Yamagata Prefecture - 山形県

map of yamagata prefecture

Yamagata Prefecture is located in the northern part of Japan’s main island, Honshu and less than three hours from Tokyo by the high-speed bullet train.

The prefecture is blessed with many natural parks, stunning mountain ranges and over 100 wonderful hot spring resorts, such as Zao Onsen dating back to 110 AD and one of the oldest hot springs in the Tohoku region.

In the winter it is a popular destination with ski and snow-boarding enthusiasts as it boasts some of the best ski resorts and snow conditions in Japan

Amongst the many other sightseeing attractions is the Mogami Valley, with wonderful river cruises available throughout the year to really appreciate the stunning scenery.

For more information about Yamagata prefecture, see their official tourism website.

How to get there

Air - Yamagata airport is located approximately 30 minutes by train from Yamagata city centre. The airport operates daily domestic flights to/from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Click here for its English website.

Rail - The journey time from Tokyo using the Yamagata Shinkansen is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Zao Ropeway takes you to the summit of Mt. Zao to enjoy spectacular views of Zao and the picturesque Asahi Mountain Range.


Ginzan Onsen is widely regarded as one of the prettiest hot spring resorts in Japan and a very popular destination for vistors to Yamagata.


Mogami River Cruise is the perfect way to really appreciate the picturesque beauty of the Mogami River Valley.


Risshaku-ji, also known as Yama-Dera (Mountain Temple), dates back to 860 AD and is officially designated a Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Importance.


Weather in Yamagata

Average daily temperature (oC)
-1 Centigrade 4 Centigrade 10 Centigrade 17 Centigrade 21 Centigrade 20 Centigrade 16 Centigrade 11 Centigrade 4 Centigrade -1 Centigrade -4 Centigrade -4 Centigrade 6 Centrigrade 13 Centrigrade 20 Centrigrade 26 Centrigrade 31 Centrigrade 29 Centrigrade 27 Centrigrade 22 Centrigrade 16 Centrigrade 9 Centrigrade 4 Centrigrade 3 Centrigrade -1 Centigrade 4 Centigrade 10 Centigrade 17 Centigrade 21 Centigrade 20 Centigrade 16 Centigrade 11 Centigrade 4 Centigrade -1 Centigrade -4 Centigrade -4 Centigrade 6 Centrigrade 13 Centrigrade 20 Centrigrade 26 Centrigrade 31 Centrigrade 29 Centrigrade 27 Centrigrade 22 Centrigrade 16 Centrigrade 9 Centrigrade 4 Centrigrade 3 Centrigrade
Average relative humidity (%)
82 percent 79 percent 76 percent 76 percent 75 percent 76 percent 70 percent 62 percent 62 percent 70 percent 77 percent 81 percent 82 percent 79 percent 76 percent 76 percent 75 percent 76 percent 70 percent 62 percent 62 percent 70 percent 77 percent 81 percent

Average monthly rainfall (mm)
126 centimetres 88 centimetres 107 centimetres 129 centimetres 137 centimetres 179 centimetres 102 centimetres 65 centimetres 59 centimetres 78 centimetres 67 centimetres 80 centimetres
Number of days with rain
(1mm or more)
14.1 days 11.9 days 9.8 days 10.8 days 9.6 days 12.2 days 9.7 days 9 days 9.1 days 11.7 days 12.4 days 15.1 days