Spots in Yamagata Area

  • Uesugi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    254 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Marunouchi 1-4-13
    A Shinto shrine located in Marunouchi, Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture. The shrine is dedicated to Uesugi Kenshin, a famous commander during the Warring States period and ancestor of the future lord of Yonezawa Domain. The shrine was built on the site of Yonezawa Castle in 1876 and designated an Imperial Shrine of Special Status in 1902. The shrine was destroyed in the Great Yonezawa Fire in 1919; the current buildings were reconstructed in 1923, and visitors can view the beautiful Japanese architecture of the shrine’s main shrine and front shrine. Treasures passed down in the Uesugi clan are kept in the shrine’s Keishoden hall, and many tourists come to view them year round.

    I visited this shrine on my way to our hotel to stay in Kaminoyama. Not being totally expected, I was pretty much surprised to see their beautiful garden, well-maintained shrine, exhibition center...

  • Mt. Haguro Five-Storied Pagoda
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    4.5
    215 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachitouge 7
    The five-storied pagoda at Mt. Haguro, one of the three sacred mountains of Dewa where Shugendo (a mountain asceticism incorporating Shintoist and Buddhist ideas) was practiced until the Meiji period, has been designated as a national treasure. The current tower is thought to have been reconstructed by Masauji Muto, a head administrator of Mt. Haguro and lord of Shonai in the time of Emperor Chokei of the Bunchu period. It has an elegant appearance nestling within the cedar trees.

    This little five-story pagoda is glorious. If the scaffolding is up, you can see the amazing inner joinery.

  • Yamagata Castle Ruins (Kajo Park)
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    4.0
    181 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Kajoumachi 1-7 (management office)
    These castle ruins, in Kajo-machi Yamagata City, is designated as a National Historic Site. It is said that Kaneyori Shiba, the father of the Mogami, built the Yamagata Castle in 1356. Today the ninomaru moat, the earthen mound, and the stone walls remain. A replica of the ninomaru west gate has been reconstructed at the entrance to Kajo Park (Kajo being another name for the castle). Selected as one of Japan's top 100 castles, it is one of the recommended sites to visit in Japan.

    About 650m from Yamagata station to the south bridge across the moat, Kajo Park is easy to get to. There is an elevated walkway around about 90% of the perimeter; it is in the shade and affords nice...

  • Yamagata Prefecture Local Museum Bunshokan
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    4.5
    184 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Hatagomachi 3-4-51
    Yamagata Prefecture Local Museum Bunshokan is located along Prefectural Route 49 in Hatagomachi in the city of Yamagata. It is housed in the remodeled and repurposed former Prefectural Office and Prefectural Assembly Hall (built in 1916). This English Gothic Revival-style building has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the national government. The museum contains exhibits about the remodeling of the building and the history and culture of the prefecture. In addition, it is possible to rent the hall, the meeting rooms, the central courtyard and other areas for various events.

    An imposing building perfectly sited at the end of a main street in the city, the Bunshokan once was the prefectural government office, but now houses the Yamagata Prefecture Museum. It was an easy...

  • Handmade Suisha Ki-soba
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    4.0
    155 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Tendoushi Kamatahonchou 1-3-26
    This restaurant continues to offer the same Kanchu Hikinuki Soba, made from buckwheat flour ground in the coldest winter, as was offered to the Shogunate at the close of the Edo period. The soba from Yamagata and Hokkaido is ground in the water-wheel mill and used fresh in handmade noodles on site. Their ramen Tori Chuka, made with Japanese broth and chicken, was once a staff dish that was only available to a few, but now is a hugely popular dish on regular offer.

    Here is famous for tori soba. If you visit yamagata prefecture must enjoy local noodles. Although here is always long queue. You should visit between lunch time and dinner time.

  • Roadside Station Tendo Onsen
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    4.0
    130 Reviews
    Transportation
    Yamagata Pref. Tendoushi Kuwanomachi 2-3-41
    This roadside station is along the Yamagata Bypass in Kuwano-machi, Tendo City. Located near the Tendo hot springs quarter, this station has over one million visitors a year. This multi-purpose park not only has direct to market produce shops, a tourist information center, water fountains, a lawn area with playground equipment, an amphitheater, but also a free foot bathing nook, and a wedding ceremony hall, all on the same site.

    程よい温かさでした。入るときはくるぶしまでズボンをまくったほうがいいです。足拭き用のタオルは販売してますが持参したほうがいいです。 It was reasonable warmth. You had better wear trousers to the ankle when you enter. I sell towels for wiping feet, but it is better...

  • Ken Domon Museum of Photography
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    4.5
    90 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Imoriyama 2-13 Inside Iimoriyama Park
    The Ken Domon Museum of Photography is a specialized museum located in Iimoriyama Park along Prefectural Route 355 in the Iimoriyama area of the city of Sakata. Photographer Ken Domon was a native of the area, and the museum contains his entire life's work, about 70,000 photos. The exhibits are changed on a three-month cycle, with each cycle having own theme, so that all the photos are displayed in turn. The museum also contains sculptures and gardens created by artists who were associates of Domon, especially the sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

    I discovered Domon Ken photography, in Rome, when just by chance I saw a huge exposition on his life work. So when we went to Japan, we went to Sakata just to see his museum. We spent a whole...

  • Tsuruoka Park (Tsurugaoka Castle ruins)
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    4.0
    93 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Babachou 4
    Built around the ruins of Tsurugaoka Castle, Tsuruoka Park, sprawling in the center of Tsuruoka City, is a renowned destination for cherry blossom viewing in spring. 730 cherry trees grow on the park’s ground, particularly around the castle’s moat, and in spring the tree’s petals cover the waters of the moat. Also selected as one of the 100 best places in Japan for cherry blossom viewing, each year around April the park bustles with great numbers of visitors come to enjoy the flowers. Shonai-jinja Shrine stands on the site where the tower of Tsurugaoka Castle once stood, and the shrine’s treasure house displays various items connected with the lords who once ruled the domain from here. Some of the park’s many other highlights include an ancient Japanese cedar several hundred years old, and a museum dedicated to Tsuruoka-born author Shuhei Fujioka.

    We visited the park on 21 Apr and it was the time for full bloom. The park wasnt overcrowded and there were many stalls for food and games. There are buses from train station to the park but they...

  • Yonezawagyu Dining Bekoya
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    4.0
    86 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Higashi 3-2-34
    This yakiniku restaurant specializes in Yonezawa beef, and is located a - three-minute walk from Yonezawa Station. A transported old civilian home, the harmonious relaxed interior is divided into near-private rooms, making it a popular place for savoring high-quality Yonezawa beef. The yakiniku and sukiyaki are divided into corners depending on the meal, and the steak corner features a fun performance with dramatic cooking on the iron skillets on the counter. The weekday lunch set lets you eat a good amount of Yonezawa beef for a reasonable price, so it is recommended.

    We arrived 30 minutes before closing due to snowfall. There isnt any lunch set available anymore so we had to go ala carte. We ordered few cuts to share within the family and on one of the staffs...

  • Matsugasaki Park (Yonezawa Castle Ruins)
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    4.0
    85 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Marunouchi 1-4-13
    A 10-minute bus ride from Yonezawa Station. Records state that the castle which once stood here was built in 1238 and was used as a residence by the Nagai clan, Date clan, Gamo clan, Naoe clan, and Uesugi clan. The castle was demolished in 1873 and the site made open to the general public as a park for the next seven years. In 1857, the site was turned into a municipal park as part of an urban planning project. The park is surrounded by a 20 to 36 meter wide, 800 meter long moat. Also a renowned destination for cherry blossoms, 200 cherry trees surround the moat and are lit up at night during the blooming season, creating spectacular scenery with their pink blossoms and the red castle bridge reflecting off the surface of the water.

    Yonezawa matsuri is a special matsuri since it commemorates a famous historical battle between two samourai clans. The battle is on the last day of the matsuri and it is worth seeing it. In case of...

  • Yamagata City Folk Museum (Former Saiseikan Hospital Main Building)
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    4.0
    78 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Kajomachi 1-1
    This museum is located inside Kajo Park in Kajo-machi, Yamagata City. Built in 1878 as the prefectural hospital, the “Saiseikan” was relocated and restored, and is now used to exhibit items related to local history and medicine. The building is designated as a National Important Cultural Property.

    It’s a little museum, located inside Yamagata Castle Park, north of Yamagata Station, about 13mins walk (1.1km) Honestly, it was in our plan as it look like “just an old building. We decided to pay...

  • Sobadokoro Shojiya (Yamagata Main Shop)
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    4.0
    77 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Saiwaichou 14-28
    This is a soba noodle shop along the Ushu Road in the Saiwai-cho, Yamagata City. Founded during the Keio period, this over 150-year-old shop is the oldest store in Yamagata Prefecture. They offer hand-made soba noodles using the skills handed down by generations of artisans. There are a lot of other items on the menu besides soba, including udon, mugikiri, and microbrew jizake. The shop exudes the history of the Edo period, with a hearth, seating in the rice cellar all within this traditional restaurant.

    Polite staff and nice ambience. Mushroom soba was very tasty but the tempera for soba was a bit too oily to both me and my husband liking

  • Uesugi Clan Mausoleum
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    4.0
    76 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Gobyou 1-5-30
    Just a 5-minute walk from the Gobyo-mae bus stop on the Yamako bus line bound for Onogawa Onsen. This is a cemetery with 11 generations of the Uesugi clan, notably Prince Uesugi Kenshin down to Narisada, interred in beautiful wood structured mausoleums. It is known for being the resting place of Uesugi Kenshin, a famous warrior during Japan's civil war. This cemetery was the 5th to be designated in 1984 as a National Historic Landmark for former feudal lords. During the Uesugi Yukitoro stone lantern Festival illumination, the snow covered stone and paper lanterns are lit making for otherworldly serene atmosphere. The neighboring Houonji Temple was transported from Mt. Kasuga and rebuilt as the Uesugi family temple.

    Tucked away in the western part of town are 2 hectares of peace, tranquility and a stand of 300-400 year old cedar trees. This is also where the first eleven lords of the Uesugi clan are buried, each...

  • Kaisen-donya Tobishima
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    4.0
    75 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Funabachou 2-5-102F
    This restaurant, which opened in 2003, specializes in fresh seafood and marine products. It offers fresh fish caught off the Shonai coast of the Japan Sea for reasonable prices. The “funamori-zen” and “tobishima-zen” dishes, of which only 30 to 50 portions are available daily, offer incredible volume for an amazing price. The other sets and rice bowls are popular for offering hearty helpings of seafood. It’s about a 10-minute drive from JR Sakata Station.

    東京(渋谷)から直行深夜高速バスで朝7時過ぎに終点の魚市場に着きました。その時間から開いているので朝食にはもってこいです。念願の庄内地方名物のどんがら汁も味噌汁がわりに定食についていて美味しかったです。定食選びには迷いましたが、ヘルシー丼をいただきました。

  • Maiko Teahouse and Hina Doll Gallery Somaro
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    4.5
    68 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Hiyoshichou 1-chome Maikozaka
    This is an entertainment complex in 1 Chome Hiyoshi-cho, Sakata City. Built in the remodeled Soma-ya, a famed Sakata restaurant, the 1st floor features Teahouse Kutsurogi Dokoro, and the second floor has a dining theater where you can watch Maiko dances while you dine, as well as the Takehisa Yumeji Art Museum. The main Soma-ya manor was destroyed in the Shonai earthquake of 1894, but was soon rebuilt and is now designated a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.

    Somaro Maiko Teahouse dates back to the Edo Period to when Sakata City served as a key port in the domestic trade network of an isolationist Japan. During this period the Shonai Region produced...

  • Akayu Ramen, Ryu-Shanghai Akayu (Main Store)
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    4.0
    76 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Nanyoushi Nirone 6-18
    This ramen shop is along the Prefectural Route 246 in Niirone, Nanyo City. The signature Akayu Karamiso Ramen, can be made to order by requesting your preferred amount of hot red chili pepper paste to be added to the broth. Also on the menu are the Akayu Ramen with a chicken based soy sauce broth, and the Karamiso chilled ramen noodles with a special sauce.

    Had Akayu Karamiso Ramen (830 yen). Very hearty and distinctive soup broth - just right magnitude of spiciness. Noodle was thick and hearty, although a bit too soft. Restaurant seems lively and in...

  • Former Main Residence of Homma Family and Villa “O-tana”
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    4.0
    72 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Nibanchou 12-13
    This samurai-style villa built in 1768 by Mitsuoka Homma—the third landlord of Homma Family, wealthy merchant family of Dewa—served as lodgings for the Shogun’s inspection envoys. Featuring a combination of samurai-style and merchant-style construction, this building would be unusual anywhere in the country. The red pines are also wonderful, and are said to live over 400 years.

    A very nicely preserved home of an upper class. Very spacious and interesting architecture of Japanese home using the verendas. I liked the simple decor that made look elegant and functional.

  • Homma Museum of Art
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    4.0
    67 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Onarichou 7-7
    A garden and art museum a five minute walk from Sakata Station. Built as a garden and villa for the Homma family of wealthy merchants and landowners, the facility was opened to the public as a private art museum in 1947. The museum’s collection consists primarily of works of art passed down for generations in the Homma family, and the museum is filled with ancient writings, antiques, paintings, and other valuable artwork. Other highlights include the Seienkaku, a beautiful wood villa built in the Kyoto style; and the Kakubuen, a traditional garden built around a central pond celebrated as one of the best Japanese gardens in the country and renowned for the beauty of its fall foliage.

    Honma Museum of Art was a quick ten minute walk from the train station. The museum itself was quite disappointing and hardly worth the trip for its small exhibition that didn’t allow photos. First...

  • Chidokan Shonai Domain School
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    4.0
    67 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Babachou 11-45
    Sakai Tadaari, the ninth lord of Tsuruoka Domain, established this domain school in 1805 with the aim of reforming samurai customs and cultivating surpassing individuals. The school’s educational policy focused on further strengthening each student’s innate talents. Today, the school is a designated National Historic Site and is open to the general public; facilities such as front Mikado gate, Confucian temple, and lecture hall remain intact. This facility is the only domain school still in existence in the Tohoku region.

    Amazing it is still there, the old school for young Samuraiunder King Sakai , as it used to be. Subject included localized Analects of Confucius ethics...

  • Sakaeya Honten
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Honchou 2-3-21
    An 18 minute walk from the east exit of Yamagata Station. A ramen restaurant which invented chilled hiyashi ramen, a Yamagata specialty. Inspired by a brief comment made by a customer, the restaurant’s original owner first began offering hiyashi ramen in 1952 after much trial and error. The fat in the broth doesn’t congeal despite being chilled, and this soup, perfect for enjoying in the heat of high summer, is both light and yet rich in flavor. It’s so delicious you’ll want to drink every last drop! The crisp bean sprouts and cucumber o top add a nice accent.

    山形に行ったら一度食べてみたかった氷が入っている冷やしラーメン。メニューは他にもあるけど、ほとんどの人がこのラーメンを注文しており、なるほどこういうのも暑い所だからこそ生まれたんだなぁ、と思えるラーメンです。

Yamagata Areas

around-area-map

Although often overlooked, Yamagata prefecture by no means lacks appeal: the Yamadera temple trail through the mountains, deliciously tender Yonezawa wagyu, and over 100 steaming hot springs, most notably Zao Onsen, await visitors. When winter comes, the snowcapped peaks become dotted with skiers by day and onsen-goers by night, while summer brings the celebration of juicy Yamagata cherries.

Yamagata Photo Album

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