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Yanai City’s White-Wall Townscape

Brace yourselves, history buffs and Japanophiles! In Yanai City, you can experience an authentic Edo Period townscape, where traditional white-walled merchant houses and shops line the street, and patronize several famous facilities, some of which have been in operation since Japan’s feudal age. Enjoy a leisurely stroll—don’t forget your camera!—along the 200m promenade of this officially recognized traditional townscape.

This street is famous for its traditional Edo era architecture. In Yanai City’s history there have been four devastating fires, one of which destroyed 175 homes along the Yanai River. For this reason, the walls of the buildings are extra-thick to prevent fire and deter robberies.

Three centuries old and still standing, Muroya no En is one of the historic buildings you can enter here. It was formerly an oil shop and now displays actual items used in daily life during the Edo Period, as well as records preserved from that time.

Built towards the end of the Taisho Era (1912-1926), the Yanai Nishigura building was a storehouse for soy sauce that has been transformed into a flourishing art gallery and rest area. Challenge yourself with a variety of hands-on activities, including making Yanai’s famous kingyo chochin goldfish lanterns or participating in a Yanaijima loom-weaving workshop.

In operation from the early 1800s to the present day, Sagawa Shoyu Kura is where you can get your hands on Yanai’s specialty—a sweet soy sauce called kanro shoyu. Legend has it that when this delicacy was first presented to a daimyo (warlord) of the Iwakuni domain, he likened it to a sweet nectar in praise. At Sagawa Shoyu Kura, this sweet concoction is distilled in a unique two-stage process that requires two to three years per batch. Once inside, you can view the warehouse and the stone barrels used for the distillation process. In the Edo Period there were seven distilleries, but Sagawa Shoyu is the only one to survive to this day. Don’t forget to try their delicious soy sauce gelato!

Muroya no En

Hours:
Muroya no En is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays and during the New Year holiday season.

Admission:
For college students and older admission is 450 yen, for junior high and high school students 350 yen, and for elementary school students and younger 300 yen. There is a discount for large groups.

Address:
439 Tsukanaya, Yanai, Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Notes:

Tel:
+81-820-22-0016

Access:
From Yanai Station on JR Sanyo main Line, walk 5 minutes.

Yanai Nishigura

Hours:
Yanai Nishigura is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays, or the following day if Tuesday falls on a public holiday. It is also closed during the New Year holiday season.

Admission:
Admission is free. There is a small fee to participate in the workshops.

Address:
3700-8 Yanai, Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Notes:

Tel:
+81-820-23-2490

Access:
From Yanai Station on JR Sanyo main Line, walk 5 minutes.

Sagawa Shoyu Kura

Hours:
Sagawa Shoyu Kura is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on weekends and holidays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is closed during the New Year holiday season.

Admission:
Admission is free.

Address:
3708-1 Yanai, Yanai City, Yamaguchi Prefecture

Notes:

Tel:
+81-820-22-1830

Access:
From Yanai Station on JR Sanyo main Line, walk 5 minutes.

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