Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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

One of the Best Sightseeing Locations - 
Yamagata Prefecture
☆A Taste of Tendo City

Interesting Facts about Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan, facing the Sea of Japan. It is famous for the beautiful nature and other interesting things like:

  • Top cherry production in Japan
  • Top Shogi (Japanese traditional chess) piece production in Japan
  • Top Ramen consumption in Japan
  • Top pear production in Japan
  • Top aralia cordata production in Japan
  • Top bracken production in Japan
  • Top numbers of waterfalls in Japan
Do you know that 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!

About the Transportation

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!

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.

Journey in Tendo City in Yamagata Prefecture Begins!

In just 1 hour, we can get to Yamagata airport from Tokyo! 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!



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

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!!

Information about the production of Shogi chess piece can be found here:

Becoming a Shogi Chess Piece!!

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!

Sakura Festival in Tendo City
(Festival in 2016 was held on 23 and 24 April)
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.city.tendo.yamagata.jp/tourism/kanko/tendosakurafestival.html

Surrounded by Shogi!!

In Tendo City, you will be surprised by seeing shogi everywhere! Road signs, pavement, maps, light on taxi, what else??

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.

Hot Spring Paradise

In Tendo City, besides shogi and fresh fruits, we can't miss out the famous hot springs!!

Takinoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan
Address: 1-1-30 Kamatahoncho Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 23-654-2211
Google Map
Email: webmaster@takinoyu.com
Homepage (English): http://www.ryokan-onsen.com/

Hot Spring in Shogi Shaped!

There is a resting place in Tendo City where you can find a shogi shaped foot bath "Komanoya"! Why don't we take a rest and relax our tired legs here. What's amazing about this foot bath beside the shogi shape? It's free!!

Komanoya Foot Bath
2-3-41 Kawanomachi, Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 023-651-2002
Hours: 06:00 - 21:00
(Foot bath is closed and cleaned every Monday and Thursday 10:00 - 12:00)
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.pref.yamagata.jp/rakuraku/detail_tendo_007.html

Dewazakura Sake Brewery in Tendo

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

In the picture, the bottle in the center is the sake produced by Dewazakura Sake Brewery which won the championship in the International Wine Challenge!

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"!

Top Cherry Production in Japan!!

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.

At Ohsyo Fruit Trees Garden, beside cherries, you can also pick other seasonal fruits like apples, grapes, peaches etc.! Moreover, you need to try their famous fruit sundae too!! This time, we will  have their seasonal fruit sundae which is the Cherry Sundae of course!! Look at it, there are 4 to 7 different types of cherries are used! Wow!

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
Homepage: http://www.ohsyo.co.jp/index.htm
Google Map

☆Seasonal Fruit Sundae - Oh!Show!Cafe
Price: 700 yen each

Japanese Cherry Experience

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

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!

Recommended Hot Spring Hotel - Taninoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan

Gorgeous views from the Japanese tatami style guestroom.

Taninoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan
Address: 1-1-30 Kamatahoncho Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 23-654-2211
Google Map
Email: webmaster@takinoyu.com
Homepage (English): http://www.ryokan-onsen.com/

Recommended Hot Spring Hotel - Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku

(Left) If you want some private time with your family or lover, you can reserve your private hot spring here. (Right) You can also experience the public bath style hot spring here. Can you tell the hot spring is in shogi shape? There's even a word written at the bottom. Find out what's that by yourself!

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
Homepage: http://www.itiraku.com/foreign/en.html
Google Map

A Japanese Style Dinner

After getting in the hot spring, it's time to put on your yukata and have a nice and warm dinner at the hotel! At the hotel, you can choose your main dish from ShabuShabu (Japanese hotpot), Japanese style steak, and Sukiyaki (Japanese hotpot in sweet soy sauce). If you stay in the standard room, the main dish is fixed as ShabuShabu for you!

What makes the food in Tendo City so delicious??

As you can see from the picture, 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!!

Top Ramen Consumption in Japan! 

Next stop we will take you to is a buckwheat noodles restaurant which is just across the Taninoyu Japan Onsen Ryokan. "Suishakisoba"was opened in 1861, and they are still keeping the same taste as 100 years ago. The owner of the shop is the 5th generation of this family business!

Back to the food, as we said, the taste of the soba is the same as they started selling it 100 years ago. If you want to try ramen instead, 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): http://www.suisyasoba.com/
Google Map

A Local Yamagata Style Izakaya

If you want to experience the local culture of each prefecture, we recommend you to visit the local izakaya! That's because you can find the local food made with the local ingredients. Also, even you don't know about the language, you can still have some good times with the locals while drinking and eating together!

This shop is just located on the B1 floor of Hotel Castle which is also operated by "Outou no hana Yubow Itiraku".

The Hidden Izakaya - Sakuranbo No Hana (Yamagata Shop)
Address: B1F Hotel Castle, 4-2-7 Tokamachi, Yamagata City, Yamagata
Tel.: 080-6290-1087
E-mail: oto-no.hana@ezweb.ne.jp
Hours: 17:30 - 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)
Homepage (Japanese): http://www.itiraku.com/?page_id=20

Hiroshige Museum of Art - A Good Place 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.

Hiroshige Museum of Art
Address: 1-2-1 Kamatahoncho, Tendo City, Yamagata
Tel.: 023-654-6555
E-mail: info@hiroshige-tendo.jp
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
Homepage: http://www.hiroshige-tendo.jp/11english/index.html

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)

The Beautiful Temple Hidden in the Nature

Actually we can't miss out this famous place in Yamagata Prefecture - Yamadera!

This area is named after the common name of the temple of Risshaku-ji, founded in 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)

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): http://www.rissyakuji.jp/
Yama-dera Tourism Association (Japanese): http://www.yamaderakankou.com/index.html

If you are looking for a travel destination where you can find awesome local food and beautiful nature at the same time, Tendo City is definitely a perfect place for your to visit!

If you are interested in knowing more about Tendo City, keep checking out our blog please! We will have more sharing on Tendo City in the near future!!

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See you there! :)


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