Hagiokan is a road station opened at the entrance of Hagi city in 2012.
Running from the south to the north of Yamaguchi prefecture for a total of 53 km, Hagiokan (Hagi Road) connects Hagi on the Sea of Japan side to Hofu on the Seto Inland Sea side.
During the upheaval at the end of the Edo period (1603~1867), the leaders of the Meiji Restoration whose names have gone down in history, traveled up and down the road numerous times. In other words, it’s a road that could also be called “the Restoration Road”. Had there been a road post here at the end of the Edo period, those leading spirits would most likely have stopped by – this is the kind of location at which this road station is to be found.
Giving visitors a greater sense of having ‘arrived in Hagi’, as you enter the station, you are immediately greeted by the leading spirits of Japan’s restoration!
At the sales area, there are a variety of Hagi city specialties that have been carefully chosen by station director.
From among the products I purchased, I highly recommend the following three!
Best number 1: Mutsumi pork miso (fermented bean paste – used as a condiment).
This is a meat miso made using mutsumi pork, a Hagi specialty. The sweet and salty miso filled with the savory meat flavor also has a mild yuzu aroma to it. In my house, it’s in very active use; we enjoy it with our meals, or even as an ingredient for rice balls!
It’s a souvenir that is guaranteed to please anyone.
Best number 2: Oil Rouge.
This is a product made of Japanese goatfish, also known as the gem of Hagi, which have been pickled in the style of oil sardines. It’s an exquisite product that has even been presented to the Pope. A perfect accompaniment to white wine, the glistening pink color of the fish truly resembles that of a jewel.
Best number 3: Meikasen 3 flavor selection of uiro (sweet rice jelly).
The packaging is so cute that before you know you will have it in your hands! The jelly comes in three flavors: azuki (sweet bean paste), matcha (green tea) and bitter summer orange (mandarin). The bitter summer orange in particular is a Hagi specialty. Its mild citrus fragrance is very refreshing. The uiro are also sold individually, so we recommend them as work place souvenirs, as well.
Entrance to the connected Shoin Memorial Hall is free of charge.
The exhibition corner that features a full-size reproduction of the Shoka-son-juku is filled with realism. A looped recording portraying the discussions between Yoshida Shoin and his pupils plays in the background. Studying a little before coming to Hagi will greatly enhance your sightseeing experience.
Right by the memorial hall there is a store selling croquettes made using a local brand of beef called Kenran beef.
After satisfying your stomach, it’s finally time to head towards the Castle Town of Hagi!
”Oidemase! Come to Yamaguchi!”
Road Station Hagiokan
Address: 1258 Tsubaki Kasegazaka, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masashi Fujimoto
Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.
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