Top things to do

Soba in Yamagata

Sobadokoro Shōjiya

Delicious chewy udon and signature soba bowls (hot or cold) are served with simple elegance at this friendly spot. The accompanying tempura and miso are respectively light and tangy. It's a worthwhile 10-minute walk…
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 pottery pieces known as nashi-seiji (pear skin), but now only a few remain. You can purchase …
Izakaya in Yamagata

Kitanosuisan

Come here to sample sake and local Yamagata specialities such as imo nabe (potato stew) and dongara (cod), as well as a variety of chargrilled seafood. The menu is on a wooden board and includes pictures. Take the f…
Film in Yamagata

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

This long-running documentary film showcase takes place biennially in odd-numbered years, over one week in mid-October. See films and retrospectives from all over the world, as well as director talks and other event…
Tonkatsu in Yamagata

Hiratabokujō

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 train journeys.
Cultural in Yamagata

Hanagasa Matsuri

Held over three days, this colourful festival sees large crowds of dancers move through the streets of Yamagata wearing hanagasa (flower-laden straw hats) and singing folk songs.