Spots in Yonezawa / Okitama 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Ubayu Onsen Masugataya
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    4.0
    50 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Osawa Yu Yu 1
    This hot spring resort is deep in the mountains at Osawaubayu, Yonezawa City. Boasting 450-years history, you can take a bath at the stand-alone Masugataya inn that's been in the same family for 17 generations. The simple acidic sulfur hot spring water is a bluish milky white. Located about 1,300 meters above sea level in the Azuma Mountain Range, people love its open-air bath where you can absorb the beauty of the quiet valley deep in the mountains.

    This is about the most remote onsen we have visited. The train service to Toge where the ryokan has a pickup service at 1340hrs is infrequent. From Toge it is a 35+mins mini-bus ride up a steep and...

  • Uesugi Joshien
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    3.5
    51 Reviews
    Shopping
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Marunouchi 1-1-22
    Uesugi Joshien not only provides information on the tourist spots around the Uesugi castle town, but also has a restaurant serving Yonezawa beef and other cuisine and shops selling Yonezawa goods, allowing visitors to really experience the tastes, crafts, and spirit of Yonezawa. Yonezawa beef is one of Japan’s top three beef brands, and you can enjoy steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, and even hamburgers, minced meat cutlets, croquettes, and skewers made with the meat. It’s about 10 minutes by car from JR Yonezawa Station.

    Between the parking lot and the Uesugi Shrine is a strategically placed shopping mall sole for the benefit of the tourists and primarily food. It’s actually not bad and worth a quick visit.

  • Kumabun
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    4.0
    46 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Kasuga 5-2-52
    More often than not there is a line of people waiting to enjoy the ramen at this ramen shop, which is continuously listed in the top popular ramen shop rankings for the Yonezawa area. This eatery is pleasant with a sense of cleanliness, has comfortable tables and slightly higher than normal chairs. When crowded, parties often share a table. The broth is not oily or heavy, balancing portions of vegetables, chicken, and dry fish well, and the noodles are hand kneaded, thin and al dente. The top menu orders are chuka-soba, with the traditional chashu pork, memma, and naruto toppings, and chashu ramen. Other options offered are such soy broth based, bean sprout ramen, wakame ramen types, and also miso or stir-fried vegetable ramens.

    米沢ラーメンでは有名なお店です。米沢ラーメン自体が薄めの醤油味のちぢれ細麺。さっぱりとしている分、インパクトに欠けてしまいますが、普通にうまいです。

  • 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.

  • Ogiya Beef Meat Pia
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    4.5
    34 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Chuou 1-11-9
    This restaurant is proud to serve Yonezawa beef, which is famous all over Japan as a leading beef brand, matured at low temperatures. Customers can enjoy this superb beef even for a casual lunch at any time and at a reasonable price. Customers can feel peace of mind with the detailed information provided concerning the beef that is on sale from producers to individual identification. It is around seven minutes by car from JR Yonezawa Station.

    精肉店の2階が食事処になっています。店内は昔から営んでいる雰囲気があり、カウンター席からは荷受けエレベータが1階と行き来するのが見えたり、調理する音が聞こえて来たりしながら待つのも、地元のお店感があって好感が持てます。メニューは高い物もありますが、庶民的な牛の生姜焼き定食や、ビーフカツ定食もあり、大変美味しくいただきました。長く続けてほしいお店です。

  • Uesugi Hakushakutei (Uesugi Earl's House)
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Marunouchi 1-3-60 Uesugi Memorial Hall
    The Uesugi Hakushakutei (Uesugi Earl’s House), which was built as the residence for the 14th Earl Mochinori of the Uesugi clan on the site of Ninomaru in the former Yonezawa Castle in 1896, was burnt to the ground in the Great Fire of Yonezawa, but the building and the gardens, landscaped by Tokyo Hamarikyu, were completed in 1925. Following this it became the Uesugi Memorial Hall where local cuisine was served and exhibitions were held. It is the only place in Yonezawa where guests can enjoy ‘katemono’, or food items, created by Lord Yozan Uesugi and said to be the origin of Yonezawa’s local cuisine.

    1月下旬庭園を散策しました。邸内の植木は雪囲いされていましたが雪がほとんどありませんでした。とても立派な日本建築の旧伯爵邸で庭園、池との配置も良く日本の美を感じました。邸内では食事ができるようです。

  • Roadside Station Takahata
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    4.0
    24 Reviews
    Transportation
    Yamagata Pref. Higashiokitamaguntakahatamachi Akutsu 2072-1
    Roadside Station Takahata is located along the Shichikashuku Highway in Akutsu in the town of Takahata. In addition to a farmers' market and a souvenir store, there is a restaurant serving dishes such as homemade soba noodles. On the other side of the road is a park with an archeological museum, where visitors can learn about ancient Japan, from the Jomon period to the Kofun period.

    This road station (michi no eki) is similar to all road stations in Japan with plenty of parking, clean bathrooms and lots of vending machines. This road station has a electrical recharge station...

  • Mahoroba Onsen Takahata-machi Taiyokan
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    4.0
    20 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Yamagata Higashiokitama-gun Takahatamachi Yamazaki 200-1
    Mahoroba Onsen Takahata-machi Taiyokan is a community hot spring facility that doubles as the JR Takahata Station. Its distinctive pointed roofs are inspired by the hometown of fairy tale author Hirosuke Hamada, and is illuminated in the evening. The alkaline simple spring is said to be effective against nerve pain and exhaustion. In addition to the host spring facility, the building contains a restaurant and a shop that is a convenient place for buying souvenirs. Other convenient services for visitors as a base for tourism include a free parking lot, a tourist information center, and bicycle rental.

    The Takahata Train Station has a HOT spa in the station, which you will not see often in Japan, but we have one in our small town. This is a public bath and separated male and female. You purchase...

  • Soba no Mise Hirama
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    4.0
    19 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Asagawa 1314-16
    Established in 1972, this ramen purveyor is a one of the quintessential of Yonezawa ramen, for which many customers stand in line to enjoy. The shop has their own noodle making factory, and while seated at the bar one can watch noodles being made. The broth, which enhances the noodles, hand-kneaded prior to boiling, is made of chicken and dried fish simmered for hours to perfect the flavor. The not too heavy robust flavored soy based chuka-soba is served the traditional way with chashu-pork, naruto, and memma slices. The resilient, thin, crimped noodles are a perfect complement to the broth. The shop closes for the day when the broth runs out.

    米沢ラーメンの雄。田んぼの中にポツンと一軒ラーメン家。お盆休み直近の花金お昼過ぎ訪問。幸い店舗裏の駐車場一台空いていました。店外店内数名立ち待ち状態。チャーシューメン780円に麺大盛100円増をコール。並盛でも麺量180gとボリューミーも大盛は丼も威圧感有。縮れ麺に底が見えるクリアな出汁。陽気な母さん3人と店主の微笑ましい共同作業がカウンターから厨房越しに垣間見えます。聖地巡礼納得です。

  • Yoshitei
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    4.0
    20 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Montoumachi 1-3-46
    This is a Yonezawa beef specialty restaurant located along Prefectural Route 2 in Monto-machi, Yonezawa City. This restaurant offers various beef dishes such as sukiyaki, shabushabu, grilled steak, and also a full-course menu featuring the regional foods. Even the weekday lunch menu (including holidays and weekends in winter) features the beef extravaganza, the grilled beef or steak dishes.

    The beef steak is just great! Not cheap, but it worth the price. Yonezawa beef has become famous as this restaurant started offering it, it is said. Next time I would try either sukiyaki or...

  • Beef Restaurant Sukiyaki Tokiwa
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    4.5
    16 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Chuou 7-2-3 Congested wave beef shop 2F
    This Yonezawa beef specialist was founded in 1894. Their flagship dish is sukiyaki, but they also serve shabu-shabu hotpot, charcoal grilled beef, cubed steaks, and many other dishes with Yonezawa beef. They also have a junmai ginjo sake, Tokiwa, brewed especially to match their sukiyaki and other beef dishes.

    The lady at the sake store recommended this store to buy beef. after reading that the store has been around for 100 years, we figure wed try the restaurant also. Between the 4 of us, we...

  • Yonezawa Gyutei Good
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    4.0
    17 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Yamagata Pref. Yonezawashi Shimohanazawa 1-3-4
    This is a specialist Yonezawa beef restaurant located in Shimohanazawa 1 Chome, Yonezawa City. Using only carefully-selected Yonezawa Beef heifers, which are said to be particularly tasty, it serves steaks, shabu shabu (thinly sliced beef dipped in hot soup), sukiyaki (thinly sliced beef cooked with vegetables and sauce) and yakiniku Korean barbeque. There are also individual dishes such as broiled beef sushi and shabu shabu set meals.

    米沢牛亭ぐっどに行きました。 コロナの影響からかテイクアウトのお弁当も売っていました。 小上がりもあります。 お客さんは、コロナの影響か少ないです 6人がけのテーブルに席を一つ離して座るように言われました。 ステーキセットは高級すぎるので、リーズナブルなものにしました。 私はちょっと奮発してGOODなお勧めという米沢牛ステーキセット150g3500円にしました。 Mさんはステーキ重1900円 Nさ...

  • Roadside Station Shirataka Yana Park, Ayu Chaya
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    4.0
    16 Reviews
    Transportation
    Yamagata Pref. Nishiokitamagunshiratakamachi Shimoyama 661-1
    This roadside station is along National Route 287 in Shimoyama, Shirataka Town. In addition to a souvenir shop selling local produce and products, Japan's largest yana (ayu fish) farm for tourism is located here. One can join a yana fishing experience under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable yana fisherman, and can enjoy various yana dishes at the diner including salt grilled yana lunch specials or yana sashimi (limited to June through October).

    車でドライブ中に立ち寄りました。 道の駅特有の売店とレストランなどあります。 レストランのメニューも魅力的でした。 残念ながら食事したばかりなので、今回は見送りました。 奥の最上川には、ヤナの仕掛けがありましす。残念ながら、時期ではないので、仕掛けはセットされていませんでした。 売店では鮎の塩焼き600円で売ってます。

  • Miyasaka Archaeological Museum
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    4.0
    17 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamagata Yonezawa-shi Higashi 1-2-24
    Located about a seven-minute walk from the JR Yonezawa Station, this history museum introduces the history of Yonezawa City. This museum houses approximately 700 items and documents that the first director, the late Miyasaka Zensuke, spent about 80 years of his life collecting. In addition to the uninscribed sword said to be owned by Uesugi Kenshin, Naoe Kanetsugu's two-piece chain body armor with light blue cabling and rust-colored mail, Maeda Keiji's five-piece vermilion chain armor with purple-cabling with a namban helmet, on display other artifacts, such as earthen bottles, bamboo hats, and documents. There is a special corner with many books and manga open to visitors wanting to learn more about Maeda Keiji

    We spent a happy hour in this little museum with its fine collection of Edo Period armor and weaponry. Sadly very little information in English but most of the dates of items were given in Western...

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.

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