Top things to do

Aquarium in Tsuruoka

Kamo Aquarium

The world's largest jellyfish tank – containing 30 to 40 species at any one time – was given a spark by a Nobel Prize–winning scientist who discovered a fluorescent protein in belt jellyfish and taught the aquarium …
Buddhist Temple in Tsuruoka

Zenpō-ji

Seven kilometres west of Tsuruoka is this Zen Buddhist temple, complete with five-tier pagoda and large gateway. It dates from the 10th century, when it was dedicated to the Dragon King, guardian of the seas. Near t…
Cultural in Tsuruoka

Tenjin Matsuri

On 25 May each year, people stroll around in masks and costumes, serving sake and keeping an eye out for friends and acquaintances. The object is to make it through the festival without anyone recognising you. Manag…
Bar in Tsuruoka

High Noon Diner

Two blocks left from the train station you'll spot the distinctive neon pink flamingo in the window of this cosy retro bar with Guinness on tap. Popular with foreign visitors and locals alike.
Ramen in Tsuruoka

Ramen Kyuchan

Ramen shops abound throughout Tsuruoka; this cheap and cheerful place is popular with locals for its flavoursome broth and late-night hours.
Museum in Tsuruoka

Chidō Museum

Founded in 1950 by the former Lord Shōnai in order to preserve local culture, this museum features Sakai-family artefacts, two Meiji-era buildings, a traditional storehouse and a kabuto-zukuri (farmhouse with a that…