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Rurikoji (—Ϊ—žŒυŽ›, Rurikōji) is a Buddhist temple in Yamaguchi City, best known for its five-storied pagoda that is a national treasure. Built in 1442, the pagoda is justifiably ranked among Japan's three greatest, alongside those of Horyuji Temple near Nara and Daigoji Temple in Kyoto. Interestingly, the pagoda predates Rurikoji as an institution, which was established only in the late 1400s.

The temple grounds of Rurikoji are also known as Kozan Park (ŽRŒφ‰€, Kōzan Kōen). Other buildings on the grounds include the main hall, a temple storehouse, a bell tower and a small but well-done museum with pictures and models of the fifty-plus five-storied pagodas found across Japan. The museum provides interesting information about the pagodas such as their differences in design, but has limited English explanations.

Kozan Park also features the burial site of members of the Mori family, who ruled the region during the Edo Period (1603-1867). Leading to the graves is the Uguisubari Stone Pavement, on which an echoed sound is produced when you clap your hands or stomp your feet. The sound resembles that made by a Japanese Bush Warbler (uguisu), and thus the pavement's name.

Also in the park stands Chinryutei, a tea house where Saigo Takamori (a key historical figure who contributed to ushering in the Meiji Period) and others pretended to practice the tea ceremony, but in reality planned the ultimately successful overthrow of the Edo Shogunate. The move led to the Meiji Restoration and the end of Japan's feudal age in 1868. Visitors can enter Chinryutei for free and view its simple tatami mat rooms on the second floor. On the first floor are some exhibits in Japanese about the characters who led the Meiji Revolution.

Getting there and around

Rurikoji stands about 2.5 kilometers north of Yamaguchi Station and can be reached on foot (40 minutes) or by rental bicycles, which are available outside the station (300 yen for two hours or 700 yen for the whole day).

Alternatively, take a bus from the station bound for Yamaguchi Daigaku (ŽRŒϋ‘εŠw) or Nakaoguchi (’†”φŒϋ) and stop at Kenchomae (Œ§’‘‘O) bus stop (6 minutes, 170 yen, 2-3 departures per hour). From the bus stop it takes ten minutes to walk to Rurikoji Temple.

How to get to and around Yamaguchi

Hours and Fees

Temple Grounds (Kozan Park)

Hours

Closed

Admission

Pagoda Museum

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Yamaguchi

Top rated in Yamaguchi
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    • Hotel Route-inn Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen
      Mid-range
      Located in Yamaguchi, within 33 km of Tokiwa Park and 33 km of Tokiwa Museum, Hotel Route-inn Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen provides accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Ejio Park is 42 km away and Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church is 2 km from the hotel. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries and a desk. Every room comes with a private bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and slippers. At the hotel rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. Guests at Hotel Route-inn Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The accommodation offers 3-star accommodation with a hot spring bath and spa centre. Tokiwa Zoo is 33 km from Hotel Route-inn Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen, while Onda Sports Park is 34 km away. The nearest airport is Yamaguchi Ube Airport, 36 km from the hotel.
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    • Super Hotel Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Super Hotel Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen is located in Yamaguchi, 32 km from Tokiwa Park and 32 km from Tokiwa Museum. The 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. Ejio Park is 41 km from the hotel and Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church is 2.4 km away. At the hotel, each room has a desk. Guest rooms in Super Hotel Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen are equipped with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. A buffet, continental or Asian breakfast is available daily at the property. Tokiwa Zoo is 32 km from the accommodation, while Onda Sports Park is 33 km away. The nearest airport is Yamaguchi Ube Airport, 35 km from Super Hotel Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen.
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    • Comfort Hotel Shin Yamaguchi
      Mid-range
      Only a 1-minute walk from JR Shin Yamaguchi Train Station, Comfort Hotel Shin Yamaguchi offers modern rooms. It features free Wi-Fi and a launderette. Guests can relax with complimentary coffee at the lobby. Each guestroom comes with air conditioning/heating facilities, a fridge and a desk. Slippers and toothbrush sets are provided for all guests and the en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer. Comfort Hotel Shin Yamaguchi offers amenities like a trouser press, a charger for certain mobile phones and an air humidifier can be borrowed at the reception. A daily buffet with warm and cold dishes is available free of charge at the dining area, between 06:30 and 09:30. Guests can enjoy a variety of fresh breads and other Western and Japanese breakfast foods. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Yamaguchi Kirahaku Memorial Park and Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park.
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    • Hotel New Tanaka
      Luxury
      Situated in Yamaguchi, 31 km from Tokiwa Park, Hotel New Tanaka features accommodation with a fitness centre, free private parking, a shared lounge and a restaurant. The property is around 32 km from Tokiwa Museum, 32 km from Tokiwa Zoo and 33 km from Onda Sports Park. The hotel has a hot spring bath and a 24-hour front desk. At the hotel, rooms are equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. All rooms at Hotel New Tanaka have air conditioning and a wardrobe. The accommodation offers a buffet or continental breakfast. Ejio Park is 41 km from Hotel New Tanaka, while Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church is 2.5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Yamaguchi Ube Airport, 35 km from the hotel.
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    • Kokusai Hotel Yamaguchi
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Yamaguchi, within 34 km of Tokiwa Park and 35 km of Tokiwa Museum, Kokusai Hotel Yamaguchi provides accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 2-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Ejio Park is 44 km from the hotel and Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church is 600 metres away. An American breakfast is available daily at the hotel. Tokiwa Zoo is 35 km from Kokusai Hotel Yamaguchi, while Onda Sports Park is 36 km away. The nearest airport is Yamaguchi Ube Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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    • Green Rich Hotel Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen
      Mid-range
      Located a 13-minute walk from JR Yuda Onsen Station, the Green Rich Hotel offers stylish and modern guestrooms with free wired internet. Free WiFi is offered throughout the entire property. Guests can receive discount tickets for the Onsen-no-Mori hot spring bathhouse located right next to the hotel. All rooms at Green Rich Hotel Yamaguchi Yuda Onsen feature a flat-screen satellite TV, video-on-demand programmes, a fridge and an electric kettle. An air-purifier is also included. The en suite bathroom comes with toothbrush sets, shaving razor, shaving cream, cotton swabs and a hairbrush. A humidifier can be borrowed, and guests can choose their own pillows and nightwear. Coin launderette and drinks vending machines are also available on site for guestsf convenience. Free coffee and tea bags are provided on site. A healthy breakfast buffet featuring Western and Japanese dishes can be enjoyed at the dining room. The hotel is a 15-minute drive from Yamaguchi-dai Shrine. Yamaguchi University is a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Toyoko Inn Shin-yamaguchi-eki Shinkansen-guchi
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Toyoko Inn Shin-yamaguchi-eki Shinkansen-guchi is situated in Yamaguchi, 22 km from Tokiwa Park and 23 km from Tokiwa Museum. The 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. Private parking is available on site. At the hotel, the rooms include a desk. All rooms in Toyoko Inn Shin-yamaguchi-eki Shinkansen-guchi are fitted with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. The reception at Toyoko Inn Shin-yamaguchi-eki Shinkansen-guchi can provide tips on the area. Tokiwa Zoo is 23 km from the hotel, while Onda Sports Park is 24 km from the property. The nearest airport is Yamaguchi Ube Airport, 25 km from Toyoko Inn Shin-yamaguchi-eki Shinkansen-guchi.
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    • Tokiwa
      Luxury
      Boasting 6 hot-spring baths and massage services, Tokiwa features Japanese-style accommodations. JR Yuda Onsen Train Station is a 10-minute walk away, and guests can relax at the breathtaking Japanese garden. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon beddings. A fridge and a TV are included in each. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and slippers. Guests can enjoy singing karaoke at Kasen bar or purchase local products at the gift shop. The hotel has indoor and outdoor public hot-spring baths. A traditional multi-course dinner and Japanese set breakfast are served at the dining room. Refreshments are available at Ichino Saka tea lounge. Tokiwa Inn is a 15-minute drive from Sesshu Teien Garden and Akiyoshido Cave is a 45-minute drive away.
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    • Royal Inn Shinyamaguchi Ekimae
      Budget-friendly
      Set 22 km from Tokiwa Park, Royal Inn Shinyamaguchi Ekimae offers 2-star accommodation in Yamaguchi and features a restaurant. With a shared lounge, the 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. At the hotel, every room includes a desk and a TV. At Royal Inn Shinyamaguchi Ekimae every room has bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy an Asian breakfast. Staff at Royal Inn Shinyamaguchi Ekimae are always available to provide information at the reception. Tokiwa Museum is 22 km from the hotel, while Tokiwa Zoo is 22 km away. The nearest airport is Yamaguchi Ube Airport, 25 km from Royal Inn Shinyamaguchi Ekimae.
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