Sakata and Tsuruoka Half-Day Private Trip with Nationally-Licensed Guide

This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Sakata and Tsuruoka!

Well-known for its hot springs and scenic views, Yamagata is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Sakata and Tsuruoka area are known for its vast natural scenery and stunning panoramic views of the mountains and the sea. Along with the beautiful sights, many visitors seek the great hot springs, nature, historic temples, and delicious seafood cuisine this area is known for.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a four-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
* Duration: 4 hours
* Starts: Sakata, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Historical & Heritage Tours




This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Sakata and Tsuruoka!

Well-known for its hot springs and scenic views, Yamagata is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Sakata and Tsuruoka area are known for its vast natural scenery and stunning panoramic views of the mountains and the sea. Along with the beautiful sights, many visitors seek the great hot springs, nature, historic temples, and delicious seafood cuisine this area is known for.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a four-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Sankyo Soko Storehouse, 1-1-8 Sankyomachi, Sakata 998-0838 Yamagata Prefecture

The Sankyo Warehouses (山居倉庫, Sankyo Sōko) are a complex of rice warehouses in Sakata that now also serves as a tourist attraction with a rice museum, picturesque grounds and a shop selling souvenirs and local produce.

Japan’s most important shipping trade route of the Edo Period connected northern Japan with Osaka via ports along the Sea of Japan and the Seto Inland Sea, with Sakata emerging as a major trade hub along the way. The Shonai Plain around Sakata is one of Japan’s few large plains and is ideally suited to high-quality rice cultivation. The celebrated local rice became Sakata’s most lucrative commodity, and the Sankyo Warehouses have historically been where the rice is shipped from the surrounding farmland and stored before being sent to the market.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Former Honma Family Residence, 12-13 Nibancho, Sakata 998-0045 Yamagata Prefecture

The Honma Residence (本間家旧本邸, Honma-ke Kyūhontei) in Sakata is a grand old house dating back to the Edo Period that has been well preserved and has many interesting features that visitors can explore. The building was formerly owned by the Honma clan, a wealthy merchant family in the area, and is one of two main tourist spots in the city associated with the family, alongside the Honma Museum of Art.

The Honma clan achieved wealth as merchants in the shipping trade during the Edo Period. The family became influential as economic advisors to the local lord and in community improvement initiatives like erosion control, land reclamation and firefighting. The building, dating to 1768, was given to the Honma family after originally serving as the residence for agents of the shogunate visiting from Edo. The family lived here until 1945, after which the property became a community center before being opened as a public historical site in 1982.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ken Domon Museum of Photography, 2-13 Iimoriyam, Sakata 998-0055 Yamagata Prefecture

The Ken Domon Museum of Photography (土門拳記念館, Domon Ken Kinenkan) is a museum in Sakata dedicated to the work of one of Japan’s most prolific photographers and Sakata native, Domon Ken (1909-1990). Before his death, Domon donated around 70,000 of his photographs to Sakata City and these subsequently became the basis for the museum.

Domon became noted first as a photojournalist, renowned for the realistic way he documented postwar Japan through his lens. In addition to his portraits and photos depicting everyday life, Domon is also known for his later works in which he focused heavily on religious and cultural assets, such as temples and Buddhist statues.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium, 656 Okubo Imaizumi, Tsuruoka 997-1206 Yamagata Prefecture

Kamo Aquarium (加茂水族館, Kamo Suizokukan) is an aquarium famous for its impressive collection of jellyfish. The aquarium is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan in Tsuruoka City, south of Sakata and to the west of the Dewa Sanzan.

The aquarium’s “Jellyfish Park” exhibits dozens of different species of jellyfish in different circular windows which are back-lit and provide for an atmospheric visual effect against the exhibition space’s low lighting. There are descriptions of the species next to the windows, but these are mostly in Japanese. A jellyfish farm is contained within the aquarium where thousands of tiny, unborn jellyfish are being incubated.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Zenpoji Temple, 100, Shimogawasekine, Tsuruoka Yamagata Prefecture

Zenpoji is a Zen temple in Tsuruoka, founded in the Heian period. It is located approximately 14 km from Shonai Airport. Zenpoji Temple is also known as Ryugeji and is famous for worshipping the Dragon God (“ryu” in Japanese), the guardian deity of the seas.

Zenpoji is surrounded by the Dewa Sanzan mountains and attracts many visitors all year round.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Mt. Haguro, Haguromachi Toge, Tsuruoka 997-0211 Yamagata Prefecture

Dewa Sanzan is one of the few areas in Japan inhabited by the mountain ascetics called yamabushi who practice a now rare form of syncretic Buddhist-Shinto belief called shugendo (*1). Dewa Sanzan is a mountainous area consisting of the mountains Gassan, Haguro, and Yudono.

During the winter, Gassan and Yudono become inaccessible because of the snow, but you can visit Mount Haguro any time of the year. As a result, on Mt. Haguro there is the Sanjin Gosaiden Shrine which is dedicated to the three deities protecting the Dewa Sanzan mountains.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Mt.Haguro- Dewasanzan Sanjin Gosaiden, 7 Haguromachitouge Touge, Tsuruoka 997-0211 Yamagata Prefecture

Dewa Sanzan is one of the few areas in Japan inhabited by the mountain ascetics called yamabushi who practice a now rare form of syncretic Buddhist-Shinto belief called shugendo (*1). Dewa Sanzan is a mountainous area consisting of the mountains Gassan, Haguro, and Yudono.

During the winter, Gassan and Yudono become inaccessible because of the snow, but you can visit Mount Haguro any time of the year. As a result, on Mt. Haguro there is the Sanjin Gosaiden Shrine which is dedicated to the three deities protecting the Dewa Sanzan mountains.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Shonai Shrine, 4-1 Babacho, Tsuruoka 997-0035 Yamagata Prefecture

Shonai Shrine was constructed where the castle of the feudal lord of the Shonai province once stood during the Edo period.

The treasure hall located next to the main hall has valuables on display which once belonged to the samurai clan that ruled this area.

Duration: 1 hour