[Feature] Souvenir Shop Shobido! Discover local goods
The Yamagata station building was renovated and reopened in 2017 as S-Pal Yamagata.
The second floor was converted to a souvenir area and as such has shops selling various kinds of food and goods.
In September 2018, 21 shops were open, including well-established ones representing Yamagata.
Every shop is unique and very attractive, but this time I would like to introduce one that I especially like, Shobido (^-^).
Of course, there are many goods that Yamagata can be felt familiar to those who go out sightseeing, as well as people leaving Yamagata and living outside the prefecture.
When you go to the station building, it is a wonderful shop full of charm as you stop by.
Shobido is a long-established souvenir shop in Yamagata which has a history of about 80 years.
From small items that make children happy, original folk craft for younger people and traditional crafts for older people, you will find something for all here.
The shop is located on the 2nd floor of the S-Pal building connected directly with Yamagata Station.
It is also ideal for effective use with even just a little time such as when waiting for a train.
There are lots of really nice products (^ – ^)
I’d like to introduce all the souvenirs, but since it would take a huge amount of time, I will introduce just some of them.
First of all, the appearance of the shop.
The shop was just renovated and now the whole place is in tones of wood grain which gives a very calm atmosphere.
Here are the items facing the aisle near the entrance when I visited.
Because it faces the aisle and has a high visibility, you can say these are the recommended products.
The yellow bags on the upper right are dried fruits produced in the prefecture.
Their taste is not too sweet and their compatibility with sake is outstanding.
And these are slippers.
If you didn’t know, the town of Kahoku in Yamagata prefecture is a town that produces about 40% of slippers nationwide.
Among them, ABE HOME SHOES, run by Abe Industry, has a history of nearly 100 years.
They are using domestic materials only and all their slippers are hand-made by craftsmen.
That quality is genuine!
There are cute items in front of the register too.
Daruma kokeshi is a decorative piece, and the head part can be turned by hand.
It’s just fun turning it around and around (^ – ^)
By the way, kokeshi dolls are also a local craft in Yamagata.
I guess it would be cute if I decorated the entrance of my house or the restroom with some.
Also on the other side are red and blue oni (ogre) figurines.
This is also decorative frame as well.
Looking at it, the red oni is crying and it is becoming a crying aka-oni.
I knew for the first time in this interview, but it seems the “Aka-Oni” picture book author Mr. Hamada is from Takahata Town in Yamagata prefecture.
On the same merchandise shelf, products of KENLAND, a famous linen knit brand from Yamagata, are also displayed.
Products such as socks, towels and stoles that can be used for everyday life are said to be very popular.
Products related to Yamagata Prefecture tourist character Kitekero-kun and Yamagata City costumed mascot Hanagata Beni-chan.
The red hat located at the upper left becomes a product called sakuranboshi (cherry hat).
They are sized for adults and children and I have one at home for kids (^-^)
I recommend making them wear one when you go sightseeing in Yamagata with small children!
I love that my kids like it, but the attention they will get is tremendous!
It was like being an idol with lots of people making comments and taking photos.
Since it hides even the ears, it is also useful to protect against cold.
(In the summer it may be a bit harsh (^ ^;)))
This is the back of the shop.
Many authentic folk crafts and special products were lined up.
The side-by-side table is a specialty product called Higashiyama-yaki from Shinjo City in the northeastern part of the prefecture.
It was very beautiful as there were plate in glaze of various colors.
There are so many!
On the shelf on the back are wooden craft items traditional to Yonezawa City in the southern part of the prefecture called Sasano Ittobori.
It is said that a craftsman cuts a piece of wood with a special blade.
It seems that the hawk figure called “otakapoppo” in the foreground is the most representative form of this art.
The other birds are also very cute.
Happy Poppo is also cute name (^ – ^)
These are items dyed with safflower, a specialty of Yamagata.
This is really beautiful…
Some people may know about the safflower of Yamagata Ghibli animated feature Only Yesterday.
A safflower festival is held in every part of the prefecture around July every year (^ – ^)
3. Recommended items for visitors
From here I would like to introduce you to my three personal picks.
① Sasano ittobori
They come in several sizes, just like nesting dolls, so I’d like to have about three of them by the entrance of my house (> <)
There are great color variations!
➁ Gassan Japanese paper
My second recommendation is items using Gassan Japanese paper. I had read about it and the real thing is really beautiful and delicate (^ – ^)
My second recommendation is items using Gassan Japanese paper.
I had read about it and the real thing is really beautiful and delicate (^ – ^)
③ Kaneyama cedar woodwork
These are wood accessories made of Kaneyama cedar from the Mogami region (northeast of the prefecture) which is famous countrywide.
Although the photo displays cut boards, there are also other items such as bowls and containers.
The variation of the wood grain makes all these items unique.
4. Recommended items for Yamagata natives living away
Next is three recommended options for those who left Yamagata Prefecture and work hard elsewhere.
① Cherry mugs
First of all, it is a mug with a cherry to make you remember Yamagata every day.
Designed by students of the Tohoku University of Arts and Science in Yamagata City, it is said that it was developed through collaboration between them and enterprises planning for “Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival” to be held in June every year.
It seems to be popular as some customers purchased some while I was visiting the shop.
There are variations other than the ones displayed, so please check with the clerk (^ – ^)
② Character Goods
What are these?
I have seen cars decorated with these dolls in Tokyo several times.
My kids like them too so I plan to purchase some in the future (^ ^)
③ Yamagata dialect goods
These are items related to Yamagata’s dialects.
“shane,” “mokkedano,” hodai”
If you are from Yamagata, these are nostalgic expressions.
When I lived in Tokyo, my husband placed a Yamagata dialectic calendar on the left of the photo on my work desk, so it seemed that I felt Yamagata every day.
5. Recommended items for small children
There are recommended items for small children.
Of course, you can also use them yourself or give them as souvenirs.
① Baby goods
They have all sorts of items for babies.
A kokeshi droll can turn a baby into a kokeshi.
It is absolutely cute (≧ – ≦)
The color is personally striking (^ – ^)
② Nostalgic toys using prefecture-made timber
Old-fashioned toys such as koma and kendama made from wood from the prefecture are sold here.
Since I came to Yamagata, the opportunity to touch such wooden toys increased, and they are quite amazing.
③ MOKU LOCK
This is a block using 100% wood from the prefecture (cherry, mapple, Japanese zelkova etc.). As it is a natural material, there are no two pieces with the same pattern or color. Yamagata Prefecture is investing in the wood industry so you can expect many wooden souvenirs to be manufactured rom now on!
※ There are also small pieces so please note that the blocks are for people over 3 years old.
This is a block using 100% wood from the prefecture (cherry, mapple, Japanese zelkova etc.).
As it is a natural material, there are no two pieces with the same pattern or color.
Yamagata Prefecture is investing in the wood industry so you can expect many wooden souvenirs to be manufactured rom now on!
In this article, we introduced the Shobido souvenir sop located in S-Pal Yamagata, the renovated shopping mall connected to Yamagata station.
Delicious food from the Kingdom of food Yamagata, including cherries, Yonezawa beef or Tsuyahime brand rice are available but there are lots of wonderful special products to.
Please come visit when you come to Yamagata (^ – ^)
* Opening hours and days may be different due to COVID-19. Please inquire directly with the shop before visiting.