Yamaguchi is on the westernmost tip of Honshu, and because of its proximity, historically it has been an important center of cultural exchange with the Korean Peninsula. The castle town of Hagi on the Sea of Japan dates back to the early 17th century, a must see for people who want to experience old Japan away from the heavy tourism centers. The town still features ancient paths and preserved storehouses with walls done in Namako style - square tiles joined with raised plaster. Hagi is also one of the 6 ancient pottery kilns of Japan, and Hagiyaki (pottery) is particularly famous for its crackled glaze that changes color over time. Yamaguchi City, the prefectural capital imitated Kyoto and called itself the "Kyoto of the West" in its early days. Every summer the Yamaguchi Gion Matsuri (festival) is held here, an event that is inspired by Kyoto's world famous Gion Festival.
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