A symbolic building standing for 100 years in the Shonai Plain, a major rice-producing area of Japan
(c) Daisuke Yatsui, JNTOSituated in the Shonai Plain that is one of the best grain-growing regions of Japan, Sakata flourished as a rice shipping port during the Edo Period. Sankyo Warehouse was built in 1893 by Sakai Family of Shonai clan and its 11 buildings are still in use. The buildings with thick mortal outer walls have double roofs and an internal structure to adjust humidity. Anybody will admire the majestic beauty of zelkova trees that have protected the storehouse from the late afternoon sun and strong wind.
Associated tourist facilities include Shonai Rice Historical Museum, Sakara Yume-no-kura completed in 2004 and Museum Hana-no-yakata exhibiting the history and culture of Sakata. The museum introduces the culture flourished in the past including a tea ceremony manner influenced by gorgeous culture of big cities such as Osaka, town people's games, festivals and local cuisine.
On permanent display is Kasahoko, a splendid float that Honma family, wealthy merchant of Sakata, had doll makers of Kyoto create during the Edo Period. The storehouse served as a backdrop for the television drama "Oshin" which was broadcasted across the world moving many people.
Address: 1-1-20 Sankyomachi, Sakata, Yamagata
Hours open to visitors: 9:00-18:00 (to 17:00 from Dec to Feb)
Admission Fee: Free (300 yen each for the Museum Hana-no-yakata and Shonai Rice Historical Museum)
Closed: Jan 1
Directions: (Train) A 20-minute walk from Sakata Station on JR Uetsu Honsen (one hour by air from Haneda Airport, Tokyo and 40 minutes from Syonai Airport). (Car) 15 minutes from Sakata Interchange on the Yamagata Expressway.