Thursday, July 14, 2016

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

A Brand New Travel Experience in Japan

Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture
Nature x Local Food x Culture

Last time, we have shown you many interesting spots in Tendo City, for example the buckwheat noodles shop with a long history, the shogi shop where you can buy some shogi products or even make your own shogi pieces, the museum where you can learn about the Ukiyo-e, and of course the famous hot spring hotel! If you still haven't had a chance to read our previous sharing, you are welcome to read it here:

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

A Must-See Sightseeing Spot in Yamagata Prefecture

Yama-dera is named after the common name of the temple of Risshaku-ji, founded 860 AD by the priest Ennin, who is better known in Japan by his posthumous name, Jikaku Daishi. The temple is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site. (Information from wikipedia)

Have you heard about the traditional Japanese poetry "Haiku". It is a very short form of Japanese poetry indeed. For all the Haiku poetry, a word which represents the four seasons has to be used. Also, the writer has to reflect his or her emotions and feelings in the Haiku. One of the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan is Matsuo Basho. He is also recognized as the greatest master of Haiku. In order to get more ideas, he started travelling around and his best collection of poets, Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), was written during his 150 days journey in the northeast part of Japan.

Matsuo Basho also visited Yama-dera, and he was amazed by the beautiful nature here. One of his masterpieces was written here in Yama-dera!

Stone steps that help you to get rid of your problems!

There is a long stone steps in Yama-dera where consists of 1015 stone steps!! You will be able to see the main temple if you succeed climbing to the top! There is a saying that you can get rid 1 of your problem when you move 1 step upward. Sounds good?

Surrounded by the cedar trees, you can slowly work your way up to the top. Just relax and enjoy the gift of nature!

Yes! Finally we reach the top!! We made it!! Let's make a wish at the main temple.

Turn around here and you will be surprised by the amazing view you can see from here!

It is a great hiking place for those who want to get some fresh air in nature and relax from their busy city life. Entrance fee: 300 yen for adults.

Godai-do was built on a cliff where you can get a great view of the countryside of Yamagata. Look how gorgeous the view is!


It takes about 20 minutes from Yamagata Station to the Yama-dera Station by JR Sendai Line.

If you visit Tendo hot spring street before going to Yama-dera, you can take trains from the Tendo Station to the Yama-dera Station. It takes about 50 minutes to get there. Fare is 320 yen. Please note that you need to get transfer at Uzenchitose Station.

Address: 4456-1 Yamadera, Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture
Tel.: 023-695-2002
Fees: 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for Junior High School and High School Students,
100 yen for children 4 years old or above
For group of 30 persons of above: 240 yen for adults, 160 yen for Junior High School and High School Students, 100 yen for children 4 years old or above
Homepage (Japanese):
Yama-dera Tourism Association (Japanese):

Cherry Picking Experience!

If you ask people about Yamagata Prefecture, most of them will answer you CHERRIES for sure!!

Since we have this special chance to come to Tendo City, we need to try the cherry picking here. Actually you can find many fruit picking farms in Tendo City; this time, we will take you to Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden.

Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden
Address: 1303 Oaza Kawarago, Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 023-657-3211
Hours: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entrance 16:00)
Fruit Picking Time: 30 minutes
Entrance Fees: 1,620 yen for adults, 1,420 yen for children,
1,200 yen each for group of 15 or above
Holiday: Vary

Google Map

At Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden, besides seasonal fruits, you can also buy souvenirs like sausages, fruit juice, and even Japanese wine!

Yamagata sake (Japanese rice wine) is very famous because it is made with the Yamagata water and rice. Also Yamagata is a snowy area and the water is especially good for brewing wine!

The sake produced by Dewazakura Sake Brewery actually won the championship in the International Wine Challenge! Wanna taste it??

☆Seasonal Fruit Sundae - Oh!Show!Cafe
Price: 700 yen each
Don't forget to visit the Oh!Show!Cafe!! You can taste their seasonal fruit sundae which is the Cherry Sundae of course! 4 to 7 different types of cherries are used! Wow!

Address: Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden
Tel.: 023-657-3211
Hours: 0900-1500
Holiday: No holiday from June to August, Closed every Wednesday from September to October
Homepage (Japanese):

Interesting Facts about Cherries!

Do you know that Yamagata has the top cherry production in Japan? Actually cherry is a very healthy fruit because

1) Cherries are great to eat with grilled food because it helps to reduce the carcinogenic substances.

2) A good news to people who are on diet, cherries calorie is very low.

3) Cherries are good for preventing lung cancer too

It is healthy to have more red fruits like tomato, watermelon and cherries because these fruits contain lots of vitamins and antioxidants which is good to our bodies!

Since the temperature difference in Yamagata is very big, fruits that are grown here are especially sweet and juicy!

Plants actually makes glucose during the photosynthesis, for plants growing in cold places, they will make more glucose during the cold night, and that's why the fruits grown in these places are nicer and sweeter!!

This year, the best time to experience the cherry picking is from 21st May to 18th July! You should be able to pick the most famous type of Japanese cherry - Satonishiki! In the above picture, you can see how juicy and tasty Satonishiki is!!

The basic fruit picking time is 30 minutes, but you can also extend it to 60 minutes!

Information about fruit picking
Cherry picking - Mid of May to Early July
Grape picking - Early August to Mid of October
Peach picking - Early August to Early September
Apple picking - Mid of October to End of November

1) Make a reservation for fruit picking
Hours: 0900-1700
Information Page (Japanese):
(Online reservation for cherry picking in 2016 is not accepted now. Please contact farm before you make a visit at 0120-15-0440.)

Reservation for fruit picking in August and after (Japanese)

Discount coupon for fruit picking (Japanese)

What's behind the door?

Waiting for us ahead is our Japanese style hotel room! Northeast part of Japan is famous for the hot spring and that's why you can find many nice hot spring hotels in Tendo City!! Come on, time to take a hot spring bath!

If you are looking for more privacy, you can reserve rooms with private hot spring which you can enjoy a quiet and relaxing bath with your family and loved ones.

Guestrooms mixed with Japanese style and Western style. What's more to that? You get a great view of the nature like the mountains and river right outside your window!

Cherry All You Can Eat!!

Actually not just in fruit farms, you can also try the Japanese cherries at the hot spring hotels!! It is even an all you can eat service!! Can you believe it??!!

At the hot spring hotel “Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku”, 24 hours cherries all you can eat is especially provided to guests who stay in guestrooms with outdoor hot springs! The cherries provided are actually replaced frequently to make sure the freshness of this seasonal fruit!

With the nice weather and natural resources, food in Yamagata is very fresh and delicious!

How about some fresh cherries for dessert?

Don't forget one of the best 3 beef in Japan, Yamagata beef!!

Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku
Address: 2-2-21 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
(15 minutes walk from the Tendo City Station)
Prices from 14,900 yen to 51,650 yen
Tel.: 023-654-3311
Google Map

An Entertainment City - Tendo City

Are you interested in the Japanese traditional chess shogi? As we have mentioned earlier, 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!!

Every April in Tendo City at the special human shogi show people puts on the warrior costumes and performs a show just like chess pieces moving on a big chess board!

Started in 1965, Tendo City holds this Sakura Festival every year to celebrate the arrival of spring. Beside the human shogi show, you can also find lighting activities, booth selling souvenirs, and traditional dance performances etc. Don't miss out this interesting local event!

Interested in making your own shogi piece?

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

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)

If you want to have a relaxing and quiet trip next time, northeast part of Japan is a good choice for you. Prefectures in this region like Akita, Iwate, Yamagata are waiting for your next visit!!

If Yamagata is your next destination, don't miss out the great entertainment city, Tendo City, where you can enjoy the hot springs, beautiful nature, super fresh local food, and fruit picking! You can learn about the shogi culture and Ukiyo-e in Tendo City too!

Transportation to Tendo City

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

One more tips for you!

Do you know about the JR East Pass for the Tohoku area? You can use the pass on any five days within a 14-day period starting with the date of purchase or exchange in Japan. You can safe a lot on shinkansen tickets if you plan to visit northeast region next time!!

More information here:

Interested in reading more about Yamagata Prefecture? Check out our previous sharing here:

# Travel ♪ A Taste of Tendo City - The Most Interesting Place to Visit in Yamagata Prefecture!

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See you there! :)


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