YanaiYanai ( Yanai-shi) is a city in Yamaguchi Prefecture approximately 70 km southwest of Hiroshima.
While not a major tourist destination, Yanai offers a variety of sites and activities that make this a good day trip from Miyajima or Hiroshima.
RailYanai can be reached via the JR Sanyo Rail from Hiroshima (Westbound) or Tokuyama (Eastbound). Travelers on the shinkansen must disembark at either JR Tokuyama Station or Hiroshima Station.
FerryRegular ferry services connects Yanai by way of Yanai Minato JR Station to Mitsu, a suburb of Matsuyama (Ehime) and Beppu (Oita).
CarYanai can be reached by exiting the Sanyo Expressway at Kuga and proceeding Southbound on Prefectural Road 70.
Located in Shirakabe no Machi is the large and culturally important House of Kunimori Family. the house, built in the late 18th century is a good example of a typical merchant class residence from the mid-Edo period. Admission is ¥200 for adults and ¥100 for children.
A much larger museum and old merchant residence is Muroyama no Sono. The residence was constructed by the Oda family around 1702 from revenues generated from the family's control of the lucrative rapeseed oil trade in Western Japan. The complex, which has been faithfully preserved, includes several warehouses and ancestral home that showcase various antiques from the Edo period as well as items from the Meiji and Showa eras. An elderly man, who is a descendant of the Oda family, is the curator and can provide a wonderful insight into the building and many of its contents. Admission fee is ¥350 for adults and ¥200 for children. The museum is open from 09:00-17:00 every day except Wednesdays.
The Shoko-an Temple grounds hosts a small well with nearby willow tree that is reputed to be the origin of name of Yanai (Well of the Willow Tree in Japanese). According to legend, a princess traveling through the region 1400 years ago is said to have briefly stopped at the well to quench her thirst. A toothpick discarded near the well during this brief stop is said to have grown into the large willow tree that is now there.
phone: +81 820-24-1187address: Shinjo 500-1
phone: +81 820-22-2111
Paper Goldfish FestivalThe festival is in honor of Yanai's most famous and noteworthy product: the goldfish lantern. Various teams compete to parade and spin large versions of the lanterns to the beat of a Taiko (Japanese Drum) and chorus. A large firework display concludes the festival.
Yanai Daishi EnnichiThis event is a day when memorial services are held for Kouboudaishi. On festival day, about 20 markets are held.
GolfThere are several golf courses surrounding Yanai:
phone: +81 820-28-1111address: Hizumi 12372-118 holes.
Iwakuni Country Clubphone: +81 827-63-0331address: 1000 Yuumachi18 holes.
Heizei Seaside Golf Clubphone: +81 820-56-2358address: 452-3 Sone, Hirao-chō9 holes.
phone: +81 827-38-1177address: Tsuzu 24-7018 holes.
MadDopephone: +81 820-23-7654address: Minamimachi 1-3-3An eclectic shop featuring locally produced Japanese hip-hop CDs and Japanese fashion.
There are many reasonably priced and delicious dining options in Yanai.
phone: +81 820-23-3141address: Minamimachi 7-2-5A local family-run udon establishent featuring freshly made udon.
Shinatoraaddress: Minamimachi 3-4-6An excellent ramen noodle restaurant. What sets the restaurant apart from others is the is insistance on using only homemade stock in all bowls.
MurasakiA quant and intimate izakaya. For those not familiar with the concept of an izakaya, this establishment serves as an excellent and Western-friendly point of introduction.
phone: +81 827-82-3115address: Kugamachi 1380-1, IwakuniLiterally translating as "Mountain Family", this establishment features coal roasted chicken and meat dishes with gift shop and koi pond located on a sprawling outdoor arboreal setting.
Taiwanyaphone: +81 820-22-0776address: Nakano 447-1There is a long menu, but most regulars eat 'shiru-soba','shiru-bihun','yaki-soba'and 'yaki-bihun.' The restaurant is run by a man and his wife. Take-out available on request.
Yanai Station Hotelphone: +81 820-22-2628address: Minamimachi 1-5-1
Yanai City Hotelphone: +81 820-23-0111address: Minamimachi 3-2-8
phone: +81 820-22-1175address: Minamimachi 1-4-2
phone: +81 820-23-0030address: Chūō 2-2-22
phone: +81 820-23-6000address: Minamimachi 4-1-1The largest hotel in town, with large "Western"-size rooms. It has a café that serves a standard breakfast set for an additional fee.