10 Best Spots in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi

10 Best Spots in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi

Shimonoseki is located at Yamaguchi prefecture, slightly west of Hiroshima. It is only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Hiroshima via Tokaido Shinkansen and JR Sanyo Line. From Tokyo, you can access it via the Tokaido Shinkansen, which will take about 4 hours and 40 minutes. You could alternatively take a flight to Fukuoka first. Likewise from Osaka, it can be accessed by the Tokaido Shinkansen too, which will be about a 3 hour trip.

Shimonoseki is a place saturated with Japanese history as well as amazing seafood such as the Fugu (pufferfish), and is definitely worth a visit. Here are the 10 spots you cannot miss when planning your trip there!

1. Walk under the Straits of Shimonseki at Kanmon Tunnel

The Kanmon Kaikyo, also known as Straits of Shimonoseki, is a narrow strait that separates Yamaguchi prefecture from Fukuoka prefecture into Kyushu Island of Japan. You will be able to walk through the Kanmon Tunnel, built under the Kanmon Kaikyo, which is about 55 meters (60 yards) below sea level. The tunnel was completed in 1958 and took a total of 21 years to build!

The recommended photo taking spot in the tunnel is at the borders of Fukuoka prefecture and Yamaguchi prefecture; it’s not often will you be able to stand right at the border of two huge islands! It will take you about 15 minutes to walk through the 780 meter (853 yard) long tunnel, and once you are out, you will be greeted by a fantastic view of the Kanmon Kaikyo as well as the Kanmonkyo Bridge that connects Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefecture.

Kanmon Tunnel

Address: Mimosusogawacho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 10 minute drive from Shimonoseki Station

Opening hours: 6pm - 10pm

Price: Free for pedstrians

2. Admire the beauty Shimonoseki at Hinoyama Park

Hinoyama Park
Source: 嶋長 幸浩

Hinoyama Park is located at the summit of Mount Hinoyama, a 268 meters (293 yards) tall hill located just nearby Kanmonkyo Bridge. Here, you will be presented with a marvelous 360 degree panoramic view of Shimonoseki and the nature surrounding it. The recommended spot to enjoy this fantastic view is at the observatory deck slightly below the Ropeway Boarding area. This observatory is also open at night, and serves as the perfect spot for appreciating the amazing night landscape of Shimonoseki!

Hinoyama Park

Address: Mimosusogawa, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 13 minute drive from Shimonoseki Station

3. Eat the freshest seafood at Karato Market

Karato Market 20150621
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user そらみみ used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The seafood that best represents Shimonoseki is probably the Fugu - Japanese for pufferfish. Only trained professionals are allowed to serve this otherwise poisonous fish, but in Shimonoseki, you can enjoy this marvelous delicacy. One of the best places to enjoy them is at the Karato Market, about 30 minutes from Shimonoseki Station by foot.

The market is open from as early as 5 am and is a placed loved by tourists and locals alike. Fresh seafood can be savored at reasonable prices and are served in many styles such as sushi and donburi. Located nearby other popular destinations in Shimonoseki, this is definitely the best place to visit for a sumptuous meal!

Karato Market

Address: 5-50, Karato, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Opening Hours: 5:00am - 3:00pm (opens at 8:00am on Sunday)

Access: 30 minute walk from Shimonoseki Station

Website: Karato Market

4. Kaikyokan Aquarium - the night aquarium

Source: 嶋長 幸浩

Kaikyokan Aquarium is located very close to Karato Market and is about 27 minutes from Shimonoseki Station by foot. This aquarium is popular for its large variety of marine creatures and dolphin shows, but during festive seasons such as the New Year, Kaikyokan is opened until 10 pm, and unique shows such as special dolphin shows and laser shows will be held. Not often will you be able to visit an Aquarium at night! Do check out their official website for the event details.


Address: 6-1, Arukapoto, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Opening Hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm for weekdays, 10 pm for occasional weekends

Access: 27 minute walk from Shimonoseki Station

Website: Kaikyokan

5. The symbol of Shimonoseki - Kaikyo Yume Tower

Kaikyo Yume Tower
Source: 村井 マヤ

Kaikyo Yume Tower was built in 1996 as a landmark of the Kanmon Kaikyo, and has since been regarded by tourists and locals as the symbol of Shimonoseki. A 360 degree panoramic view of Shimonoseki and the nature surrounding it can be appreciated from the 143 meter (156 yard) high observatory deck. It is especially recommended to visit Kaikyo Yume Tower at night when it will be illuminated. The fantastic night view of Shimonoseki provides a romantic atmosphere and it is perfect for a date spot!

Kaikyo Yume Tower

Address: 3-3-1 Buzenda, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Opening Hours: 9:30am - 9pm

Access: 10 minute walk from Shimonoseki Station

Website: Kaikyo Yume Tower

6. The beautiful emerald green surrounding Tsunoshima

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Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Syota Takahashi used under CC BY 3.0

Tsunoshima is a small island located offshore Shimonoseki, and is connected to the main island by a 1,780 meter (1.1 mile) bridge - the Tsunoshima Oohashi. It is highly recommended that you visit Tsunoshima by car - not only is it far more convenient, it is also a great feeling to drive across the bridge while admiring the amazing view of the Sea of Japan!

The island is surrounded by an amazing emerald green sea and has beautiful fine, white sand. Selected as the most beautiful bridge in Japan by the 2015 TripAdvisor rankings, Tsunoshima cannot be missed when you are visiting Shimonoseki!


Address: Hohokucho Oaza Tsunoshima, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 15 minute drive from Agawa Station

7. Learn the history of Ganryujima!

In 1612, there was a duel between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, both swordsman from the ancient times, at Ganryujima Island. This duel is today known as the “Ganryujima no Kessen”, or “Battle of Ganryujima” in English. A statue is found on the island that depicts the duel between the two renowned swordsman and you can learn the history of these two men there. Access to Ganryujima is via a 10 minute boat ride from Karato Port.


Address: Hikoshima, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 10 minute boat ride from Karato Port

Website: Ganryujima

8. Visit the old Japanese style street at Chofu Region

Chofu Region
Source: 村井 マヤ

The Chofu region is just 20 minutes from Shimonoseki Station by bus, and is known for its quaint atmosphere brought upon by the old Japanese style street. You can walk along the river of Chofu and visit the “Jokamachi Chofu” museum, where you can learn about the history of Shimonoseki. Apart from that, there are various old buildings and artifacts around the region that you can explore. The Chofu region is a must-visit for those who love Japanese history!

Chofu Region

Address: Chofu Doinouchi Cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 20 minute bus from Shimonoseki Station

9. A western style building in Shimonoseki? Shimonoseki Former British Consulate

141122 Former British Consulate Shimonoseki Yamaguchi pref Japan02n
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 663highland used under CC BY 2.5

Shimonoseki served as an important port since the early days as a gateway between the Honshu region and the rest of Asia. A British Consulate was hence built in Shimonoseki in 1906. At the Shimonoseki Former British Consulate, a beautiful building with striking red bricks, you can learn about the history of the British interactions with Japan and view various artifacts on display. The Shimonoseki Former British Consulate is located just 100 meters (109 yards) from Karato Market, so you definitely won’t have to worry about being hungry either.

Shimonoseki Former British Consulate

Address: 4-11 Karatocho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 30 minute walk from Shimonoseki Station

Website: Shimonoseki Former British Consulate

10. Visit the power spot at Akama Shrine

Akama Shrine
Source: 桜 小町

In 1185, during the battle of Dan-no-Ura, legends say that Emperor Antoku, then only 7 years old, was plunged into the Kanmon Kaikyo and drowned by his grandmother to prevent him from being captured by the enemies. The Akama Shrine saw the end of the Taira Clan in 1185 and served as a turning point in ancient Japan’s history.

At the Akama Shrine, not only will you be able to learn about such history of Japan, you will also be able to view the various temples and shrines that served the people for hundreds of years. Furthermore, you can view the area where Emperor Antoku was said to be drowned. This place today serves as a power spot for family health, water safety and more. Akama Shrine is definitely worth a visit for those who love Japanese history too.

Akama Shrine

Address: 4-1 Amidaijicho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi

Access: 40 minutes from Shimonoseki Station

Website: Akama Shrine

History, landscapes and great food!

Many of the popular spots in Shimonoseki and very close to each other. It is highly recommended that you plan your itinerary well to cover these sites consecutively! With important historical sites such as Ganryujima, the amazing views of the Shimonoseki Straits and great seafood that you can enjoy at Karato Market, Shimonoseki is filled with reasons to visit! Make sure you plan your trip in advance and have fun in Shimonoseki!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by to read my articles. I travel to various regions in Japan and constantly find myself discovering something new. Hope my work will help in your planning and enjoy...Read more

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