Yamagata has many natural landscapes and sights.
You can enjoy various outdoors activities in the mountains, rivers and sea, in a nature that changes expression with the seasons.
Chokai Blue Line
This road connects Yamagata with Mt. Chokai (2236 m) in Akita.
Also called “Dewa Fuji”, the foot of the mountain is blessed with superb views and rich nature. Above all, the "Blue Line" offers a great view of the Sea of Japan.
Zao Echo Line
A mountain road with a total length of about 26 km running from the foot of Zao toward the summit of the Zao mountain range where can be found the Okama Crater Lake.
You can enjoy driving while watching the unique scenery of each season, such as early summer fresh green, autumn leaves, and around the Golden Week, high snowy walls. * The road is closed from early November to mid April.
Nishi Azuma Sky Valley
A 17.8 km winding skyline going from Lake Hibara in Fukushima Prefecture through the Hakusen Pass at an altitude of 1410 m and a great view of Lake Bandai before reaching Yonezawa.
Trekking & mountain climbing
With over 6 mounts among Japan's best 100 mountains, Yamagata is full of climbing routes and trekking courses.
Life, culture, food and faith in Yamagata has always been intertwined with its mountains.
Kaminoyama City is a pioneer of Japanese style kurort, a German-style health walking activity. A specialized guide can take you on one of the 20 courses included 8 officially certified by the University of Munich before going to Kaminoyama Onsen and enjoy a good meal and stay in the hot spring town.
From Zao, one of the largest ski resort in Japan, and Mt. Gassan, which opens only in Spring, Yamagata is a true ski kingdom located in snow country.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are also spots where you can enjoy nature in winter on snowmobiles or through snow shoe trekking.
Sea and Rivers
River boat ride
You can go down the Mogami river, the mother river of Yamagata, enjoying the seasonal scenery of its riverside and the voice of its boatman as he sings the famed Mogami river boat song.
Swimming in the sea
The Shonai area is known for its beautiful coastline extending from north and south, the majestic Dewa Fuji, sunset over the sea, and the otherwise majestic nature along the Sea of Japan. There are many popular places such as the rare beach where the underground water flows, seasides near cottage villages and campground, and the beach that is considered the birthplace of surfing.
Tobishima, off the shore of Sakata, is one of the fishing meccas in Japan, while the port in Tsuruoka is one of the other famous fishing spot in the Shonai area. Numerous rivers in the prefecture also offer great fun for family fishing fun.
Cherries, apples, grapes or blueberry picking, mushroom growing, charcoal grilling, mountain vegetables harvesting, rice or vegetable planting... the farming experiences under the guidance of local farmers will make for memorable and irreplaceable experiences.
Soba noodle making, horse riding, paragliding, pottery making, sake and wine tasting, Yamabushi training, Kokeshi doll drawing, Japanese sword iaido training, there are plenty of unique experiences to be made in Yamagata.
Yamagata is home to two major theme parks, the Studio Sedic Shonai Open Set and Lina World.
Studio Sedic Shonai Open Set is the largest site in Japan open to the public that preserves movie and drama sets. Many works like Departures, or the Rurouni Kenshin movie series have been filmed here.
Lina World is Tohoku's largest amusement park and hosts numerous events such as “Character Shows” and “Hero Show” for children and fans of all age.