Yonezawa city [米沢]

Uesugi Snow Lanten Festival in Yonezawa
Uesugi Snow Lanten Festival in Yonezawa

Yonezawa Beef
Yonezawa Beef
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Yonezawa is the southernmost city in Yamagata Prefecture.
There are the mountains to the south and east of the city, and they are the border between Yamagata and Fukushima Prefectures.

From the 1601 to 1868, Uesugi Family governed this area as the feudal lord.

Yonezawa area had been poor, and had fellen into serious financial difficulty in the 16th century.
But Uesugi Yozan (1751-1822), the 9th feudal lord, carried out financial reforms in the late 18th century, then Yonezawa area recovered.

So, it is said that Uesugi Yozan was called a wise ruler.

As a result, there are some spots associated with Uesugi Family in this city.

Uesugi Festival is held from April 29 to May 3.
Samurai parade and reenactment by civil war in the period of Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) are performed.

Uesugi Snow Lantern Festival is held in the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of February.
The city covered with snow is lighted with a lot of lanterns.

Additionally, Yonezawa is well-known as the production center of delicious "Yonezawa beef".
There are some restaurants serving the dishes of Yonezawa beef.

Uesugi Shrine (上杉神社)

Entrance gate of Uesugi Shrine
Entrance gate of Uesugi Shrine
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Main hall of Uesugi Shrine
Main hall of Uesugi Shrine
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Uesugi Shrine is a Shinto shrine enshrining Uesugi Kenshin, the first hero of Uesugi Family (1530-1578), and Uesugi Yozan.
It is located about 2 km west of JR Yonezawa station.

This shrine was built on the site of Yonezawa Castle in 1876.

Yonezawa Castle was demolished in 1871.
The site is about 180 meters square and is surrounded with moats.

Matsugasaki Park in spring
Matsugasaki Park in spring
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Keishoden
Keishoden
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Now the site is open to the public as Matsugasaki Park (松が岬公園). There are about 250 cherry trees along the moats.

The shrine is located on the west oart of the park.

In the grounds of the shrine, there are the main hall, the statues of both heroes, some other buildings and a museum Keishoden (稽照殿).

Uesugi Family Grave (上杉家廟所)

Entrance of Uesugi Family Grave
Entrance of Uesugi Family Grave
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Shrines in Uesugi Family Grave
Shrines in Uesugi Family Grave
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Uesugi Family Grave is located 1.5 km west-northwest of Uesugi Shrine.

The site is surrounded with many trees.
And there is a gate.

Shrine of Uesugi Kenshin
Shrine of Uesugi Kenshin
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Uesugi Family Grave in winter
Uesugi Family Grave in winter
Photo by Yamagata Prefecture

Twelve shrines and a monument are built in a line.
They are the graves from the 2nd to the 12th feudal lords of Uesugi Family.

And there is the grave of Uesugi Kenshin, the first lord, behind the graves.

How to get here

From Tokyo, by Yamagata-Shinkansen, about 2 hours and 10 - 20 minutes.
From Yamagata, by Yamagata-Shinkansen, about 35 minutes.

To Uesugi Shrine, about 11 minutes from Yonezawa station by route bus.
To Uesugi Family Grave, about 20 minutes from Yonezawa station by route bus.

Hotels in Yonezawa city

Hotels in Yonezawa city

Other Tourist Attractions in Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata city Yamadera (Risshakuji temple) Mount Zao Mogami River boat tours Sakata city Tsuruoka city Three sacred mountains of Dewa Ginzan hot spring resort

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