The Honma Museum, Seienkaku Villa, and the Kakubuen Gardens
If you’re wanting a taste of life for the elite in Japan from the 18th Century, The Honma Museum and adjacent Seienkaku Villa and accompanying Kakubuen Gardens are an excellent spot.
Firstly, The Honma Museum is full of artworks and artefacts that were owned by the once-wealthiest family in all of Japan, such as Samurai armour, and other works from all throughout the country.
Take a short walk to the right of the museum, and you will come across the Kakubuen Gardens that lead you to the villa named Seienkaku. Take a stroll around the garden, and be sure to notice the circular rock, which when viewed through shows the Tohoku Region’s very own Mt. Fuji, Mt. Chokai.
Seienkaku was built by the fourth generation of the Honma Family, Mitsumichi Honma, in 1813 as a rest spot for Lord Sakai of the Shonai Clan. The architecture is of the Kyoto-style, and of special interest are the Ranma, wooden partitions above the sliding doors, whose shadows cast shapes that cannot be seen in the partitions themselves. The room on the second floor has a wall that turns into clouds as you step back, and this room once even hosted the Emperor of Japan, Emperor Showa in 1925.
Seienkaku also offers green tea or coffee with an accompanying sweet, great for a relaxing time by the garden!
The garden also features a bamboo forest
The Honma Museum, Seienkaku Villa, and Kakubuen Gardens are located a short five-minute walk from Sakata station.
〒998-0024 Yamagata-ken, Sakata-shi, Onarichō, 7−7
¥900 for normal entry, or ¥1400 for a combined ticket that includes entry into the Honma Historical Residence.
¥500 for the sweet and green tea or coffee set at Seienkaku
Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm
The Honma Art Museum featuring samurai equipment belonging to the Uesugi and Sakai Clans.
A view from inside the quite villa that rests at the edge of the Honma Garden.