NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]


"In the eastern part of Yamagata Prefecture, Ou Mountains with elevation of 1000 to 2000 meters runs south to north, and in the center, Dewa Mountains, Mt. Gassan and Asahi Mountains stretch south to north.
Mogami River, which contributed to the development and success of Yamagata’s economy and culture, winds its way across the land into the Sea of Japan. "

  • Artisan, Kodai Makino

    Kodai Makino invented ”plant dyeing metal works” where natural dyes are used to dye aluminum. He now uses gold, silver, platinum, copper and iron for his artwork. Kodai Makino belongs to ”Artists Group Atelier Masato” who work in a studio in Asahicho which was converted from the former Tachiki Elementary School building. They hold art classes and workshops while presenting new pieces of art.
    300 Tachiki, Asahicho, Nishimurayamagun, Yamagata
  • Tsukinoike

    Tsukinoike is a Japanese style inn located in Kaminoyama Onsen, a historical town famous for the nearby castle and as a post station. All 18 guest rooms offer a comfortable fusion of traditional Japanese architectural design and modern design, creating a unique but relaxing space. Guests can enjoy an array of delicious ”Kaiseki” cuisine, adding to their special visit to the inn.
    3-10 Yumachi, Kaminoyama, Yamagata
  • Yamagata Marugoto kan, Beni no Kura

    Yamagata Marugoto kan - Beni no Kura, is located in the main street of Toka-machi in Yamagata City. It is a collection of dining and direct sales shops where visitors can enjoy Yamagata’s food and culture. An information booth provides information for tourists, and the building is styled after a brewery house, providing a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere full of Yamagata’s seasonal attractions.
    2-1-8 Tokamachi, Yamagata
  • Kameya HOURAI

    The top floor of the well established Japanese style hotel, ”Kameya”, established in the 10th year of the Bunka era was renovated to create a special guest room called the ”Kameya HOURAI”. This new hotel is a collaboration of the top architects and designers, working with college students from Yamagata prefecture. Each room has a different concept but they all offer a harmony of sophisticated modern ambience and Yamagata culture.
    1-5-50 Yunohama, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
  • Tatenokawa, Inc.

    Tatenokawa, Inc. is a ”sake” brewery in Sakata, blessed with an abundant supply of run off water from the snow on Chokai Mountain. They also grow their own rice so they can be aware of even the smallest changes in the rice, enabling them to create beautiful, high quality ”sake”. While their hallmark label is ”Tatenokawa”, they also design beautiful packaging to highlight the appeal of Japanese ”sake”.
    27 Aza Shimizuda, Yamadate, Sakata-Shi, Yamagata
  • (Public Interest Incorporated Foundation) Honma Museum of Art

    Honma Museum of Art stores and exhibits antique and modern art, most of which are pieces donated by the Honma Family. Many masterpieces are exhibited, enabling visitors to get a glimpse of the history of Minatocho Sakata which was influenced by old Kyoto culture due to ”Kitamae Bune” or ”Kitamae” ship trade of that period. The Nationally recognized and renowned garden, ”Garden of Honma Family’s Second House (”Kakubu En”)” and Kyoto style wood architecture, ”Seienkaku” are definitely worth a visit.
    7-7 Onaricho, Sakata, Yamagata
  • Yusuitei Isagoya

    Isagoya is located in Yunohama Onsen where guests can enjoy spectacular views of the sun setting in the Sea of Japan. There are also 6 bath areas, each offering comfort and relaxation in 6 different settings. A white sandy beach stretches out in front of the inn, with a view of Mt. Chokai. Enjoy a leisurely stroll of the nearby areas when staying at Isagoya.
    1-8-7 Yunohama, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
  • Kamenoi Shuzo Corporation

    Kamenoi Shuzo has a brewery at the foot of Yamagata’s sacred mountain, Mt. Hagurosan. The brewery was founded in the early Meiji era when the chief brewer at the time, Toshiharu Imai, began creating their signature ”sake”. The brewery only creates ”sake” at ”ginjo” class or higher, with the rice milling rate of more than 50%. They are responsible for the famous ”Kudoki Jozu” and ”Bakuren”.
    1 Fukunouchi, Haguromachi Tono, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
  • Inoue Farm

    Inoue Farm is located in Shonai plain, surrounded by Mt. Chokaizan and Mt. Gassan, and cultivates rice and vegetables. They use fertilizer that complies with JAS regulation, and minimal pesticides to deliver fresh rice and vegetables directly from their farm to the stores. Their naturally sweet and juicy tomatoes are one of their top selling produce.
    14 Hakusanmae, Watamae, Tsuruokashi, Yamagata
  • Shonai Atsumi Onsen, Takamiya Bettei, KUON

    Atsumi Onsen with 1000 year history is located in the southwest part of Tsuruoka City, near the ocean, close to Niigata Prefecture. ”Takamiya Bettei KUON” offers a hot springs which has provided warmth for many years, as well as creative ”kaiseki” cuisine made using fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan and other local ingredients, both a big attraction for the inn.
    83-3 Yunoshiri, Yuatsumi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
  • Tokinoyado Sumire

    The hotel caters exclusively to couples, and is designed so couples can experience a leisurely stay and make lasting memories. Once guests enjoy the seasonal ”kaiseki” cuisine using Yonezawa beef, they are bound to come back.
    12703-4 Sekine, Yonezawa, Yamagata
  • Asahikawa Shuzo Co. Ltd.

    Asahikawa Shuzo Co. Ltd. started their business in Kahokucho, the granary district in Yamagata, during the Edo period. Using ”sake”-compatible rice developed by the local agricultural high school, combined with yeast created in-house, the brewery prides itself on using methods to bring out the flavor and aroma of rice. While known for the ”Asahikawa Beiju” and ”Yamabuki”labels, Asahikawa Shuzo continues to expand the range of ”sake” brewing by also creating mature or aged ”sake”.
    Otsu-93, Yachi, Kahokucho, Nishimurayamagun, Yamagata
  • Semi Onsen Yumemino yado Kansyokan

    Semi Onsen is located on the boundary between Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures. Legend has it that Yoshitsune Minamoto and his entourage stopped by at Semi Onsen while fleeing to Hiraizumi. ”Yumemi no Yado Kansyokan” quietly stands along the clear Ogunigawa River, a branch of the Mogami River. Guests can relax and enjoy the unending flow of hot spring water and the nature of the Mogami region.
    987 Ohori, Mogami, Mogami District, Yamagata
  • Teuchi Suisha Kisoba

    Traditional ”soba” shop established in the Edo era. The large water mill, the shop’s symbol, turns the stone mortar and grinds the buckwheat to make ”soba” flour. ”Soba” noodles made from carefully blended homemade ”soba” flour attracts not only locals, but also fans from all over Japan.
    1-3-26 Kamata Honcho, Tendo, Yamagata
  • Mitobe Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.

    Mitobe Sake Brewery is located in Tendo City, and grows their own”Yamadanishiki” and ”Dewasansan” brand rice using little or no pesticides to brew ”sake” using the best ingredients. They draw the underlaying water from Tachiya River for the mother water, and use a traditional process to make the ”sake” by hand. Their signature label is ”Yamagatamune”, known for its deep yet crisp taste.
    7 Haramachi, Tendō-shi, Yamagata
  • Zuihozan Jionji Temple

    Legend has it that Emperor Shomu ordered the construction of Jionji Temple in the 18th year of Tenpyo era or 746 AD. All of the historical rulers of this area became devout parishoners of this temple, and Jionji had the largest territorial holdings within the Tohoku area at one time. Currently listed as an Important Cultural Asset, the temple is home to many historically valuable assets.
    31 Jionji, Sagae, Yamagata
  • Teuchi Jinengo Soba

    The town of Oishidamachi, is located along the Mogami River and is famous for ”soba”. ”Teuchi Jinengo Soba” serves hand made ”soba” noodles made using homegrown buckwheat (”soba”) that is also milled on site. Customers can enjoy the natural taste of simply cooked ”soba” noodles.
    75 Jinengo, Oishida-machi, Kitamurayama-gun, Yamagata
  • Kawashima

    Kawashima uses Hinai free range chicken raised in the Shonai region of Yamagata for their dishes. They also offer an excellent selection of ”sake”. Customers can enjoy original menu items that use carefully selected ingredients.
    1F-B Hokuto Bldg., 3-2-25 Nanukamachi, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata
  • Yunoko Matsunoyu

    Matsunoyu is located in the center of Tendo City, a city known for the production of ”shogi” pieces. One can enjoy two types of quality hot spring, from either a private source or common source. Guests can also view the beauty of the four seasons in the Japanese Garden from either the large common bath or outdoor bath.
    2-2-54 Kamatahoncho, Tendo, Yamagata
  • Yamagataken Gokoku Shrine

    Yamagataken Gokoku Shrine stands quietly by Mamigasaki River. The shrine was built to comfort the spirits of Satsuma clan warriors who died during the Boshin War in the 2nd year of Meiji (1869), and after that, the spirit of many soldiers who perished in World War II have been enshrined here. This shrine is among the most popular in Yamagata for first prayers of the New Year (”hatsumoude”).
    2-8-75, Yakushimachi, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata
  • Haikarasan Dori

    Haikarasan Dori is a cafe in the ”onsen” town of Ginzan Onsen, nestled among the mountains in Obanazawa City. ”Haikarasan’s Curry Bread” which uses Yamagata produced flour, is very popular.
    451 Ginzan Shinbata, Obanazawa, Yamagata
  • Ginzan Hot Spring Fujiya Inn

    One can enjoy the beautiful snowscape and the ambience of the Taisho era that still remains in this hotel built in the town of Ginzan Onsen. The popular hotel, ”Fujiya” has been renewed to create a magical setting blending modern wooden architecture, bamboo, Japanese rice paper and light. Time passes gently and silently, allowing you to forget the hustle and bustle of daily life.
    443 Ginzan Shinhata, Obanazawa, Yamagata
  • Ai to Pan

    Ai to Pan is a local bakery which uses homemade natural yeast fermented from fruit seeds. No additives are used, and their carefully baked bread is very popular with both children and adults.
    1-1-14 Matsugasaki, Yonezawashi, Yamagata
  • Uesugi Family Mausoleum

    Uesugi Family Mausoleum is a cemetary which houses the mausoleum for all of Yonezawa clan lords. The tomb for Kenshin, the first lord of the Uesugi family, is located in the furthest plot in the center, followed by Kagekatsu Uesugi all the way to Narisada, the 11th lord. Being a valuable historical asset, it is designated as one of Japan’s historical sites.
    1-5-30 Gobyo, Yonezawa-shi, Yamagata
  • Sakurayu Sanshuyu

    This 900 year old Japanese style inn located in Akayu Onsen used to be an ”onsen” resort for the Uesugi clan. The abundant hot spring water ”Sakurayu” is popular for making skin beautiful. All 7 private guest rooms are very spacious.
    740 Akayu, Nanyo, Yamagata
  • Senrian

    Senrian is a ”soba” shop located within a quiet woodland close to Shirataka town, near the Mogami River. The restaurant is housed in an old Japanese-style house, and serves 100 percent buckwheat ”soba” noodles using ”soba” flour from Yamatomachi, Fukushima.
    1656 Hirono, Shirataka-machi, Nishiokitama-gun, Yamagata
  • Yonetsuru Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.

    Yonetsuru Sake Brewery is a 300 year old ”sake” brewery located in Takahatamachi. They brew high quality ”sake” in the ”Mahoroba no Sato” area which has bountiful clear water and many fruit farms. Yonetsuru has a large fan base from all over Japan because of their unique methods, such as using their own brand of rice ”Kissui” which is suited for sake making. ”Kissui” is a rare brand of rice which Yonetsuru developed especially for their ”sake”, from locally produced rice, ”Kame no O”.
    1076 Niijuku, Takahata-machi, Yamagata
  • Yonezawa Beef Farmer, Seiji Ito

    Seiji Ito is involved in agriculture and livestock farming in the Sasano Region of Yonezawa City where he raises Yonezawa Beef brand cattle with his family. Placing emphasis on the importance of day-to-day care of their livestock, the cattle are given homemade feed and straw in order to produce the most flavorful beef with the optimal marbled texture.
    Yonezawa City, Yamagata
  • Isukia Italian Restaurant

    The name Isukia comes from the Isukia Island in the Gulf of Naples in Italy. Isukia is the first restaurant in the Tohoku region to have passed the strict test of Italy’s ”Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana”and serves certifiably authentic Neapolitan pizza.
    37-7 Kawabata, Haguromachi Osaeguchi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
  • Tendoso

    Tendoso is a ”sukiya” style traditional Japanese inn located within the ”onsen” town of Tendo City, famous for ”shogi” piece production. Enclosed in a relaxing ambience, guests can experience the four seasons of Yamagata within the sophisticated setting. The ”kaiseki” cuisine using local ingredients is highly rated.
    2-2-18 Kamata, Tendo, Yamagata
  • Naganuma Goumei Co., Ltd.

    ”Sake” is brewed in this historical brewery designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Oroperty. ”Soumura” and ”Homarekozakura” labels are carefully hand squeezed using a traditional method called ”funeshibori” giving the ”sake” clear taste. Naganuma continues to explore ways to produce new and superb tasting ”sake”, such as using a new type of rice matched for ”sake”, ”Ushuhomare”, a type of rice developed by Takagi Brewery in Yamagata.
    1-1-Tokamachi, Nagaishi, Yamagata
  • Uestu Shinafu/Sekigawa Shinaori Cooperative

    Uetsu Shinafu is a type of fabric that has a long history in the Shonai Region in Yamagata Prefecture to the Echigo Region in Niigata Prefecture. It is considered one of Japan’s Three Greatest Ancient fabrics, and is recorded in ancient literature, ”Engishiki” as dating back all the way to the Heian period. They take the bark from Linden tree, take out the fiber, make thread from it and process it. Since it is all done by hand, the process takes a long time, up to a whole year. The fabric is resilient and moisture resistant, making it suitable for bags and ”noren” curtains.
    222 Sekigawa, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Inside Sekigawa Shinaori Fabric Center