Iwakuni, the area with a lot off Japan’s history remaining and flourishing as Iwakuni Castle’s castle town
Iwakuni City is located in the eastern part of of the Yamaguchi prefecture and it is blessed as being the sightseeing source of excellent views of nature and historical spots such as Iwakuni Castle.
The Iwakuni area blessed with views of nature. The northern area belongs to the Chugoku mountains, and the southern area is faces the Seto Inland Sea. Also, the Nishiki River runs between the northern and southern areas, and off the coast the remote island, Hashira Island, floats in the Seto Inland Sea.
In the central southern area, Iwakuni Castle was built in the 17th Century and a castle town was developed. This townscape still retains something from those days even now.
About MCAS Iwakuni (Marine Corps Air Station IWAKUNI
The sole Marine Air-corps Air Station on Honshu is located in Iwakuni. Only authorized personnel may enter. However, the area is open to visitors every year in May on “Friendship Day”, where people can see military aircraft exhibits and air shows. Also, it is known as an ideal place to see military aircraft from outside the grounds.
Iwakuni Weather / Sightseeing Season
The weather in Iwakuni varies in each area. The southern coastal area tends to see clear, warmer days. The northern, mountainous area tends to have cooler weather. In the winter it doesn’t really snow often, but it is very cold. So if you plan to visit Iwakuni, it may be best to visit between spring and autumn.
Things to see and do in Iwakuni
Sightseeing areas in Iwakuni are largely spilt into 4 areas: Yamashiro, Iwakuni, Kuga and Hashira Island. Here we are going to introduce the sightseeing spots we recommend.
The Yamashiro area where beautiful scenery can be seen year round
Yamashiro is the mountainous northern area and is the collective name for the 4 areas, “Miwa”, “Mikawa”, Hongo”, and “Nishiki”. This area has spots with splendid views if nature such as “Yasaka Gorge” and “Jakuchi Gorge”. Others include plenty of leisure spots like Yasaka lake, where you can ride a rental boat, or Rakan Kogen Auto Camping Ground where you can go hiking.
Iwakuni area, the place where famous spots such as Kintaikyo Bridge are gathered
Iwakuni is the central area where the castle town is concentrated. There are many historical buildings remaining such as Iwakuni Castle, Kintaikyo Bridge, and Samurai residences. Among these, the Kintaikyo Bridge which hangs over the Nishiki River is a must see. It is even rare worldwide as it is a series of 5 arches in succession. Its elaborate design and high quality craftsmanship is sure to be impressive. Furthermore, from the bank of Nishiki River you can see a Japanese style view of the wooden bridge reflected in Nishiki River.
The Kuga area, where historical spots remain such as ancient ruins
Kuga is located in the southern area and it is the place where sightseeing spots gather in the basin of the mountains and along the coast. In the basin of the mountains, there are historical tourist spots such as historical ruins, and temples and shrines such as the Niiterasangokuraku temple which was built in the 8th century. Also, along the coast, there are beaches such as Shiokaze Park Yuu Beach, where you can swim in the ocean
The Hashira Island area, stretching across the beautiful coastline
Hashira Island is the area where 12 populated and unpopulated islands are gathered in the Seto Inland Sea. Sightseeing areas are focused on Hashira Island where you can swim in the ocean on the beautiful beach, and you can view the islands and ocean if you climb up to the observation deck on top of Mt Kinzo.
Food and Restaurants in Iwakuni
In Iwakuni there are famous dishes such as Iwakuni Sushi and Takamori Beef, and local Sake such as Dassai are also famous. Most restaurants in Iwakuni are concentrated in the Iwakuni area. Others are located in the Kuga urban area, and there are a few located in the Yamashiro area. Also, there are no restaurants on Hashira Island.
Iwakuni Hotels / Ryokan (Japanese Inns)
There are lodging facilities in each area, but most of the are in the Iwakuni area. Most hotels and Ryokan (Japanese inns) are concentrated around Kintaikyo Bridge and JR Iwakuni station. Among these, the ones around JR Iwakuni station are economy hotels that cost around 5000 yen and under, so we recommend these if you are looking for a reasonable price. (Information accurate on July 2019).
Others include plenty of hot spring hotels and Ryokan (Japanese inns) in the Yamashiro area. There are also a few Ryokan (Japanese inns) and guest houses in the Kuga area. In addition, there are lots of Ryokan (Japanese inns) around Hashira Island port, but you have to book in advanced over the phone.
Access to Iwakuni
If you want to go sightseeing in Iwakuni, then you should aim for JR Iwakuni station. Take the bullet train from Tokyo or Osaka to JR Hiroshima station and then the JR Sanyo main line for about 50 minutes.
If you want to reach every tourist attraction from JR Iwakuni station, you can use the bus or train. Moreover, if you want to visit Hashira Island, you should take the express boat for about 1 hour.
- Spot name: Iwakuni (JR Iwakuni station)
- Street Address: 1-1-1 Marifumachi, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi 740-0018
- Access: Hiroshima →[JR] About 50 minutes
- Wi-Fi：Available（IWAKUNI FREE Wi-Fi）
- Language：English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, French
- Credit cards：VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners Club International