One day Trip to Iwakuni

My advice for a one day trip to Iwakuni City in Yamaguchi Prefecture would consist of sightseeing the Kintai Bridge and Iwakuni Castle in the morning time and doing a factory tour at Asahi Brewery of Dassai Sake fame . Here's a YouTube video of the Brewery tour , though the actual tour is not like the video , it's much shorter and basic ( Visitors are not shown the Koji Room ) . What is shown in the Brewery Tour is the new 10 stories Brewery . You're taken by elevator to the 10th floor where the already polished rice is washed and prepared for cooking . Then you're taken downstairs through a flight of stairs to the refrigerated floor where there are huge fermentation vats with what is to become Dassai Sake . At the end you're shown a short video in a conference room . The actual tour might not be as interesting as the YouTube video , but the chance to feel the fruity vapors emanating from the fermentation vats is an interesting experience . 

Things to take in consideration when visiting Iwakuni City . It's more convenient if you take a taxi from the train station to the Kintai Bridge . The Dassai Brewery is situated very into the mountain side of Iwakuni City . The afternoon Brewery Tour begins at 2:00 PM . It's recommended to take a taxi to Iwakuni station ( not Shin Iwakuni station ) after visiting the Kintai Bridge . From Iwakuni station take a train to Suo Takamori station on the Gantoku Line . From there take a taxi to the Asahi Brewery ( about 15 minutes ride from Suo Takamori station ) . For the Brewery Tour you'll need to make a reservation with at least 1 week in advance through this web form . The Brewery Tour schedule for the weekends is quite busy . Only 5 participants ( ages 13 and older ) are allowed per tour . The cost of the tour is 200 yen per person , covering the cost of the lab coat and cap to be worn during the tour . After the tour it is possible to do a tasting session of the Dassai Sake at the nearby Dassai Brewery store . The cost of the tasting session is 300 yen per person . Asahi Brewery will try to arrange an English speaking guide for the tour , but it is not guaranteed . The prices at the Brewery store are cheaper than what you'll find at Japanese liquor stores .

Iwakuni Castle is situated at the top of the mountain . To get to Iwakuni Castle you must take the Cable Car .To get there , first cross the Kintai Bridge towards the mountain . After passing by some local stores , Kikko Park with it's fountain and Iwakuni White Snakes Museum you'll find the Cable Car station . You're advised to buy the set ticket when crossing Kintai Bridge . The set ticket costs 940 yen and covers the Kintai Bridge crossing fee , the Cable Car fee and the Iwakuni Castle entrance fee .