Tora Fugu at the Kamo Aquarium
Tora Fugu at the Kamo Aquarium

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Yamagata City Station
Yamagata City Station

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Tsuruoka City of the Shonai Region.
Tsuruoka City of the Shonai Region.

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Tora Fugu at the Kamo Aquarium
Tora Fugu at the Kamo Aquarium

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Maiko, museums, temples and more

In addition to its many stunning natural attractions, Yamagata has a plethora of charming spots to enjoy. 


From live maiko performances to tea ceremonies alongside beautiful Japanese gardens, Yamagata has plenty to enjoy within the comfort of its small cities and towns.  

Featured Locations
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Yamagata City 

As capital of the prefecture and home to Yamagata’s largest metropolitan population, Yamagata City has no shortage of activities, cuisine, nightlife, and lodging accommodations, as well as a variety of sightseeing and historic points of interest to keep visitors busy. 


Tsuruoka City

Blessed with towering mountains, vast open plains, and long stretches of rich coastline, Tsuruoka City is a rural farming city in the vast open plains of the Shonai Region.  This is region has an absolute treasure trove of hidden gems to explore.  


Sakata City

The historic port city of Sakata was once a major port city that serviced domestic trade with the rest of Japan during the Edo Period.  During this time, the richest family of all of Japan called Sakata home and the streets of downtown Sakata were lined with merchant homes and a bustling entertainment district that remain to this day.


Kaminoyama Hotsprings

Resting at the base of Mt. Zao right next to Yamagata City is the quite hot spring city of Kaminoyama whose healing waters have made it a major tourist destination from the Edo Period.   


Sendai City

Sendai is often called "the gateway to Tohoku" for its easy access from Tokyo and many train and bus routes to the rest of Tohoku Region.  Learn more about its samurai roots and many attractions. 

Ginzan Onsen

A beautiful onsen town located deep in the mountains of Yamagata. 


A small artisans hamlet on the outskirts of Yamagata City, Hirashimizu is home to some of the finest artisans in Yamagata Prefecture.  

Gyokusenji Temple

A large Zen Buddhist temple at the base of Mt. Haguro.  Gyokusenji features a beautiful Japanese garden hundreds of years old that has been designated as a national treasure.  

Yamagata City

The capital of Yamagata Prefecture can be reached from Tokyo via the Yamagata Shinkansen and is perfectly located nearby many of this region's top sightseeing locations. 

Jichiin Temple

Nestled in the historic port city of Sakata is a sprawling temple complex with a towering buddha statue that watches over the surrounding area.  This temple is called Jichi-in Temple and traces back over 600 years from when the founders of this temple first came to this region

The Ken Domon Museum of Photography

See the personal collection of Ken Domon, one of Japan's most celebrated photographers.  


A stunning maiko teahouse dating back to the Edo Period complete with live performances, art museum, and dozens of rooms and exhibits to explore. 

The 16 Buddha of Yuza

Along the volcanic coastline of the small town of Yuza are 16 stone statues that were carved into the coastline over 150 years ago to protect the people of Shonai from tragedies at sea.  

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