Interesting Facts about Yamagata Prefecture
Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan, facing the Sea of Japan. It is famous for the beautiful nature and other interesting things like:
☆Top cherry production in Japan
☆Top Shogi (Japanese traditional chess) piece production in Japan
☆Top Ramen consumption in Japan
☆Top pear production in Japan
☆Top aralia cordata production in Japan
☆Top bracken production in Japan
☆Top numbers of waterfalls in Japan
Do you know that there are 35 cities in Yamagata Prefecture. Among these cities, you can find Tendo city which is famous for the natural hot springs. That's why many special onsen ryokan (hot spring hotels) can be found there!
Journey in Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture Begins!
You may think that it's a bit far to go to Yamagata Prefecture, but actually it's not that far if you depart from Tokyo!
From Tokyo Haneda Airport, it only takes 1 hour flight to get to Yamagata Airport. From the Nagoya Airport, only 1 hour and 5 minutes is needed. How about from the Osaka Airport, it takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to go to Yamagata Airport.
In just 1 hour, we can get to Yamagata airport from Tokyo! Oh, what is welcoming us? A big banner saying "The Yummy Yamagata Airport!! What can we eat here?? It seems like there are many interesting things waiting for us to explore in this beautiful prefecture!
An Entertainment City - Tendo City
Are you interested in the Japanese traditional chess shogi? As we have mentioned earlier, Tendo City has the top position of producing shogi's chess pieces in Japan. Actually 95% of the shogi chess piece is produced here in Tendo City!!
Every April in Tendo City at the special human shogi show people puts on the warrior costumes and performs a show just like chess pieces moving on a big chess board!
Started in 1965, Tendo City holds this Sakura Festival every year to celebrate the arrival of spring. Beside the human shogi show, you can also find lighting activities, booth selling souvenirs, and traditional dance performances etc. Don't miss out this interesting local event!
Sakura Festival in Tendo City
(Festival in 2016 was held on 23 and 24 April)
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.city.tendo.yamagata.jp/tourism/kanko/tendosakurafestival.html
Annual Shogi Tournament
Beside producing shogi chess pieces, Tendo City also focuses in promoting the shogi culture to everyone. There are many different kinds of shogi games and tournament hold in Yamagata Prefecture, like the Shogi Tournament for Kids, National Junior High School Shogi Tournament etc. The picture above is where the Annual Shogi Tournament takes place in! (Takinoyu)
Since Takinoyu has been helping to promote shogi for a long time, they received the award "Oyamayasuharu" in 2012. This award is presented by the Japan Shogi Association to those who has had distinguished achievement in promoting the shogi culture.
Dewazakura Sake Brewery in Tendo
Yamagata sake (Japanese rice wine) is very famous because it is made with the Yamagata water and rice. Since Yamagata is a snowy area and the water is especially good for brewing wine!
In the picture, the bottle in the center is the sake produced by Dewazakura Sake Brewery which won the championship in the International Wine Challenge!
The Highest Level Beef in Japan - Yamagata Beef
In Japan, beef in Kobe, Matsuzaka, and Yamagata are selected and called the Best 3 beef! Not only the Yamagata beef, you can also try the fresh vegetables in the "Yummy Yamagata"!
Top Cherry Production in Japan!!
If you ask people about Yamagata Prefecture, most of them will answer you CHERRIES for sure!!
Since we have this special chance to come to Tendo City, we need to try the cherry picking here. Actually you can find many fruit picking farms in Tendo City; this time, we will take you to Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden.
At Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden, beside cherries, you can also pick other seasonal fruits like apples, grapes, peaches etc.! Moreover, you need to try their famous fruit sundae too!! This time, we will have their seasonal fruit sundae which is the Cherry Sundae of course!! Look at it, there are 4 to 7 different types of cherries are used! Wow!
Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden
Address: 1303 Oaza Kawarago, Tendo City, Yamagata
Hours: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entrance 16:00)
Fruit Picking Time: 30 minutes
Entrance Fees: 1,620 yen for adults, 1,420 yen for children,
1,200 yen each for group of 15 or above
☆Seasonal Fruit Sundae - Oh!Show!Cafe
Price: 700 yen each
Japanese Cherry Experience
This year, the best time to experience the cherry picking is from 21st May to 18th July! You should be able to pick the most famous type of Japanese cherry - Satonishiki! In the above picture, you can see how juicy and tasty Satonishiki is!!
The basic fruit picking time is 30 minutes, but you can also extend it to 60 minutes!
Information about fruit picking
Cherry picking - Mid of May to Early July
Grape picking - Early August to Mid of October
Peach picking - Early August to Early September
Apple picking - Mid of October to End of November
Recommended Hot Spring Hotel - Taninoyu Hotel
Gorgeous views from the Japanese tatami style guestroom.
Address: 1-1-30 Kamatahoncho Tendo City, Yamagata
Homepage (English): http://www.ryokan-onsen.com/
What makes the food in Tendo City so delicious??
As you can see from the picture, the weather and the nature is good for farming in Tendo City. Taking the advantage of the mountains and the Japan Sea, both agriculture and fishery are very famous here.
Taninoyu Hotel even has its own farm which provides fresh vegetables to the hotel everyday. No wonder the food in Tendo City is so delicious!!
Recommended Hot Spring Hotel - Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku
If you want some private time with your family or lover, you can reserve your private hot spring here. You can also experience the public bath style hot spring here. Can you tell the hot spring is in shogi shape? There's even a word written at the bottom. Find out what's that by yourself!
Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku
Address: 2-2-21 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
(15 minutes walk from the Tendo City Station)
Prices from 14,900 yen to 51,650 yen
- A Japanese Style Dinner
- After getting in the hot spring, it's time to put on your yukata and have a nice and warm dinner at the hotel! At the hotel, you can choose your main dish from ShabuShabu (Japanese hotpot), Japanese style steak, and Sukiyaki (Japanese hotpot in sweet soy sauce). If you stay in the standard room, the main dish is fixed as ShabuShabu for you!
- Cherry All You Can Eat!!
- At the hot spring hotel “Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku”, 24 hours cherries all you can eat is especially provided to guests who stay in guestrooms with outdoor hot springs! The cherries provided are actually replaced frequently to make sure the freshness of this seasonal fruit!
Other Hot Spots in Yamagata Prefecture
- Suishakisoba - Buckwheat Noodles Restaurant
- "Suishakisoba"was opened in 1861, and they are still keeping the same taste as 100 years ago. If you want to try ramen instead, you can also order their famous "Chinese style chicken ramen", the soup and the ramen make a perfect combination. Highly recommended for you!
Address: 1-3-26 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.suisyasoba.com/
- The Hidden Izakaya - Sakuranbo No Hana (Yamagata Shop)
- If you want to experience the local culture of each prefecture, we recommend you to visit the local izakaya! That's because you can find the local food made with the local ingredients. Also, even you don't know about the language, you can still have some good times with the locals while drinking and eating together!
This shop is just located on the B1 floor of Hotel Castle which is also operated by "Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku".
Address: B1F Hotel Castle, 4-2-7 Tokamachi, Yamagata City, Yamagata
Hours: 17:30 - 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.itiraku.com/?page_id=20
- Hiroshige Museum of Art - A Good Place to Learn about Ukiyo-e
- At Hiroshige Museum of Art in Tendo City, collection of the works by Utagawa Hiroshige can be is displayed. It is a good place for you to visit if you are interested in the Japanese traditional Ukiyo-e.
Address: 1-2-1 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
Hours: 09:00 - 18:00 (April to October), 09:00 - 17:00 (November to March)
Holiday: Every Tuesday (If Tuesday is a public holiday, museum will be closed on the next day)
(Last entrance: 30 minutes before the museum is closed)
Tickets: 600 yen for adults, 500 yen for Junior High School, High School, and University Students,
300 yen for Elementary Students
For group of 15 persons or above: 450 yen for Junior High School, High School, and University Students, 250 yen for Elementary Students
The Beautiful Temple Hidden in the Nature
Actually we can't miss out this famous place in Yamagata Prefecture - Yamadera!
This area is named after the common name of the temple of Risshaku-ji, founded in 860 AD by the priest Ennin, who is better known in Japan by his posthumous name, Jikaku Daishi. The temple is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site.
(Information from wikipedia)
Address: 4456-1 Yamadera, Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture
Fees: 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for Junior High School and High School Students,
100 yen for children 4 years old or above
For group of 30 persons of above: 240 yen for adults, 160 yen for Junior High School and High School Students, 100 yen for children 4 years old or above
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.rissyakuji.jp/
Yama-dera Tourism Association (Japanese): http://www.yamaderakankou.com/index.html
A Healing Trip For You
If you are looking for a travel destination where you can find awesome local food and beautiful nature at the same time, Tendo City is definitely a perfect place for your to visit!
If you are interested in knowing more about Tendo City, keep checking out our website please! We will have more sharing on Tendo City in the near future!!
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See you there! :)