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Introducing Yonezawa

Carnivores should come here to chow down on Yonezawa beef, famous for its tenderness and flavour, similar to Kobe’s own. During the 17th century the Uesugi clan built their castle in this town, which later developed into a major centre for silk weaving. You can pick up maps and information at the tourist information office (24-2965; 8am-6pm) inside the station. Rental bicycles (¥1000 per day) are available outside.

At the south entrance of Matsugasaki-kōen (), the small Uesugi Museum (; 26-8001; admission ¥400; 9am-4.30pm, closed 4th Wed, closed Mon Dec-Mar) displays Uesugi clan artefacts. Uesugi-jinja (), built on the castle ruins in 1923, is inside the park grounds with a nearby treasury, Keishō-den, (; 22-3189, 9am-4pm), which displays armour and works of art belonging to several generations of the Uesugi family. Advance reservation is necessary from December to March. Just south of the shrine is Uesugi Kinenkan (; 21-5121; 11am-2pm & 5-8pm), a Meiji-era residence with more Uesugi relics. Advance reservation is necessary for dinner.

To get to the park, take a bus from stop 2 from outside the station bound for Shirabu Onsen to the Uesugi-jinja-mae stop (¥190, 10 minutes).

The clan mausoleum Uesugi-ke Byōsho (; 23-3115; admission ¥200; 9am-5pm), 1km west of the park, has several generations of the Uesugi clan entombed in gloomy individual mausoleums.