Monday, September 5, 2011


From Kanagawa Prefecture, we rode via ANA (plane) to the southernmost tip of Japan mainland, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Here's our schedule:

We stayed in Hotel Sun Route Yamaguchi. As we moved from Tokyo to Yokohama to Yamaguchi, our hotel rooms became smaller in size.

We had free time in the afternoon and so we got around Yamaguchi City.

These are our official activities:
Courtesy Call to the Governor of Yamaguchi and Welcome Party in Yamaguchi.

I guess Ozzie has to enlighten us where this is... we are still wearing the barong!
Visit to Ouchi Dollmakers.
Ouchi lacquer ware is a traditional handicraft in Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is nationally designated as a Traditional Craft Product. It is said that the crafts dates back to the Muromachi period (1336-1573), when the Ouchi clan, who was a prominent figure in the area, promoted trade with Korea and Ming dynasty in China and encouraged the making of this lacquer ware for export.

Ouchi lacquer ware is first undercoated with a sober vermilion, onto which motifs of autumn grasses are applied in a yellowish green lacquer. Finally, a cloud form is drawn, onto which the Ouchi family crest in gold leaf is applied.
At the present time, bowls, trays, flower vessels and dolls are being made. Among them, Ouchi doll is the most popular product. It is said that the 24th lord of the Ouchi clan invited a doll maker from Kyoto and asked him to make a doll for his wife, who had been missing the life in Kyoto. Its cute facial expression attracts people who wish a happy married life.

Visit to NTT (Nippon Telephone and Telegraph) and JOUU FM Radio station.
We visited this place and were exposed to the advanced technology in NTT and the JOUU FM Broadcasting station.

Visit to Yamaguchi University Engineering Department.
We also met new friends here in Yamaguchi.

view in Tokiwa Park
Visit to Yamaguchi University Hospital.

Visit to Kirin Beer Bottling Plant.
Longtime leader of the Japanese beer market, Kirin Brewery Company, Limited in the early 2000s was overtaken by its arch-rival, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. Kirin nevertheless continues to sell two of the most popular beers in Japan, Kirin Lager (the country's oldest beer brand) and Ichigan Shibori. In the burgeoning happoshu (low-malt) category, Kirin Tanrei is the top seller. In addition, Kirin handles domestic distribution for several foreign brands, including Budweiser and Heineken. 

Kampai with Kirin!

Sightseeing in Iwakuni and the Kintai Bridge.
From Wikipedia: Iwakuni was formerly the castle town of the Iwakuni han, which was formed by Lord Hiroie Kikkawa after he was banished there for supporting the defeated shogun.[1] The Kikkawa clan ruled the han during the Edo period. The han was originally assessed at 30 thousand koku, and later, 60 thousand. Iwakuni han prospered for 300 years up until the Meiji Restoration.[2] Before being re-founded with the same name following the mergers in 2006, the city was first founded on April 1, 1940.

Kintai Bridge: From:
It was built by the 3rd feudal lord of Iwakuni – Hiroyoshi Kikkawa in 1673 (Enpo 1), the bridge has a 5-arch wooden structure and has now been reconstructed four times. It is 193.3m long and 5m wide.
Ticket price: Adult 300-yen Child 150-yen (Group over 15 people Adult 250-yen Child 120-yen)

Continue the tour by taking the JR Iwakuni line – Nishikigawaseiryu line to Nishiki-cho, and get on the unique “Tokotoko train” headed for Souzukyo onsen(hot springs), the 40mins train journey will take you through a wondrous tunnel and luxuriant greens.

Move to Nishiki-cho by Train.
I remember that Vic-san was gentlemanly and offered his seat to a high school student, but I think the young girl was surprised by what he did.

I remember Nishiki-cho as a very beautiful little town in Yamaguchi prefecture, 
where the air was fresh, water in the river was very clear and the trees were very green and dense...
an ideal community! 
Welcome Party at the Nishiki Green Palace.

Here in Nishiki-cho, the Mayor hosted the event and the community was very warm

Move to Akiyoshi-cho.
This is the main natural wonder in Yamaguchi with a very huge cave, the Akiyoshi-do and huge plateau, the Akiyoshi-dai. We were very lucky to experience sightseeing in these natural wonders, Akiyoshi Cave and Plateau

From Wikipedia: Akiyoshidai Kokutei Kōen (秋吉台国定公園?) is a Quasi-National Park in Yamaguchi PrefectureJapan.[2][3] It was founded on 1 November 1955 and has an area of 45.02 km².[4]
It includes part of the Akiyoshi plateau (秋吉台 Akiyoshidai?), a 130 square kilometre area of karst topography, as well as over 400 limestone caves, including Japan’s longest cave, the Akiyoshidō (秋芳洞?), which has the additional status of a Special Natural Monument. The area is rated a protected landscape (category Ib) according to the IUCN.[5] Like all Quasi-National Parks in Japan, the park is managed by the local prefectural government.[1]
Akiyoshi Dai (Plateau)

From Wikipedia: Towards the southern end of Akiyoshidai is the Akiyoshidō cave, named by Emperor Hirohito on May 30, 1926 when he was still crown prince. This spacious cave is up to 100 meters wide and has 8.79 kilometers of passages, making it the longest in Japan and one of the longest in Asia. At the present time an about one-kilometer-long section of the cave is open to the public as a sightseeing course, with a walkway and bridge system, entering at the cave's lowest point and exiting via an artificial elevator. This portion of the cave is also well decorated with a variety of large and colorful speleothems.
As we enter the Akiyoshi Cave. which is the longest cave in Japan
 and one of the longest caves in Asia
One of the large stalactites-stalagmites in the Akiyoshi-do (Cave), seen as a pillar
We visited the Technopolis in Ube City but as I remember this was still the beginning of the project.

We also attended a Concert in Ube City since we were invited by the Medical students who were the sponsors of the concert.

We really went around Yamaguchi visiting the University, Hospital and beautiful natural and historical sights as well as meeting new friends along the way.

We still have a lot to expect from Yamaguchi since will have our Homestay here which I will share in Part 7.


  1. I’m always excited about new friendships forged and old friendships rekindled. But every journey in life does not end with the fun times spent but lives on with the promise of more merriment in the days and years ahead. -OLIVER-

  2. Is this Ozzie? I totally agree with you!

  3. I am enjoying your blog so much, Inday, thanks for sharing. Just got back from my Asian trip. I smiled through the jetlag and eye luggages I got for staying up late every night while there. But I shall keep the pores tight and the wrinkles at bay because when we finalize our reunion plans hopefully soon, I think I will have excess luggage somewhere in the face division as partying will take its toll and the aging body will finally need a boost to be administered by medical practitioners. hahahaha... We need to stay healthy for when we see each other again, we shall try to prove everyone that old guys like us never ever get defeated by the passing of years. LOL.
    ~ Oliver-san ~

  4. Thanks for posting all those prgrams, leaflets, pictures, etc. and bring back such precious memories. And as someone from the hosting organization (back then), I really appreciate that you have kept them. - Naoko I.

  5. Brings back good old memories. Thanks for posting Inday!!! == Ray I.


    Get professional trading signals sent to your mobile phone every day.

    Follow our signals right now & profit up to 270% a day.