Yamagata Prefecture

Tohoku

Over 100 amazing hot springs, historical temples and shrines. Scenic points such as mountain ranges and the Mogami River.

Yamagata Prefecture is situated on the westernmost part of the Tohoku region, and has, since long ago, been an important marine transportation spot with developed routes on the Sea of Japan. Many cities in the prefecture, such as Yamagata, Shinjo, Tsuruoka and Yonezawa, have a long history, and naturally there are many historical temples, shrines and other sights to be found there, including the famous Risshaku-ji Temple and Kaminoyama Castle, in addition to quite a number of traditional arts and crafts, represented by lacquerware and die casting.

The prefecture is blessed with natural scenic points: the Mogami River, which forms the vast Shonai Plain at its lower part and then flows into the Sea of Japan; the Zao Mountan Range, which was an object of mountain beliefs/worship; and mountains like the Dewa Sanzan and Mt. Chokai. The total amount of land designated for use as natural parks, including Bandai Asahi National Park and Zao, Chokai and Kurikoma Quasi-National Parks, comprises 17% of the total land area of Yamagata.

Yamagata has more than 100 hot springs. It also hosts many events, such as Yamagata City's Hanagasa-matsuri Festival (Flower-Adorned Hat festival) and Tendo City's Ningen Shogi, or human chess. Yamagata is also attractive because of its tasty specialties: rice farmed on the Shonai Plain; locally brewed sake and wine nurtured by clear air and water; soba noodles; fruits like cherries, grapes, and Shonai persimmons; as well as fresh seafood such as cod and oysters. Outdoor recreations such as paragliding, skiing and trekking can all be enjoyed there as well.

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