Hagi Onsenkyo (Yamaguchi)
This area was designated the Hagi Onsenkyo hot spring village after the drilling of the Hagi Onsen hot spring in 2004; today, there are eight differing springs in the area, hot spring hotels, and day trip bathhouses. Hagi is known for having produced many of the great minds of the Meiji Restoration and was founded in 1604 by Mohri Terumoto with the building of Hagi Castle. For approximately 260 years, until the center of domain governance was moved to Yamaguchi, the area prospered as a castle town, and even today much of the atmospheric old townscape from this time still remains intact. The old castle town area sprawls around the outer moat of the site where Hagi Castle once stood as well as many mid- and lowers ranking samurai residences, and exploring the old streets is practically required of visitors to the city; the area is also dotted with sites and monuments relating to the tumultuous times of the Meiji Restoration. After a long walk in the city, a soothing hot spring bath is the ultimate pleasure.