Travel / Tourism 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Catholic Tsuruoka Church
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    4.0
    60 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Babachou 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...

  • Sake Museum, Toko Brewery
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    4.0
    61 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...

  • Yamadera Basho Museum
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    4.0
    55 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yamagatashi Yamadera Minamiin 4223
    This is a memorial museum for Matsuo Basho, the renowned haiku poet, located along Prefectural Route 19 in Yamadera, Yamagata City. The museum host various events such as haiku contests along with the permanent exhibit displaying drafts written in Basho's own hand, letters, and other archival materials pertaining to his life, as well as a theater corner documenting his life. The museum has tatami mat training rooms and tea rooms available for seminars or tea ceremonies and other traditional cultural art events.

    Basho is considered one of the best, if not the best, Haiku poet. If one is really, really interested in this art form, this museum is well worth a visit. If Haiku is not your thing, visiting the...

  • Chido Museum
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    4.0
    53 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.

    鶴岡城の西側にとても目立つ洋館が2つ立ち並んでいる。1つは元警察署らしいが、洋館なのに大きな鬼瓦があって和洋折衷が馴染んだ感じが良い。もう一つ大きな和風建築があり、外から眺めているだけでも楽しい。中は藩校である致道館にあったものが展示されている。

  • Yamagata Museum of Art
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    4.0
    49 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.

    Living in Paris, I go quite often to Orsay or marmottan museums. The 40 paintings exposed (monet, pissaro, van dongen, Chagall,... ) are very fine. There are very well representating the period...

  • Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Otemachi 1-53
    This museum is on Koen-dori Street in Otemachi, Yamagata City. Located on the ruins of Komyo-ji temple, which was the Bodaiji temple holding the remains of first Mogami Clan lord Shiba Kaneyori, and holds materials connected to the first Yamagata domain lord, Mogami Yoshiaki, and other members of the clan. They display martial pieces like swords and armor, as well as scrolls, paintings, and other valuable items.

    1989年に開館した最上義光と最上氏を顕彰することを目的とした博物館で山形城からも近く、入場は無料となっています。最上家特に多くの偉業残した義光(11代当主)に関わる遺品などが多く展示されています。最上義光公所用三十八間金覆輪筋兜は必見です。また、長谷堂合戦の図屏風で合戦様子を知ることができます。

  • Matsugasaki-jinja Shrine
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    3.5
    47 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Marunouchi 1-1
    This shrine is located across from the Yonezawa castle remains in Marunouchi, Yonezawa City. Uesugi Youzan, the chief of the historic Yonezawa clan, is enshrined here as well as Uesugi Kagekatsu and Naoe Kanetsugu. The primary annual festivals are in April and September. The April festival draws many worshipers and visitors, as it falls during the local major Yonezawa Uesugi Festival.

    As one walks up to the main entrance to the Uesugi Shrine, there is a shrine off to the right. It is worth a few minutes to visit, either before or after visiting the main event.

Yamagata Areas

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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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