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 …
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…
Ramen in Tsuruoka

Sapporo Rāmen

A little ramen joint that lasts for decades must be good given Japan's high culinary standards. The husband-and-wife team here prepare buttery noodles with thin, sweet pork and/or heaped leafy green vegetables. It's…
Bar in Tsuruoka

High Noon Diner

Turning left from the train station, walk not even two blocks until you see the distinctive neon pink flamingo in the window of this cosy retro bar with Guinness on tap, popular with foreign visitors and locals alik…
Amusement Park in Tsuruoka

Studio Sedic

Opened to visitors in 2014, this working movie set spread over 4km of countryside on the Shōnai Plain, 20km from Tsuruoka Station, has seven distinct areas to explore, including convincing reproductions of fishing, …
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…
Sushi in Tsuruoka

Kintarozushi

Come here for a variety of fresh, simple sushi delivered express on a sushi train.