Yamagata has been called 'hidden' Japan and is definitely not on the regular tourist routes. It is Japan's largest prefecture and you can find it along the Sea of Japan coast in southern Tohoku. In Yamagata, you can visit ancient temples, enjoy amazing skiing in the winter, try delicious local food and experience colorful summer festivals. Especially interesting for foodies, Yamagata is famous for cherries, in fact, 70% of Japan’s cherries are grown here! Imoni is a local stew made with taro, beef, konnyaku, sugar, soy sauce and miso. And for ramen lovers, Yamagata is quite serious about their ramen and boasts the highest consumption rate in all of Japan. Yamagata city and the cities of Sakata, Yonezawa, and Nanyo each have their own special types of ramen for you to enjoy.
Located by the beautiful seaside town of Tsuruoka, Hakusan Jima (White Mountain Island) is home to an impressive shrine and fisherman activity. With a spectacular red bridge allowing anyone to visit freely, be sure to visit next time you are in Yamagata!