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Spots in Sakata / Tsuruoka Area

  • 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.
  • Hagurosan Saikan
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachitouge 7
    This facility offering food and accommodation is located on the grounds of Dewasanzan Shrine, in Haguro Town, Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture. As a temple originally named “Kezouin,” it is the last remaining building to have been lived in by Haguro mountain priests. One can enjoy the delicate and exquisite taste of seasonal mountain vegetables and mushrooms picked from the foot of Dewasanzan, used in vegetarian cuisine and said to have entertained the poet Matsuo Basho, famous for writing “Oku no Hosomichi” (The Narrow Road to Oku). Accommodation is available but there are few private rooms, most being partitioned rooms amidst a larger one.
  • Chido Museum
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    4.0
    50 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.

    江戸・明治の歴史建築が立ち並び、庄内藩酒井家伝来の史料や庄内地方の考古・歴史・民俗・美術資料が、観られます。鶴岡観光をするなら絶対外せない場所です。

  • Studio Sedic Shonai Open Set
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachikawadai Higashimasukawayama 102
    This is a photo spot and tourist facility in Haguro Town, Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, open to the public mainly as a set for shooting period piece films. It is famous as the location for well-known films including “Departures,” “Zatoichi THE LAST” and “Time Scoop Hunter.” Shooting sets are dotted around the vast 88-hectare (880,000m²) area, and aside from urban areas one can also see various locations including mountain settlements, fishing villages and inn towns. Excursion buses operating in the area cost 500 yen for the day.
  • Sobadokoro Nanakamadotei
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    4.5
    13 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Tamugimata Shimizujiri 12-6
    This soba noodle shop located on the Gassan Hanagasa Line in Shimizujiri, Tamugimata, Tsuruoka City. They feature Sotoni soba (adding two cups of wheat flour and for every 10 cups of buckwheat flour) made with Mt. Gassan spring water and flour from locally grown Hitachiakisoba grinded with a millstone. Meals include their Gassan Mori that comes with tempura and two wild vegetable side dishes, seasonal soba with wild vegetables or mushrooms, and their soba meal set that comes with items featuring local, seasonal ingredients (advance reservation required). The Tamugiso lodge is on the property, too.

    山形ドライブの途中に立ち寄りました。 何しろロケーションが最高。 月山を眺めつつ新そばを食べました。 この新そばもうまい!サービスもよし。 ずっと居たいくらいのお店です。

  • Kiyokawa Hachiro Memorial Hall
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Higashitagawagunshounaimachi Kiyokawa Kamikawara 37
    This memorial building is located on Prefectural Route 45 in Kamikawara Kiyokawa, Shonai Town, Higashitagawa County. It is on the precincts of the Kiyokawa-jinja Shrine, which is dedicated to Kiyokawa Hachiro, a Shoji native and historical figure from the end of the Edo period. It has an exhibit of his letters and diaries, as well as materials related to the Meiji Restoration.
  • Chokainomori Astronomical Obsevatory, Cosmos Domu
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    4.0
    7 Reviews
    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.

    最上川沿いから山手に進んだ一番上にあります。眺海の森というだけあって、見渡す景色もすばらしく、鳥海山も美しく見えました。天体観測だけでなく、散策の目的地などにも利用できる場所です。ただ、周囲は風が強いので気を付けてください。

  • Hiyoriyama Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Minamishinmachi 1-10
    Approximately 13 minutes by car from the Sakata Interchange on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway, this historic park overlooking the Japan Sea, devastatingly beautiful sunset is one of the Top 100 Municipal Parks of Japan. The park is dotted with distinctive historic relics reminiscent of the port’s heyday, such as the 2:1 scale Sengokubune, a historic cargo junk, Japan’s oldest hexagonal wooden lighthouse, and an ancient compass stone. This park also boasts over 400 Yoshino sakura with a sakura festival held every April. Many visitors throng to the festival during which time the Sengokubune and the hexagonal lighthouse are illuminated for the special occasion.
  • Churenji Temple
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    4.0
    1 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Oami Nakadai 92-1
    This temple, just a 15-minute drive from the Shonai Asahi Interchange, is famous for being the setting for the literary work, Gassan, by Atsushi Mori who won the Akutagawa Prize. Said to be established as a place of prayer after Kobodaishi founded Mt. Yudono. It is a historic temple, which enshrines an image of Saint Tetsumonkai. The Shimekake cherry tree can be seen in blossom from early May, and is said to have been where Kobodaishi sat and burn goma sticks. This temple has been awarded two stars in the Michelin Green Guide for Japan.

    湯殿山注蓮寺は、作家の森淳の文庫が有ります。ここ注蓮寺は即身仏が有って、お参りをすることが出来ます。この地は、豪雪地帯で建物の屋根まで雪が積もると言うことです。

  • Sakatakita Port Ryokuchi Observatory Tower
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    2.5
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Takasago 231
    This observation tower in Sakata Port also serves as a lighthouse, a rarity in Japan. The first floor features the Minato monoshirikan Hall, which exhibits panels educating visitors about the port. On the seventh floor, 18 meters up, the observation room offers a view of Sakata Port, along with the Sea of Japan, Takasago Wharf, cruise ships, and Japan Naval SDF ships.

    駐車場も広く、入場料 無料、エレベーターですぐに上がれます。眺めだけ見るなら最高です。 一階には展示物もありますが 長時間いるのは難しいかと思います。

  • Sanno Club
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    4.0
    26 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Hiyoshichou 2-2-25
    This museum is where you can learn about the history and culture of Sakata City, and it is housed in a building built in 1895 which was a long-established restaurant. On the second floor, you can see the famous Sakata Kasafuku displayed, which is one of Japan's three largest Tsurushi Kazari hanging ornaments, and an almost 106 tatami mat-sized Oriage coffered ceiling in the reception hall. On the first floor, exhibitions vary from room to room in the History Exhibition Area, and there is a store and cafe featuring Japanese-style sweets.

    Lovely displays with helpful English speaking guides. Beautiful crafts. I was privileged to be able to try on a ceremonial kimono!

  • Shonai Yuhinooka Auto Campsite.
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    3.0
    1 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi Hamanaka Kashiwa 33
    This auto campground is on Shonai Dune, on a wide open field surrounded by green. The hill is moderately high, offering a lovely view of Mt. Chokai, the Shonai Plain, and the Sea of Japan. Since it's just one minute from Shonai Airport Interchange, you can get a close-up view of the runway, and see planes taking off and landing. They offer tent and barbecue supply rentals for baggage-free outdoor fun. It operates from late April through November.

    庄内空港近くにある丘の上のキャンプ場です。離着陸する飛行機がすぐ近くで見れそうなんですが、庄内空港は飛行機の便が少ないため、夕暮れ時はほとんど見れなそうでした。名前からして夕日がきれいだろうと思い訪問しましたが、まだ1時間くらい 前でしたかね。でも静かで爽やかな場所でした。 入口付近だけしか見てませんが手入れがしっかりされた清潔なキャンプ場の雰囲気で、ここでテントとか張ったら気持ち良さそうな場所で...

  • Gyokusenji Temple Garden
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    4.5
    14 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachitamagawa 35
    This garden at Gyokusen-ji Temple, also called the Flower Temple, was made in 1450. Centered around a large pond, with a natural waterfall on the stream flowing from the mountains, the park has a variety of flowering plants, azaleas, maples, and Japanese primrose in a Chisen Kaiyushiki Horai water-based promenade garden. Nationally recognized as a Cultural Asset Spot of Scenic Beauty, it is popular all year round for its scenery.

    Hard to explain what makes this place special. The shrine looks just a bit more elegant but it is the complete setting that lifts this sight above many similar ones. The garden is perfectly...

  • Yamabushi Onsen Yupoka
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    4.0
    6 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachiushiroda Yachida 188
    This day use hot spring facility is in the plains at the foot of Mt. Haguro. The large baths feel wide open, with high ceilings and spacious construction, and there are saunas, traditional Japanese style stone outdoor baths with a view, and more facilities. The water type is sodium calcium chloride spring, which is said to be effective in recovery from fatigue and in promoting health. It's popular with tourists visiting Mt. Haguro as well as local residents on their days off.

    赤川花火の翌日に訪問。 朝風呂、6時からやっている。 サウナあり、JAF会員はポイント二倍 朝定は500円で格安。 駐車場もたくさんある

  • Dewa Sanzan History Museum
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    3.5
    25 Reviews
    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.

    Apart from a rather interesting explanation about a local tradition linked to a race with ropes between two parties, not much to watch, and no explanation in English either. Long story short:not...

  • Yudonosan Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Tamugimata Sixty Satoyama 7
    This shrine on the face of Mt. Yudono, a holy land for Shugendo Buddhism, is the “okumiya” back shrine of Dewa Sanzan, and draws many practitioners of mountain asceticism. Photography of the Kyogan (massive rock), with a stream bubbling from it, is forbidden as it is an object of worship for the shrine. Shoes are also forbidden in the shrine.
  • Chokai Onsen Rest Center Apon Nishihama
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    4.0
    2 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Yamagata Pref. Akumigunyuzamachi Fukura Nishinohama 2-70
    This day use hot spring facility is in Akumi County, Yamagata Prefecture. The indoor baths use sodium chloride spring water, said to have high heat retention properties, and the cloudy yellow iodide ion water for their baths, constantly supplied “kakenagashi” style. There are accommodations on the grounds, and the Nishihama Beach, and campground nearby, so these guests often stop by for a bath.

    「道の駅 鳥海 ふらっと」から1キロもない温泉施設。本日の宿泊地と温泉が近くて大変便利でした。 山形県遊佐町吹浦という場所ですぐ近所には吹浦川の海の河口があります。ごく普通の温泉ですね。私は些細なことには気にならないんで無難な温泉だと思いました。値段が400円と安くて助かります。シャンプーやボディソープもありました。館内にはご当地の写真家、渋谷永一氏の写真が飾られていました。

  • Sankyo Warehouse Sakata Yume-no-Kura
    Shopping
    Yamagata Pref. Sakatashi 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.
  • Homma Museum of Art
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    3.5
    26 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.

    鉄筋コンクリート造りの美術館棟の他、本間家別邸の建物とお庭も必見です。日本一の大地主と言われた本間家だけあって、かなりの名品をもっています。

  • Catholic Tsuruoka Church
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    4.0
    59 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...

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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