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Yamagata

Yamagata has been called 'hidden' Japan and is definitely not on the regular tourist routes. It is Japan's largest prefecture and you can find it along the Sea of Japan coast in southern Tohoku. In Yamagata, you can visit ancient temples, enjoy amazing skiing in the winter, try delicious local food and experience colorful summer festivals. Especially interesting for foodies, Yamagata is famous for cherries, in fact, 70% of Japan’s cherries are grown here! Imoni is a local stew made with taro, beef, konnyaku, sugar, soy sauce and miso. And for ramen lovers, Yamagata is quite serious about their ramen and boasts the highest consumption rate in all of Japan. Yamagata city and the cities of Sakata, Yonezawa, and Nanyo each have their own special types of ramen for you to enjoy.

Guides

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    Yama-dera Temple is one of Yamagata's most well-known temples. Surrounded by nature deep in the mountains, the temple has inspired famous works of poetry. Hot springs town Ginzan Onsen is also a beautiful historic spot that is popular among couples.

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    While there are sights to be enjoyed throughout all four seasons of the year, the hike to the extraordinarily shaped Okama Crater is best done over the summer.

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    Yamagata's major tourist destinations are within easy train distance from the Yamagata Station. You can hit most of the attractions within a day, and stay a little longer if you'd like to ski or hike a bit more.

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    Yamagata prefecture is relatively accessible by train, plane and bus. The prefecture has its own dedicated airport, as well as a station connected by Shinkansen to Tokyo, and Express buses that go to and from Tokyo and Yamagata Station.

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    Yamanashi is known for a fishy Dongara miso soup and a unique chilled ramen that has a distinctively rich flavor. A wide variety of cherries can also be enjoyed over the summer months!

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More about Yamagata

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Yamagata Food Guide

Yamagata DashiYamagata Dashi, while at first may sound like a type of soup, is actually a series of finely chopped vegetables and condiments, seaso...Read more

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Yamagata Access Guide

Yamagata prefecture is relatively accessible by train, plane and bus. The prefecture has its own dedicated airport, as well as a station connected ...Read more

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First Time in Yamagata

Photo Cred: Flickr user hiyang.on.flickrhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/8136063@N06/14740433577/Yama-dera Temple The Yama-dera Temple is known mostl...Read more

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Top spots

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Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen is a hot spring town that consists of only one street with shops and ryokan (Japanese inns) lining each side of it, and a small stream...Read more

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Zao Onsen Hot Spring

Located in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture, this hot spring is renown for its sulfurous spring waters—which are said to ameliorate skin condit...Read more

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Zao Onsen Ski Resort

Zao Onsen Ski Resort is a popular area for winter sports and is located close to the hot spring resort of Zao. The area is known for its juhyo (fro...Read more

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Risshaku-ji Temple (Yamadera Temple)

A Buddhist temple that was built in 860 at the order of Emperor Seiwa, this temple is Japan's oldest building made of beechwood. The buildings are ...Read more

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    Three Mountains of Dewa

    Dewa Sanzan are three sacred mountains in Yamagata called Gassan, Haguro-san and Yudono-san, each topped with a shrine.Read more

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    Mount Gassan

    Mount Gassan, one of the three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan, is a 1984-meter high volcanic mountain located in the center of Yamagata Prefecture...Read more

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    Yamagata Traditional Kokeshi Museum

    This site is a museum of traditional kokeshi, which are wooden dolls with round heads and cylinder bodies that began to be sold as souvenirs to the...Read more

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    Bunsho-kan

    The Bunsho-kan is an old European style building that was built for other purposes, but is now used as a museum of Yamagata prefecture and its cult...Read more

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