of Yamaguchi
Kawara soba is a specialty of Kawadana Onsen in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Original Kawara Soba Takase Honkan has a lovely garden and an atmosphere of an old private house.
The South and East Main Building are also located nearby, so you can use them depending on the crowds and group use.
Kawara soba is an Instagrammable local gourmet dish with tea soba and other ingredients on top of a Japanese tile used as a roof.
Soba made with Uji green tea and Hokkaido buckwheat flour is topped with a vibrant egg, thinly sliced beef, seaweed and lemon slices.
The look and feel of this restaurant is impressive, but the taste is elegant and delicious to the end.
It is slightly sweet and can be dipped in tsuyu (Japanese dashi broth).
Tiles have a far-infrared effect, and because they have excellent heat retention properties, soba can stay hot over time.
The soba noodles gradually become crispy, which is another point of enjoyment.
Address: 5437 Kawatana, Toyoura-cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Phone: 083-772-2680 (Representative)
Opening hours: 11:00 – 20:00 (L.O. 19:30)
Closed: Thursday and Friday
Access: About 5 minutes by taxi from “Kawadana Onsen Station” on the JR Sanyo Honsen Line.
Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge, which stretches across the emerald green sea
The Tsunoshima Bridge is a very popular photogenic spot in recent years.
It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive north from Yamaguchi-Ube Airport.
The bridge leads to Tsunoshima Island, but there is a free parking lot and observation deck in front of the bridge, so stop by by all means.
From the elevated view, you can see not only the Tsunoshima Bridge but also the beautiful sandy beach nearby.
There are restrooms and shops in the parking lot, and a little further to the east is the restaurant “Gabbiano” where you can enjoy lunch and sweets.
Address: Oaza Kanda, Toyokita-cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Access: Approx. 16 minutes by bus from Kottoi Station on the JR San-in Honsen Line, 3 minutes on foot after getting off at Hotel Nishinamon Resort enterance.
Sunset view with Tsunoshima Lighthouse
If you go deeper into Tsunoshima, you will come to the Tsunoshima Lighthouse.
This lighthouse has a long history as it was the first Western-style lighthouse on the Sea of Japan, which was lit up for the first time in 1907.
You can climb to the top if you pay a visit donation.
The northwest side of the lighthouse is maintained as “Tsunoshima Lighthouse Park“.
The area around the park is also home to “Hamayu”, a flower of the higanbana family that blooms from July to September, so it will be more photogenic to take pictures with the setting sun.
Address: 2343-2, Tsunoshima , Oaza, Toyokita-cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Parking lot: Charged
Access: 30 minutes by bus from “Kottoi Station” on the JR San-in Honsen Line, get off at “Todai koen(Lighthouse Park) Mae” and walk about 3 minutes.
The rows of torii are a sight to behold! Motonosumi Shrine
In March 2015, Motonosumi Shrine was named one of CNN’s “31 Most Beautiful Places in Japan” in the United States.
The view of the 123 bright red torii that were dedicated from the top of the cliff to the rocky ground is breathtaking.
You can go inside to the rocky area, so please try to go down there.
If the conditions are good, you can also see the phenomenon of the rising tide, called “Ryugu Squirting”.
Address: 498 Ki, Aburayatsu, Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Telephone number: 0837-26-0708
Access: Approximately 20 minutes by taxi from Nagato Furuichi Station and Hitomaru Station on the JR Sanin Honsen Line.
Emotional reflections! “Higashi ushirobata Terraced rice Fields”
The “Higashishi ushirobata Terraced Rice Field” is a popular photogenic spot with a view of the sea.
Usually, terraced rice paddies are located in mountainous areas, but in this area, the hills on the peninsula are close to the coast, so you can see the Sea of Japan and Aburaya Bay below.
The setting sun and the reflection of the sun on the terraced rice paddies is a magnificent sight!
The terraced paddy fields are beautiful all year round, but the best time to see them is from early May to mid-June when the rice planting is finished.
Address: Higashishi ushirobata, ushirobata, Aburaya, Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Access: About 15 minutes by taxi from Nagato Furuichi Station and Hitomaru Station on the JR Sanin Honsen Line.
Emerald green! Beppu Benten Pond, one of the 100 most famous waters in Japan
Beppu Benten Pond has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 famous water spots, and it is a spot where very clear water springs up.
It is located in the precincts of Beppu Itsukushima Shrine.
Even with the naked eye, you can fully enjoy the vivid emerald green color.
This color is unique to the spring water, which has few impurities.
You can see the bottom of the pond, so it seems shallow, but the water in the center of the pond is about 4 meters deep.
The creek that leads from Beppu Benten Pond is red!
This is a color from an endangered species of algae called “red tara”.
The contrast between blue and red is also an interesting sight.
Address: Inside Beppu Itsukushima Shrine, Beppu Minakami, Akiyoshi-cho, Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Telephone number: 0837-62-0305
Access: About 40 minutes by bus from JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station, about 15 minutes by taxi after getting off at Akiyoshido.
20 minutes by taxi from “Mine Station” on the JR Mine Line
Cafe with a view of the karst plateau in Akiyoshidai
Akiyoshidai, Japan’s largest karst plateau in central and eastern Japan, was declared a national park in 1955 and designated as a special natural monument in 1964.
It takes about 20 minutes by car from Beppu Benten Pond.
Next to the Akiyoshidai Karst Observatory at the top of the mountain, there is a tourist information center “Mine Akiyoshidai Geopark Center Karstar” where you can rest for free and use a cafe.
How about take some sweets break?
Gelato made with locally picked vegetables, fruits, and Ono tea is one of best products.
Also, be sure to check out the local sweets, such as pear castellas and pear softcream, made with pears from Akiyoshi Town!
Address: 11237-862 Akiyoshi-Akoyoshidai, Akiyoshi-cho, Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Telephone number: 0837-63-0040
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Parking: Free of charge (Akiyoshidai Observation Deck parking lot)
Access: 30 minutes on foot from Akiyoshido bus stop
A staple spot in Yamaguchi! Iwakuni “Kintaikyo Bridge”.
The “Kintaikyo Bridge” in Iwakuni City is a must-see attraction in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The unique wooden arch bridge is worth a look!
Crossing the bridge is also good, but if you take a picture from the riverbank, you can get the whole view!
If you like, go directly under the bridge as well.
The view looking up from below is also photogenic.
The tollbooths at both ends of the bridge are staffed from 8am to 5pm (until 6pm during the tourist season and 7pm during the summer), but when the bridge is unmanned, please fill in the toll boxes and cross the bridge.
You can enter the bridge 24 hours a day, but the light up are on at night until 22:00.
Address: Iwakuni City, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Bridge entrance fee: 300 yen
Parking: Kintaikyo Bridge Shimogawara Parking Lot, etc. may be free of charge in the off-season.
Access: 15 minutes on foot from Kawanishi Station on the JR Gantoku Line.
Making goldfish lanterns at Yanai Nishigura in Yanai City
Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, about a 45-minute drive south from Kintai Bridge, is a spot famous for its “goldfish lanterns,” a folk craft.
Goldfish lanterns hanging from the eaves welcome you at the “white-walled cityscape”, one of Yanai’s most popular sightseeing spots.
The vivid shades of red and white are striking in the retro townscape, and the graceful swimming figure is very cool.
It is also popular as a photogenic spot.
The one and only goldfish lantern in the world can be made in about 30 minutes.
You can also take home a unique goldfish lantern as a souvenir.
Address: 3700-8, Yanai, Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Telephone number: 0820-23-2490
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Closed: Tuesdays (or the following day if the Tuesday is a national holiday), New Year
Access: About 8 minutes on foot from Yanai Station on the JR Sanyo Honsen Line.
Admission: Free (experience is charged)
Making goldfish lanterns
Time: Approximately 30 minutes (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Price: 900 yen
Reservations are required for 10 or more people.
Mt.Dakezan, an Instagrammable spot where many couples gather
Mt.Dakezan, located on Suo Oshima Island, is a must-visit spot on a clear day.
At the summit observation area, you can not only enjoy a great view but also take Instagrammable selfies.
The words “TAKE OFF” and the white line are very instagrammable, and this is a hang glider/paraglider launcher stand.
There is no fence, so you need to be careful, but you can enjoy a great view of the open space!
The islands on the northeast and Hiroshima sides spread out below you.
There’s also a launcher stand on the other side, so don’t miss it!
Here you can see the southwest/oita direction.
Also, from the observatory where you can enjoy a 360-degree view, you can see Matsuyama Castle in Ehime if you have a good view, so why not use a zoom lens to aim it?
The road to the summit is surprisingly long, narrow and winding, so please be careful if you are not good at driving, or if you are driving a big car.
The parking lot with a toilet in front of the observatory is relatively large.
Address: Kuga, Suo-Oshima-cho, Oshima-gun, Yamaguchi
Access: 20 minutes by bus from “Ohatake Station” on the JR Sanyo Honsen Line, get off at “Kuga” bus stop, about 180 minutes on foot.
Gang rice bowl of “Aloha Orange” eaten in Hawaii in the Seto Inland
Suo Oshima has a sister island partnership with Kauai, Hawaii, so there are many shops and beaches where you can get a glimpse of the essence of Hawaii.
This shop is one of them.
Aloha Orange is a popular Hawaiian restaurant where you can feel the Hawaiian atmosphere from the name of the restaurant and there is a long line at lunchtime.
The popular menu item “Gang Don (Normal)” is a bowl of fresh domestic beef thighs grilled over high heat in one sitting, cut into just the right thickness, and topped with a sweet and spicy sauce.
The owner and staff were engaged in the meat processing business, and this is a dish that could only be made possible.
It is characterized by a quality that cannot be easily tasted in other restaurants by the skill of identifying the high quality ingredients and cooking them quickly and carefully.
The generous portions of meat served in an overflowing bowl look great on Instagramable!
Not only does it look great, but it tastes great too.
It’s red meat, so it’s not too salty, and you can eat it in a small size in the photo.
Between the rice and the meat, there’s shredded cabbage.
In addition to the normal dishes, there are also variations such as Japanese style Mizore, Aburi (aburi) and Yuke-style pickles, and you can also order half and half.
You won’t want to miss out on the Hawaiian cuisine created by our authentic Hawaiian chefs!
Since it is not possible to make a reservation and it is a popular restaurant, it is recommended to go there at the same time as the opening as possible.
Address: 7270 Oaza Kuga, Suo-Oshima-cho, Oshima-gun, Yamaguchi
Telephone number: 0820-72-2860
Business hours: 11:00 – Last available at 16:00 (may end early)
Access: 20 minutes by bus from “Obatake Station” on the JR San-yo Honsen Line, get off at “Munemitsu” bus stop, and walk immediately.
Next trip is to photogenic Yamaguchi!
In addition to the stunning photogenic spots and Instagrammable spots we’ve introduced here, there’s more to see, such as Hagi with its historic townscape, Shimonoseki near Kyushu with its delicious fish, and the hot spring spots scattered throughout the area!
It’s about an hour and a half from Haneda using a great value Star Flyer.
Why not visit photogenic Yamaguchi Prefecture on your next trip?
This information is current as of August 2019. Please check the latest information.