Hofu, located on the Sanyo Honsen train line in the middle of Yamaguchi prefecture, is a small town with a couple of big attractions.
Hofu Tenmangu Shrine
Foremost among them is the HouhuTenmangu Shrine, where students go to pray before taking their tests.
The shrine, together with Kitano Tenmangu (in Kyoto) and Dazaifu Tenmangu (in Fukuoka), is counted among Japan’s Three Greatest Tenmangu Shrines.
Hofu is rich in history and has many ruins and other places of interest for those who enjoy seeing the relics of Japan’s bygone ages. One of these is the Amidaji temple.
On either side of the gate of Amidaji stands Nio (the statue of a temple guard), which has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset. Amidaji is located in the beautiful natural surroundings and its precincts have been planted with 50 kinds of hydrangeas.
A strategically positioned port on the Seto Inland Sea, Hofu is also home to Mazda Motor Corporation’s newest automobile plant. While not exactly “traditional”, this plant is a marvel of Japanese technical engineering and can produce an entire vehicle per minute.
Visitors can tour the plant, and seeing the robots put a car together in the blink of an eye is an experience that seems more out of a Terminator movie than real life. If you think that Japan is all samurai and geisha, this very modern facility will give you a glimpse of Japan as it is today.