From little-known gems to old standards! Top 4 recommended Sightseeing Spots for a trip to Yamagata


From little-known gems to old standards! Top 4 recommended Sightseeing Spots for a trip to Yamagata

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byCOMOMO editor

Yamagata Prefecture offers a host of sightseeing spots, including beautiful scenery, hot springs, and historical heritage sites.
This time, I’d like to introduce some recommended spots — both little-known and “standard” — which are undoubtedly photogenic and will make for a most memorable trip.

Nostalgic lights and historical wooden buildings grace this lovely hot springs village.
Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen, in Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, is a hot springs village that seems to have slipped straight out of the Taisho Era, with a nostalgic atmosphere that is not to be missed.
Beautifully illuminated in the light of the setting sun, it is completely like the world of “Spirited Away”!
The soft light calls forth a dreamlike and exceedingly romantic atmosphere. ♡

If you discover your favorite details within the town, and focus on the lights, the signboards, or traditional joinery and fittings, you can wind up with a most evocative streetscape photo.

This district, all lit up, is so romantic. ♡

To stroll with your camera in one hand is very enjoyable!

Nostalgic Townscape


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Address Yamagata Prefecture, Obanzawa City, Ginzanshinhata District.
Access [Bus] From JR Oishida Station, take the bus to Ginzan Onsen (about 40 minutes).
[Car] From the Tohoku Chuo Expressway Higashine IC take National Route 287, then 13 to Ginzan Hot Springs (about 60 minutes).
Contact 0237-28-3933

The highest peak of the “Three Mountains of Dewa” (Dewa Sanzan) is a trekking Mecca ♩ Truly a paradise in the sky.
Mount Gassan

Mount Gassan is one of the 100 Famous Mountains of Japan.
Mount Gassan is one of the 100 Famous Mountains of Japan, and looms 1,984 meters above sea level.
Because of the harsh natural environment, it is home to a number of rare alpine plant species; you can best see them from the summit.
You can get to the 8th station at Gassan by car and enjoy the alpine vegetation on the popular Midagahara Plateau.
The marshy grasslands and are serviced by a well-maintained wood path, along which you can enjoy about a 60 minute nature walk.

You can enjoy the views in all four seasons.

Also recommended in the Autumn leaves season!

Beautiful scenery like an ink painting ♡ The view from the godaido (temple hall) is deeply moving!
Risshaku-ji (Yama-Dera) Temple

Risshaku-ji Temple, also known as Yama-Dera Temple is famous for being visited by Matsuo Basho.
If you climb the more than 1,000 steps to Okunoin, it is said that “with each step, you will be able to cast off every evil earthly attachment and desire.”
Climbing the stone steps is extremely tiring, but once you reach the summit, you will feel refreshed by the beautiful views spreading out all around!
On the evening of New Year’s Eve, a great many people gather (it is open to the general public) to ring the large bell.

The beautiful scenery of Risshaku-ji Temple

The view from Risshaku-ji Temple godaido


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Address Yama-Dera Temple, Yamagata City, Kawahara 4456-1
Access [Train] about 20 minutes from Yamagata Station on the JR Senzan line
[Car] About 30 minutes from Yamagata Station
Contact 023-695-2816

Two large trees with marriage traditions!

Popularly known as the "Totoro tree" it is a designated cultural asset, a natural treasure of Sakegawa village that is also called the "married cedar".
Revered as a sacred tree in the village, it is said that couples who rest and hold hands under this giant tree’s branches will be blessed with a child. ♡

The plump and rounded silhouette of wood used in the movie "My Neighbor Totoro" has become a popular topic of conversation and photo shooting spot!
Studio Ghibli fans will want to visit this mysterious power spot at least once.

The rounded wooden silhouette that appeared in My Neighbour Totoro!


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Address Yamagata Prefecture, Mogami District, Sakegawa Village, Magarigawa
Access About 30 minutes by car from JR Shinjo Station

Access from Miyagi Prefecture to Yamagata Prefecture

The following is recommended for travelling from Miyagi prefecture to Yamagata prefecture.

Train: Senzan Line Sendai Station to Yamagata Station (about 1 hour and 20 minutes)
Bus: Highway bus Sendai Station to Yamagata Station (about 70 minutes)
Car: Tohoku Expressway through to Yamagata (about 1 hour)

COMOMO editor


COMOMO editor