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Culture / Tour Spots in Yamagata Area

  • Chido Museum
    35 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Kachushinmachi 10-18
    This is a museum in Kachu-Shinmachi Town, Turuoka City, Yamagata Prefecture which stores and displays 5,350 important items that fall under eight varieties of Important Tangible Folk-Cultural Properties relating to the heritage of the Shonai area. The museum takes its name from the Chidokan, the Shonai Clan’s samurai school, and items relating to that school are also on display. Several historical buildings such as the former Nishitagawa District Office and the old Tsurugaoka Police Station which are also important cultural properties were dismantled and rebuilt on the premises, which were the site of the Tsurugaoka Castle’s san-no-maru and the official residence of the Sakai family, the domain lord. The beautiful garden in shoin-zukuri style (a traditional style of Japanese residential architecture) is also worth seeing.


  • Homma Museum of Art
    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.
  • Denkoku-no-Mori Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum
    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.
  • Yamagata Prefectural Museum
    36 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Kajoumachi 1-8
    Yamagata Prefectural Museum is made up of three facilities, the main building (Kajo Park, Yamagata City), the Educational Resources Museum (Midori Town, Yamagata City), and the Nature Study Park (Hataya, Yamanobe Town, Higashimurayama County). It’s an extensive museum where visitors can learn all about Yamagata. The main building exhibits the Jomon no Megami, a goddess figure from the Jomon period, and the Yamagata Daikaigyu, a mysterious looking sea cow fossil which swam the seas over nine million years ago, and exhibits of folk materials related to the production of rice. The museum is approximately 10 minutes by car from Yamagata Chuo Interchange on the Tohoku Chuo Expressway.

    We used remaining time after arriving in Yamagata to visit this museum. It had a lot of information on the locality, its past and present, and local fauna and flora. Printed sheets on key topics were...

  • Higashizawa Rose Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Murayamashi Tateokahigashizawa 1-25
    Higashizawa Rose Park is a botanical garden located on the banks of the Osawa Reservoir in Murayama City. The Park has over 20,000 rose plants, belonging to around 750 different rose varieties from all over the world. Visitors can view special varieties such as the “Murayama” rose that was cultivated locally in Murayama City, and the rare “Violet” rose. The roses are at the best between June and September; a special “Rose Festival” is held every year during this period. Higashizawa Rose Park was selected for inclusion in Japan’s “Top 100 Aromascapes” in 2001, and was chosen as a location for the “Lovers’ Sanctuary Project” in 2015.
  • Yamagata Museum of Art
    40 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Otemachi 1-63
    This museum is located across the way to the east of Kajo Park in Ote-machi, Yamagata City. Exhibited here are not only the Japanese works of Matsuo Basho's Three Mountains of Dewa writings, Yosa Buson's The Narrow Road through the Provinces scroll, but also a collection of Modern French works including Monet and Renoir. The museum also hosts various planned exhibits related to the collections, the Yamagata General Art Exhibits, local art exhibits, photography exhibits, and calligraphy exhibits.

    Wonderful Japanese print making exhibit with English explanations of the theme of the print as well as the history of the artist; lovely small museum, not overwhelming

  • Sakata City Museum of Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Imoriyama 3-17-95
    This museum, founded in 1997, displays on permanent exhibit the western works of Shigeru Morita, Tsunero Kokuryo, and Chozo Saito, and the sculptor Tsuyoshi Takahashi. From inside its spacious 30,000 m2 grounds and the 3,000 m2 structure, one can overlook Sakata City, Mt. Chokai and Mogami River. On site is a temporary exhibit hall and a community gallery made available for the local residents.
  • Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium
    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.
  • Chokainomori Astronomical Obsevatory, Cosmos Domu
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Tsuchibuchi Akira Jiro 20-2
    This astronomical observatory is in the Chokai-no-mori area of Tsuchibuchi, Sakata City. It has a 50-centimeter reflector telescope, the largest in the Shonai region. They hold astronomical observations at night on Fridays and Saturdays and during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. In the annex's exhibition room there's a model of the space shuttle, a display of the constellations, and a large quick reference board of the stars where you can see what the sky will look like later that night.
  • Hiroshige Museum of Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Tendoushi Kamatahonchou 1-2-1
    This museum is in Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture. The museum preserves and displays the work of Utagawa Hiroshige, the famous artist know for the 53 historic stages on the historic Tokaido Road. Utagawa Hiroshige had connections with the Tendo domain and this relationship is introduced at the museum, where one can also take in drawings in his own hand and ukiyoe prints created on behest of the Tendo clan. There is a sword archive corner and a collection of engraved stamps by Kataoka Ginsaku as well as displays of valuable inscribed Gassan style swords. The museum shop sells Utagawa Hiroshige related ukiyoe goods, as well as other artists' items, and the specialty, Gassan washi paper goods.
  • Donden-daira Lily Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Nishiokitamagunidemachi Hagyu 3341
    This botanical garden is located in the Hagyu area of Iide-machi, Nishiokitama County. It is the largest lily garden in eastern Japan, and has a vast site that is more than four times the size of Tokyo Dome, with approximately 500,000 plants of different lily varieties. Besides the observation deck and recreational facilities with water in the garden, there is a rest house where you can enjoy Iide beef barbecue.
  • Dewa Sanzan History Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachitouge 7
    This museum is on the grounds of Dewa Sanzan Shrine. It displays materials related to the history and culture of Dewa Sanzan (the three mountains of Dewa), and has a collection of valuable items related to the time of Shugendo Buddhism, a syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism. It also has 190 of the 500 bronze mirrors excavated from the Kagami ike bronze excavation, displays statues of the Buddha, lantern poles, and more to attract countless shrine visitors. Open from late April through November.
  • Kawanishi Dariya Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Higashiokitamagunkawanishimachi Kamikomatsu 5095-11
    The first dahlia-only tourist plant garden in Japan with 650 different kinds of dahlias and around 10,000 flowers in bloom, this is a spacious garden with a total area of around 4 hectares with grass and trees where you can take your time and enjoy the surroundings. In addition, there is a hot spring facility next door, and you can enjoy panoramic views of Dahlia Garden from the observation terrace. It is open every year from around August to November.
  • Yuzuru no Sato
    3 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Nanyoushi Urushiyama 2025-2
    This cocoon warehouse is on the grounds of a silk mill, and is now a museum dedicated to carrying on folk tales like Tsuru-no-Ongaeshi (The crane returns the favor). It displays folk tale videos, and offers some tablets for viewing as well. In addition, it has displays on sericulture and silk thread production, and displays with materials, costumes, and documents from the opera Yuzuru.

    何年か前に、友人と一度訪れたことがあったが、今回も赤湯温泉に泊まって、翌朝一番に再訪。今回は、家内も同行. 前日午後に訪れたが、時間が遅く改めての訪問となったもの。 お話頂いたのは、先回と同じ[鶴の恩返し]だったが、やわらかな土地のことばに乗せて語られる物語は、何度聴いても心に沁みる。 資料館の方のご説明によれば、ふるさとに伝わる民話を、地域の方々が集まって後世に伝える活動をしておられるとのこと...

  • Momiji Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Higashiharamachi 2-16-7 (Seifuso)
    This park, formerly the shingon sect Houdouji Temple garden, is a garden in Higashihara District of Yamagata City. One can enjoy this traditional Japanese garden designed in the style of a pond surrounded by meandering paths. The pond, Shinjiike, itself is constructed in the shape of the Japanese letter for 'heart.' True to its namesake, Momiji, many varieties of maple trees are planted in this garden. For this reason one can enjoy an extended period of beautiful autumn foliage.
  • Sagae Park Azalea Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Sagae-shi Sagae Nagaoka
  • Yamagata City Folk Museum (Former Saiseikan Hospital Main Building)
    56 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Kajomachi 1-1

    We came upon this place, the former Saiseikan Hospital, as we strolled around Kajo Park. As it was free, we walked in, received an English brochure, took off our shoes, and went through the rooms on...

  • Yamadera Goto Museum of Art
    14 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Yamadera 2982-3


  • Yamagata Museum of Science and Industry
    20 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Jonanmachi 1-1-1 Kajo Central Uchi


  • Zao Natural Botanical Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Zao

Yamagata Main Areas


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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