Yamaguchishi City Saikotei
TOP Yamaguchishi City Saikotei
Yamaguchi City Saikotei is a facility that opened in October, 2004 as a sightseeing base in Yamaguchi with many historical artifacts, it is also a place for citizen exchange.
The building was originally a luxurious traditional Japanese restaurant named Gion Saikotei which operated from around 1878 to 1996. It was later relocated and refurbished. It is a precious building which tells the history of Early Modern Period of Japan.
Many calligraphy writings are displayed here, including those written by celebrities and Prime ministers who held parties at the restaurant.
Calligraphy Writings (written by Politicians who had visited Saikotei)
Writers: Hirobumi Ito, Aritomo Yamagata, Taro Katsura, Giichi Tanaka, Nobusuke Kishi, Eisaku Sato, Kakuei Tanaka, Shinzo Abe(They were Japanese Prime ministers) and Sanetomi Sanjo, Takayoshi Kido, Kaoru Inoue, Yosuke Matsuoka Vessels and artwork that were used in the restaurant are also displayed.
Yamaguchi City Saikôtei, Museum and Reception Hall
1-2-7 Tenge Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi, 〒753-0091 JAPAN
Adult (ages 16 and above): ￥100
Children (ages 6 to 15) : ￥50
Younger than 6 : free
Facilities:Two wheelchairs for the hall and handicap toilets
Conditions of entry
No smoking－Saikotei is a smoke-free environment.
No pets or dangerous objects allowed in the building.
Tuesdays(When a national holiday is Tuesday, they are a following weekday)
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (Dec.29th-Jan.3rd)
The floor area
a two-storied wooden building
7 Bus parking spots
105 car spots
Public transportation access
By Rail / Yamaguchi Station (a bus or taxi)
By taxi/ About 2 km from Yamaguchi Station
By Community bus/ Noda bus stop (on foot 3 minutes)
By City bus/ Noda Gakuen Mae bus stop (on foot 2 minutes)
By Car / about 7 km from Yamaguchi interchange(Route 262 to a No. 9 line, next to the Nanaoyama tunnel)
“Ryotei” is the general name for a luxurious traditional Japanese restaurant, where guests dine on Japanese cuisine. Ryotei is often used for business negotiations, banquets, or receptions.
Also, it is a place where guests can enjoy a myriad of Japanese cultural experiences, such a Saikotei was the most luxurious Ryotei in Yamaguchi, so key government officials, such as the Prime Ministers, always visited Saikotei when they came to Yamaguchi.
Saikotei was opened around 1878 by Kobe Saito who had been the lords’ cook until 1871.
During its 126 years of history, many people visited it until they closed in 1996.
In 2004, it reopened as a museum & reception hall for Yamaguchi City.
The location was in the premises of Yasaka Shrine before relocation. However, the site had turned out to be the place with the state guesthouse of the feudal lord stood about 500 years ago. Therefore, Saikotei was relocated to allow for the excavation.
Eastern traditional culture has “Kigo.” It means writing words or phrases with brushes. Celebrities or Calligraphers are commissioned to write words or proverbs.
Most Ryotei have 1 or 2 of these writings.
There were the 29 of these writings at Ryotei Saikotei. It had the most “Kigo” of any place in all of Japan.You can see the banners still to this day.
The following are those who wrote these “Kigo.” Sanetomi Sanjo, a court noble who ranked second only to the Meiji Emperor.Takayoshi Kido ended the samurai era in Japan.Kaoru Inoue was the CEO of the greatest financial conglomerate Mitsui.Hirobumi Ito, the first Prime Minister of Japan.Aritomo Yamagata, the Prime Minister who built the Japanese army.Taro Katsura, the Prime Minister at the time of the Russo-Japanese war.Yosuke Matsuoka, the diplomat who made the League of Nations withdrawal speech.Eisaku Sato, the Prime Minister who won the Nobel Peace Prize.Kakuei Tanaka, the Prime Minister who achieved the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China.Ichiroku Iwaya, the calligrapher who was the teacher of the Meiji Emporer.
In addition, Yoshisuke Aikawa the founder of the Nissan concern, left a hanging scroll of calligraphy, and Hekigoto Kawahigashi, a haiku poet, left his works. Also, global philosopher, Kitaro Nishida, visited here although he did not write any calligraphy.
Wajima-nuri and Arita-yaki are two traditional types of Japanese containers. Many of them are still left over from the Ryotei period. There are 11,070 Arita vessels of 364 separate varieties, and there are 1,661 Wajima-nuri lacquer vessels of 75 varieties. Some vessels can be seen in the exhibition room now.
The room that was decorated with the hanging scrolls has 33 writings and 53 traditional Japanese paintings.There are 15 folding screens. You can see some of them in the exhibition room.
The building is made from wood.The wood materials used are from a high-class tree called the Zelkova tree, and pine wood.From 1888 to 1925, a building was extended frequently until it became the size that it is today.
The garden is a reproduction of the original garden that was created in 1925. It is a Japanese style garden. The large stones and lanterns were used from ancient times, and the lake was purposely left without water to create a dry landscape.
Explanation of the main calligraphy
(Souvenirs and gifts are sold.)
Yamaguchi Saikotei Pictorial Record ￥1,100
Key holder ￥300~500
Japanese style place mat ￥500~2,000
Powdered green tea service (Matcha)
Powdered green tea is the traditional drink from medieval times in Japan.
You can enjoy the green tea with Japanese sweets in the Hall.
Reservation are required at least a day in advance.
Time: 10.00a.m. – 4.00p.m.
Please use for exploring the nearby sights.
Bicycles can be rented from 9am to 5pm.
Rickshaw (Reservation required)
Some form of the rickshaw has been in every part of the world since ancient times. The present form of the rickshaw was developed in Japan in 1870. It was used almost everywhere until the invention of the automobile. Now, it can only be seen at tourist attractions.
Yamaguchi Saikotei also has rickshaws that can be ridden by reservation.
The course circles around Yamaguchi Saikotei. It runs past Yasaka Shrine, Ryufukuji Temple, Jippoutei, old Japanese style house.
15 minutes ￥2,100 : one person / ￥3,150 : two persons
30 minutes ￥4,200 : one person / ￥6,300 : two persons
60 minutes ￥7,350 : one person / ￥10,500 : two persons
Reservations: Please call Saikotei: 083-934-3312
Nearby Attractions (Free Facilities)