Central Yamagata occupies a grid of streets lying northeast of the train station. Its southern boundary is Ekimae-dōri, a broad avenue leading straight from the station as far as the Hotel Castle, from where the main shopping street, Nanokamachi-dōri, strikes north to the former Prefectural Office (文翔館), about twenty minutes’ walk from the station. This imposing, European-style building of stone and ornate stucco dominates the north end of Nanokamachi-dōri. Originally built in 1911, the interior has been magnificently restored, particularly the third floor with its parquet-floored dining room and elegant Assembly Hall.

From the Prefectural Office, head west to the Yamagata Art Museum beside the castle walls. This modern museum boasts a small collection of major European names, such as Picasso, Chagall, Renoir and Monet, but unless there’s a special exhibition of interest it’s not really worth the entrance fee. Instead, cross the train tracks to enter Kajō-kōen (霞城公園) by its beautifully restored East Gate, the only remnant of the former castle. The City Museum, or Kyōdokan (郷土館), occupies a delightful, multicoloured clapboard building in the park’s southeast corner. Erected in 1878, this museum originally served as the town’s main hospital, and its exhibits include a fearsome array of early medical equipment and anatomical drawings, including a guide to pregnancy rendered as woodblock prints.

On the city’s southeastern outskirts, the pretty little pottery village of Hirashimizu (平清水) has a surprisingly rural atmosphere. There’s just one main street and a small river running down from the hills, which provides local potters with their distinctive, speckled clay. If you explore a little, you’ll find several family potteries with showrooms (daily 9am–5/6pm), such as Shichiemon-gama (七右衛門窯), which offers visitors the chance to throw a pot or two.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Japan House: a new cultural crossroad between Britain and Japan

Japan House: a new cultural crossroad between Britain and Japan

Travel to Japan has boomed over the past year, with over 300,000 UK visitors rushing to the country in 2017. But if you want to experience the country's exquisi…

22 Jun 2018 • Eleanna Zanga insert_drive_file Article
In search of the secret to long life in Nagano

In search of the secret to long life in Nagano

People in Nagano, Japan, live longer than virtually anywhere else on earth. But what’s the secret of this success? Our writer Shafik Meghji travelled across…

16 May 2018 • Shafik Meghji local_activity Special feature
Kyushu's living stories: exploring Japan's unsung corner

Kyushu's living stories: exploring Japan's unsung corner

This year Japan celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration – the event that returned the emperor to the throne, and set the country back on th…

09 May 2018 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs