Spots in Yamagata Area

  • Hoshuyama Risshakuji Temple
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    4.5
    892 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Yamadera 4456-1
    A temple of the Tendai sect, Hoshuyama Risshakuji is located across the Tachiya River from JR Yamadera Station on the Senzan Line. Normally called “Yamadera”, it was opened by Ennin in 860 by decree of Emperor Seiwa. Currently, it is designated a Zao Quasi-National Park, with 1,090,000 square meters green lot with about 30 towers—the most historic holy mountain in the Tohoku region. A famous haiku poet Matsuo Basho wrote “Shizukasa ya iwa ni shimiiru semi no koe (Such stillness / The cries of the cicadas / Sink into the rocks)” here. Its remnants remain as “semi-zuka,” and many poets like Mokichi Saito have poems inscribed here.

    Well worth the hike up. I would recommend wearing spikes up in the snow as it was slippery. Easy hike on the steps and takes maybe 20/30 minutes.

  • Zao Onsen Ski Resort
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    4.5
    330 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Zaouonsen 708-1
    This is a ski resort located in Zao Onsen Yamagata City Yamagata Prefecture boasting the largest land area in Tohoku. The courses have a wide variety of length and inclines and it is also enjoyed by school excursion parties as well as families and couples. The upper ice-field course offers a wide view of the signature frost-covered trees. Seeing the magical frost-covered trees illuminated at night is a must. The Zao Onsen town spreads out from the mountain’s foot.

    Such a great ski resort and all is great. You can spend 4 days for skiing and enjoy the speed and scenery passing by you when skiing. After the daily ski, in the evening you can enjoy the hot spring...

  • Uesugi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    258 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...

  • Yamagata Castle Ruins (Kajo Park)
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    4.0
    183 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...

  • Ken Domon Museum of Photography
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    4.5
    93 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...

  • Yamagata City Folk Museum (Former Saiseikan Hospital Main Building)
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    4.0
    84 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...

  • Denkoku-no-Mori Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum
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    3.5
    88 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Marunouchi 1-2-1
    A museum dedicated to the Uesugi clan. Take a bus from Yonezawa Station and get off at the “Uesugijinja-mae” stop. The museum building incorporates traditional Japanese elements and is designed to mesh well with the surrounding scenery. Its collection of several thousand items relating to the Uesugi clan includes National Treasure-designated folding screens depicting the streets of Kyoto at the time from overhead, and the Uesugi-ke Monjo, a large collection of ancient writings and documents. Highlights include an exhibit in the museum’s permanent display collection which uses CG to give visitors a glimpse into the culture and lifestyle of the world of the Uesugi foling screens, as well as the Yozan Theater exhibit, which dramatizes the reforms Uesugi Yozan implemented in the domain’s government.

    館内が清潔。ここは好感が持てた。ただし常設展示室は展示品が少ないので物足りない。 ここには、国宝の「上杉本洛中洛外図屏風」が収蔵されているのだが、私が行った日は公開されていなかった。 そこも、物足りなさに拍車をかけた。 複製は展示されていたが、やはり新しくて重々しさが感じられない。

  • Uesugi Clan Mausoleum
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    4.0
    78 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...

  • Roadside Station Atsumi, Wheel Sunset Atsumi Bussan Museum
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    3.5
    59 Reviews
    Transportation
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Wasada Tonoura 606
    Roadside Station Atsumi is located along the Ushuhama Highway in Wasada Tonoura in the city of Tsuruoka. It includes a shop that sells local products, such as tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and folk crafts, along with a restaurant that sells full means that feature freshly caught seafood from nearby Nezugaseki Harbor. There is also an outdoor bazaar, where visitors can buy seafood, such as roasted squid, turbo cooked in its shell, or snacks such as soft ice cream. Since this roadside station is located on the seashore, visitors can watch the sun set over the Sea of Japan.

    海に面した道の駅、施設は過ごす別れていますが利用はしやすいですね。 お土産でホタテの塩辛、飲食でブルーベリーのミックスソフトクリームをいただきましたが少しコスパは悪いかな、味は良かったですけど。 ホタテの塩辛は思っていたよりは薄味で食べやすかったです。

  • Koiwai Farm's solitary cherry tree
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    4.5
    69 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Sakata-shi Hiyoshicho 1-2-20
    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...

  • Former Main Residence of Homma Family and Villa “O-tana”
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    4.0
    74 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
    70 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
    70 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...

  • Sake Museum, Toko Brewery
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    4.0
    64 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Omachi 2-3-22 Yanagi Town Upper Street
    This library museum is located in Oh-machi, Yonezawa City, the Kojima Sake Brewery, the producer of the choice sake, Toko. One can learn about the culture and history of sake making through this exhibit displaying the old instruments and records housed in the sake cellar that has been renovated, while preserving the original structure. In the permanent exhibit room, the feudal lord Uesugi Yozan Hall, is displayed materials pertaining to feudal lord Uesugi Yosan, the ancient head of the Yonezawa clan. Here one can learn of his government and character.

    Tucked away in a small mountain city in Yamagata Perfecture is a hidden jewel. Owned and run by the same Kojima family since 1597, Toko not only makes great saké, they also own this fantastic museum...

  • Catholic Tsuruoka Church
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    4.0
    63 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Tsuruoka-shi Babacho 7-19
    Tsuruoka Catholic Cathedral is located a five-minute walk from the Shiyakusho (City Hall) mae bus stop on the bus line from Tsuruoka Station. It is a beautiful church with a red roof and white walls, designed by Father Papineau and completed in 1903. A masterpiece of Meiji (1868–1912) period Romanesque architecture. On one of its altars stands the only statue of the Black Madonna in Japan and one of the few in the world. Another feature unique among Japanese churches is that its pictorial windows are not made of stained glass but of pictures painted on transparent paper pressed between two panes of glass.

    Black Madonnas are very unusual in Japan and it is even more unusual to find one in such a small city as Tsuruoka. This little church is very simple and small. The wooden floor and the red carpet...

  • Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium
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    3.5
    3 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Imaizumi Okubo 657-1
    This is an aquarium in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, the prefecture’s only one, with the nickname “Jellyfish Dream Hall.” It is known for displaying over 50 kinds of jellyfish and holds a Guinness World Record in this field. The biggest highlight is about 2,000 moon jellyfish swimming in a large water tank five meters in diameter. An exhibition corner of Shonai’s freshwater and saltwater fish, a sea lion show, and the black-tail gull feeding are all popular. There is also a complete exhibition area for children.

    ランチタイムのみの営業で閉店後でもカウンターでアイスクリームと玉こんにゃくを販売している。アイスクリームにはクラゲが入っているが無しも頼める。 歩き疲れたらここで休憩したいが狭いスペースである

  • Sankyo Warehouses Sakata Yume no Kura (Sakata City Tourism and Product Hall)
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    4.0
    33 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Sakata-shi Sankyomachi 1-1-20
    Standing near the Nagasaki Ohashi Bridge, Sankyo Warehouse, built in 1893, is still used as an agricultural storehouse today. A portion of the warehouse was remodeled and opened as Sakata Yume-no-Kura, a tourism facility and collection of shops selling local products. The Hana-no-Yakata museum presents the history of Sakata City and its culture through exhibits and informational panels. The facility has an open terrace and restaurants serving light meals, and visitors can enjoy Tsuya-hime soft serve ice cream and Tama-konnyaku, local specialties. There is also a corner selling seafood products, Shonai rice, and other top Yamagata souvenirs.

    The entrance to the store offers a range of local sakes, some you can taste for 100yen or so. Inside the store there are seasonal and long-selling sweets from famous sweet shops from all over Sakata...

  • Mogami River Basyo Line Descent
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    4.0
    61 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Mogamiguntozawamura Furukuchi 86-1
    This boat trip descends the Mogami River. They're regular route covers about 12 kilometers from Furukuchi Pier in Furukuchi, Tozawa Village to Kusanagi Pier. It operates every day of the year. The hour-long journey lets visitors enjoy the seasonal views of the Mogami Gorge. The songs of the well-trained boatmen are one of the highlights, and on occasion they'll break into mimicry or sing in Korean. They also offer a variety of special plans, like a course that takes in Shiraito Falls from April to November and a cool of the evening cruise in July and August where you can watch the sun set from the Mogami River.

    During our 3 week visit to Japan, I really wanted to visit Basho country. I chose a ryokan in Takaya, Yamagata Prefecture by the Mogami River to satisfy this desire. Our hosts mentioned the Mogami...

  • Shonai Kanko Bussankan Furusato Honpo
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    4.0
    34 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Nunome Nakadori 80-1
    This store is located on National Route 7 in Nunome, Tsuruoka City. It houses mostly shops selling local specialties and souvenirs with shops selling seafood from the Sea of Japan and crab directly sourced from fishing ports. There is also a restaurant serving seafood and local cuisine using the fruits of the seas off Shonai.

    レストランのほか、お土産品や、鮮魚なども取り扱っており、とても充実しています。 新潟から酒田に行く際は、高速であえて鶴岡で降りていつもここに寄ります。(実は鶴岡の先から有料道路になるためってのもありますが) 物産館とは別棟・別経営になりますが、平田牧場の直売所もあり、こちらもあわせて見るとさらにいいです。 地元庄内交通グループ系で民間の経営のようですが、道の駅と名乗ってもいいレベルの施設です。

  • Roadside Station Chokai Furatto
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    4.0
    35 Reviews
    Transportation
    Yamagata Pref. Akumigunyuzamachi Sugasato Sugano 308-1
    A roadside station located along National Route 7 in Sugano Sugasato, Yuza Town, Akumi County. The facility hosts a farm fresh shop selling local agricultural products and fresh seafood; a shop selling local specialty products; a café serving seafood rice bowls, curry, and set meals; a light meal corner; ramen corner; and bakery. You can also take sashimi and grilled fish bought at the farm fresh shop to the cafeteria and enjoy it there as a set with rice.

    国道7号沿い、高速と高速の切れ間にある人気のある道の駅ですがさすがに夕方は少し空いていました。 施設は老朽化、あまり広くなく少し使いづらい感じもしますがなっといっても焼き魚が良いですね。 訪れた時は種類も少なくなっていましたが運良くカレイをゲットできました。 焼きたてで香りも良く大満足でしたー

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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