Thursday, July 14, 2016

# Travel ♪ An Amazing Hot Spring Experience in Yamagata Prefecture - Our Story in Tendo City! Part I

A Brand New Travel Experience in Japan

Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture
Local Food x Culture x Hot Springs

Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan, facing the Sea of Japan.  There are 35 cities in Yamagata Prefecture. Among these cities, you can find Tendo City which is famous for the natural hot springs. That's why many special onsen ryokan (hot spring hotels) can be found there! Also, you can learn about the traditional Japanese chess (Shogi) and art culture (Ukiyo-e) too! Of course, we can't miss out the local food and fruits in Tendo City!


About Tendo City

Tendo City is located in the eastern part of Yamagata Prefecture. It is famous for the beautiful nature, hot springs and the agricultural products especially cherries!!! Moreover, Tendo City has the top shogi piece production in Japan!

City Hall in Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture
Address: 1-1-1 Oinomori, Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture
Homepage (Japanese):
Google Map

About the Transportation

Tohoku (Northeast of Japan) -> Yamagata Prefecture -> Tendo City

You may think that it's a bit far to go to Yamagata Prefecture, but actually it's not that far if you depart from Tokyo!

By Plane

From Tokyo Haneda Airport, it only takes 1 hour flight to get to Yamagata Airport. From the Nagoya Airport, only 1 hour and 5 minutes is needed. How about from the Osaka Airport, it takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to go to Yamagata Airport.

By Shinkansen

Depart from Tokyo Station: Tokyo Station <-> Tendo Station
(It takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes by the Tsubasa train)

Depart from Osaka Station: Osaka Station <-> Tokyo Station <-> Tendo Station

Depart from Sendai Station: Sendai Station <-> Uzenchitose Station <-> Tendo Station

Journey in Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture Begins!

Oh, what is welcoming us? A big banner saying "The Yummy Yamagata Airport!! What can we eat here?? It seems like there are many interesting things waiting for us to explore in this beautiful prefecture!

Tell you something interesting. Actually the slogan on the banner was proposed by a 8 years old child who lives in Yamagata! Among the 3,741 slogans received during the "New Slogan for the Airport" campaign, this great idea by the child took the championship among all! How amazing is that!

Rental Car Service

All kinds of airport transportation is provided, for example buses, taxi and trains. However, we highly suggest you to rent a rental car which can make your journey easier and more comfortable!!

At the Yamagata Airport, you can find rental car companies like NISSAN, TOYOTA, NIPPON RENT-A-CAR, and Times Car RENTAL. We recommend you to choose the NISSAN Rent A Car service!

*NISSAN Rent A Car - Reservation Page (English)

*NISSAN Rent A Car - Yamagata Airport Outlet
Address: 3008 Kashiwabara-Shinrin, Hanyu, Higashine, Yamagata
Tel.: 0237-47-2311
Hours: 0830-1830
Google Map

Car Rental Reminder
*Reservation in advance is provided
1) Passport
2) International Driving Permit
3) Check the vehicle with the staff before departure
4) Rent a ETC card
About the ETC-Equipped Vehicles

*Without reservation
Rental service only available according to the availability of vehicles.

Accept both cash or credit cards

Check Point 1: Suishakisoba - Buckwheat Noodles Restaurant with a Long History

"Suishakisoba"was opened in 1861, and they are still keeping the same taste as 150 years ago. Their soba may look like other soba that you have seen, but after you taste it, you will know how chewy and special their soba is!!

Do you know that Yamagata Prefecture has the top ramen consumption in Japan? So how can we miss out the local ramen here!!

At Suishakisoba, you can also order their famous "Chinese style chicken ramen", the soup and the ramen make a perfect combination. Highly recommended for you!

Address: 1-3-26 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 023-653-2576
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Homepage (Japanese):
Google Map

(Left) Chinese style chicken ramen
(Right) Ita-soba (Buckwheat noodles on a wood plate)

Check Point 2: Eishundo - The Best Shogi Shop

Do you know that Tendo City has the top position of producing shogi's chess pieces in Japan? Actually 95% of the shogi chess piece is produced here in Tendo City!!

At Eishundo, you can see professionals making traditional shogi pieces. Also, you can find all kinds of shogi display here. Other than shogi products, you can also buy some souvenirs in this shop!

Address: 1-3-28 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
Access: 10 minutes walf from JR Tendo Station
Hours: 0800-1700
Homepage (Japanese):

Beside producing shogi chess pieces, Tendo City also focuses in promoting the shogi culture to everyone.

Interested in learning more about the Shogi culture in Tendo City? Check out here:

Making Your Own Shogi Piece!!

You can join the shogi piece making class and experience the fun of making a traditional shogi piece by yourself!

Shogi Piece Making Class
Fees: 860 yen
Hours: 0900-1600
Ages: Elementary 3rd grade or above
Reservation is required
Reservation hotline: 023-653-2843
(For group of 6 or above, please inform staff when making reservation)

Check Point 3: Hiroshige Museum of Art - To learn about Ukiyo-e

At Hiroshige Museum of Art in Tendo City, collection of the works by Utagawa Hiroshige can be is displayed. It is a good place for you to visit if you are interested in the Japanese traditional Ukiyo-e.

About Ukiyo-e

The Ukiyo-e genre of art flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of various subjects. Ukiyo-e means "pictures of the floating world". However, during the Meiji era, photos and printing technologies were introduced to Japan, practitioners of pure Ukiyo-e became more rare. (Information from Wikipedia)

(Left) It is the famous Sumida River in Tokyo in the picture!
Hiroshige Museum of Art
Address: 1-2-1 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 023-654-6555
Hours: 09:00 - 18:00 (April to October), 09:00 - 17:00 (November to March)
Holiday: Every Tuesday (If Tuesday is a public holiday, museum will be closed on the next day)
(Last entrance: 30 minutes before the museum is closed)
Tickets: 600 yen for adults, 500 yen for Junior High School, High School, and University Students,
300 yen for Elementary Students
For group of 15 persons or above: 450 yen for Junior High School, High School, and University Students, 250 yen for Elementary Students

Check Point 4: Relax in the Hot Springs in Tendo City

Among all the onsen ryokan (Hot Spring Hotel), we highly recommend you to stay at the Takinoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan. It is said that their water is good for liver disease, constipation, obesity, gout, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, or even the hormonal imbalance in women.

Takinoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan
Address: 1-1-30 Kamatahoncho Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 23-654-2211
Google Map
Homepage (English):

How relaxing it is walking in the Japanese style garden after getting in the hot spring!

Annual Shogi Tournament

Beside producing shogi chess pieces, Tendo City also focuses in promoting the shogi culture to everyone. There are many different kinds of shogi games and tournament hold in Yamagata Prefecture, like the Shogi Tournament for Kids, National Junior High School Shogi Tournament etc. The picture above is where the Annual Shogi Tournament takes place in! (Takinoyu)

Since Takinoyu has been helping to promote shogi for a long time, they received the award "Oyamayasuharu" in  2012.  This award is presented by the Japan Shogi Association to those who has had distinguished achievement in promoting the shogi culture.

The views and atmosphere of the hot springs is changing accordingly to the four seasons. Which season do you like the best?

At the hot spring hotel,you can also experience boiling eggs in the hot springs! Eggs are provided for the guests without any charges, so please try making your own hot spring egg!! It's very easy, just boil the eggs in the hot spring water for 5 minutes, then the yummy hot spring egg is ready!!

Check Point 5: The Highest Level Beef in Japan - Yamagata Beef

In Japan, beef in Kobe, Matsuzaka, and Yamagata are selected and called the Best 3 beef!

Not only the Yamagata beef, you can also try the fresh vegetables in the "Yummy Yamagata"!

As you may have known, the weather and the nature is good for farming in Tendo City. Taking the advantage of the mountains and the Japan Sea, both agriculture and fishery are very famous here. Taninoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan even has its own farm which provides fresh vegetables to the hotel everyday. No wonder the food in Tendo City is so delicious!!

What can be better than ending your day with a Kaiseki cuisine (traditional Japanese feast)! Cheers!

Guestroom: Seasonal Flower (季のはな) at Takinoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan
Room for 2 persons (32,000 yen + tax / person)

Our trip in Tendo continues.........

Feeling a bit down because you want to see more about Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture? Don't worry! We will show you more interesting and exciting spots in Tendo City in our next sharing. For now, let's take some rest and enjoy the night view in the private hot spring in our hotel room. Relax..............

In the meantime, you can also check out our other sharing on Yamagata Prefecture!
# Travel ♪ A Taste of Tendo City - The Most Interesting Place to Visit in Yamagata Prefecture!
# Travel ♪ An Amazing Hot Spring Experience in Yamagata Prefecture - Our Story in Tendo City! Part II

Wanna get more and share your Japanese stories with us? Please join us on Google+ !!
See you there! :)


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