A must-see spot for true cat lovers the Unrinji Temple in Hagi

Hagi is a former castle town located along the northern coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture. This ancient town is filled with prestigious temples and shrines. But the one we’d like to introduce to you is the Unrinji Temple. Although this temple requires a 30-minute drive from the city center, many curious travelers and cat lovers visit to see its collection of playful cat statues. We’ve also included a guide to the town's food scene, so read on and find out what Hagi has to offer.

  • 01

    Unrinji Temple

    Unrinji Temple

    Unrinji Temple

    The Unrinji Temple earned its nickname, "Cat Temple”, as a result of its peculiar history. When a local samurai was buried in the temple, his loving cat followed in his footsteps. It is said that its sad meowing continued until a monk held a memorial for the cat.

    Unrinji Temple

    Unrinji Temple

    Today, the Unrinji Temple features more than 600 cat statues, including wooden carvings created by a local chainsaw artist. If you want something special to take home, you can also buy cat-themed lucky charms and fortune slips.

    Unrinji Temple

    Unrinji Temple

    Unrinji Temple
    rating

    4.5

    8 Reviews
    place
    Yamaguchi Hagi-shi Kibekami 2489
    phone
    0838860307
  • 02

    Michinoeki Seamart

    Michinoeki Seamart

    Michinoeki Seamart

    When in Hagi, don’t miss the opportunity to try the fresh, local seafood. The Michinoeki Seamart is a local roadside station attached to the Hagi fishing port where you can buy the catch of the day and processed seafood at reasonable prices. There are also three seafood restaurants in Seamart, including Hamaryori Gangan. It serves a variety of dishes, such as a seafood rice bowl (1,430 yen), a sea urchin bowl (5,280 yen), dried nodoguro seabass (528 yen) and dried s lipmouth (275 yen).

    Roadside Station Hagi Seamart
    rating

    4.0

    190 Reviews
    place
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Tsubaki East 4160-61
    phone
    0838244937
    opening-hour
    9:30-18:00* Fri. Sat. and Su…
  • 03

    Cafe Kotokoto

    Cafe Kotokoto

    Cafe Kotokoto

    Kotokoto is a quaint cafe that occupies a 200-year-old Japanese-style house. Kotokoto's warmly-lit interior features rustic wooden floors and furnishings while overlooking a lush, green garden. At tea time, you can try one of their pour over coffees or hot tangerine drinks (both 440 yen) and combine it with yokan (azuki bean jelly) for 330 yen. This cafe is connected to a stylish gallery shop that showcases local ceramics and dyed goods.

    Kotokoto
    rating

    4.5

    11 Reviews
    place
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Gofukumachi 2-32
    phone
    0838267199
    opening-hour
    10:00-17:00 (varies dependin…
  • 04

    Capture Hagi's historic townscape with your camera

    Hagi will appeal to history buffs as a town that played a major role in bringing about the Meiji Restoration. Yoshida Shoin, a local scholar and advocate of the anti-shogunate system, opened a private school named Shoka Sonjuku in Hagi. It is said that many students of this school contributed to Japan's industrial revolution. In 2015, Shoka Sonjuku and four other sites (including Hagi Castle Town and Ebisugahama Ship Yard) gained UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition as a “ Site of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution”.

    From these prestigious sites to the charming cat temple and rustic cafe, Hagi is filled with historic townscapes that are worth capturing with your camera.

    Hagi
    place
    Yamaguchi Pref

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