We anchored at [Hagi], a small city in Yamaguchi Prefecture, during breakfast. They don’t get a lot of Western tourism; the mayor greeted our tender! He was carrying a sign saying “I am Fumio Tanaka, the Mayor of Hagi. Ask to have your picture taken with me.” How could we refuse?

We made three stops in Hagi, each focused on a different aspect of the city’s culture and history. The first stop was the Tokoji Temple, which was constructed for the Mori clan, one of the leading samurai clans – and unfortunately for them, on the losing side of the civil war which ended with the consolidation of power under the Tokugawa shogunate. They were “relocated” to Hagi after the war.

Tokoji Outer Gate (Somon)
Tokoji Temple Bell Tower
Tokoji Main Hall (Daiohoden)
Detail of roof with fish and swastika
Shakyammi-Buddha flanked by two disciples, Ananda and Kasyapa.
Some of the 500 stone lanterns on the route leading to the tombs of odd-numbered Mori lords
Tombs of Mori Lords
Kaipan – wooden fish struck to announce meals and services

Our second stop was the Kikuya Residence, which was the home of the Kikuyas, the official merchant family to the Mori clan.

Roof detail at Kikuya Residence
Musical Instruments
Home telephone booth
Garden with intentionally dry creek
House from Garden

Our final stop in Hagi was the Hagi Uragami Museum, which focuses on ukiyo-e prints and East Asian ceramics (especially Hagi pottery). Unfortunately, the ukiyo-e print galleries wwere closed today, but there was a special exhibition of all the prints from Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji”, as well as beautiful pottery.

Horio Takuji – Inkstone from Akama stone, “Beautiful”
A Nobel Lady and Her Attendant on a Raft amidst Falling Cherry Blossoms
Blue and Whie Ming Dynasty Vase
Otukai Plain in Kai Province (Hiroshige)

And then it was back to the ship to sail away towards tomorrow’s adventures.