Yamagata is located along the coast of Sea of Japan in the southern part of the Tohoku Region. Yamagata City is the prefectural capital with a population of around 250,000 people. The prefecture is known for its beautiful nature and agricultural production. With Yamagata being the largest producer of cherries and pears in all of Japan.
Some of the most visited sightseeing spots in Yamagata.
Yamadera temple was founded over a thousand years ago in the steep mountainside northeast of Yamagata City and offers spectacular views on the valley beneath it. Its official name is Risshakuji but is usually referred to by its popular name Yamadera, literally translating to "mountain temple". Located at the base of the mountain is Yamadera's main hall Konponchudo Hall. Inside the hall a flame brought from the Enryakuji Temple in Kyoto is stored and is said to have been burning since the temple's foundation.
From Yamagata City ride the JR Senzan Line to Yamadera Station. The trains runs hourly and takes about 20 minutes to reach Yamadera Station, from which Yamadera Temple is a short 5 minute walk away.
Originally developed around a silver mine, Ginzan Onsen literally meaning "Silver Mountain Hot Spring" is a quiet hot spring town found in the mountains of Yamagata prefecture. The mine that was build over 500 years ago is since long closed, but the small town is still regarded as one of Japan's most charming hot spring towns. With many historic wooden ryokan still standing along the river, the town was made nationally famous as the setting for the periodic television drama Oshin.
From Tokyo, ride the JR Yamagata Shinkansen and get off at the Oishida Station. From there change to a bus going for Ginzan Onsen. The ride takes about 35 minutes and depart every 60-90 minutes.