Top things to do

Historic Site in Yamagata

Hirashimizu Pottery District

In the 19th century there were dozens of fiery kilns lining the Hazukashi-gawa turning out beautiful bluish-grey mottled pieces known as nashi-seiji (pear skin), but now only a few remain. You can purchase ceramics …
Izakaya in Yamagata


Come here to sample sake and local Yamagata specialities, such as imo nabe (potato stew) and dongara (cod), cooked in practically every possible way. The menu is on a wooden board and includes pictures. Take the fir…
Tonkatsu in Yamagata


Part of an upmarket chain restaurant specialising in tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlets), this branch by the Metropolitan Hotel is highly recommended by locals for a quick feed in-between trains.
Soba in Yamagata

Sobadokoro Shōjiya

Delicious chewy udon and signature soba bowls (hot or cold) are served with simple elegance here. The accompanying tempura and miso are respectively light and tangy.
Film in Yamagata

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

This biennial event takes place over one week in October and screens films and retrospectives from all over the world, and also hosts symposiums.
Cultural in Yamagata

Hanagasa Matsuri

Large crowds of dancers wear hanagasa (flower-laden straw hats) and sing folk songs.