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Trip to Yamagata

Elegant Trip to Visit Hina Dolls and Kyoto Culture (Shonai Area)

Elegant Trip to Visit Hina Dolls and Kyoto Culture (Shonai Area) The Elegant Trip of Hina Culture in Shonai Area
Toward Sakata, the little Kyoto
Meet with the culture of the kansai region and wealthy merchants in Sakata, Minato-cho.
During the Edo period, Sakata that was named "The world of the west, the eastern Sakata".
It can be understood why by looking at the various remaining traces of that prosperous era all over the town.

The safflower which was sent via the Mogami River from the Murayama area,
descended the Mogami River to finally arrive in Sakata.
Then, from there it went all the way to Kyoto and Osaka through Shimonoseki by cargo ship,
traveling toward the west.

The safflower of Yamagata that became very famous as a first class product
made the merchants very wealthy
and on the return ship, there always was cultural objects from the Kansai area.
Thanks to this, Sakata could grow very quickly
due to high consumption.

Although half the size of the actual ship of that time,
a ship can be seen in the Hiyoriyama Park.

Famous as the symbol of prosperity of Sakata,
the extremely rich Honma family
was known to be the wealthiest of Sakata.

The former residences and villas of the Honma family still exist as museums and sightseeing places.
They convey the prosperity of old times to our generation.

In addition, the "Japanese Eitai warehouse" of Saikaku Ihara
known as the best place to buy rice in the north,
the small cargo ship wholesale shop Kyuuabumiya' is also a merchant of Sakata.

Within the various reminders of the capitals' culture that can be observed through Sakata,
The dancing ladies of Sakata are one of them.

Maikochaya Hinaguragaro Somaro
is the only facility that inherited that tradition.

In the Edo period the Japanese restaurant "Somoya" started business to entertain the merchants and townspeople.
Although It was destroyed by a fire once in 1894, It was restored afterwards.

There, the Sakata dancing ladies improve their art,
and display their elegant dance on a floor dyed with safflower.

In addition, in the lyrics of the song "Sakata Jinku",
"... Hanjouja Omahenka ♪"
you can hear the dialect of the Kansai region.
In there, you can really feel the strong connection to the Kansai culture.
Obserbing the Hina dolls, symbol of Sakata
The Sankyo Warehouse / Sakata Warehouse,
In 1893, the former Shonai feudal lord Sakai
built the warehouse for the Sakata rice exchange,
The building became like a symbol of Sakata.

Due to the controlled low temperature,
even now, after over 120 years it can still be used as a warehouse.

Within those warehouses, 1 of them(Sakata Yume-no-kuraku)
is being used as a sightseeing place.
Museum is "hall of bloom" at time of hina doll,
Large Kokin Hina Doll "young bird of the Katos" is displayed.

Another one "Hana-no-kan" is being used as a museum
and used to exhibit the hina dolls of the famous puppeteer, Jusaburo Tsujimura.
since January 2012, the doll exhibit was moved to the Sanno Club.
To Tsuruoka, the Shonai feudal clan's castle town
To seek the remnants of history and spirit in Tsuruoka
The cityscape composed of buildings of the Edo era and European-style buildings of the Meiji-Taisho era
contains a very calm atmosphere. The impression of Tsuruoka-shi is quite different than Sakata.

Shonai, the town that was governed by the prestigious Sakai clan,
was founded by one of Tokugawa's Shitenno Tadatsugu Sakai.

The hina dolls and their accessories that were brought by the daughters of the successive feudal leaders of the Tayasu Tokugawa family, the kumamoto clan, Hosokawa family are still now being handed over in the Sakai family.

In the Shonai province, a novelist called Shuhei Fujisawa from Tsuruoka was known for writing "Twilight samurai" and "Love and honor". His fictional world of "Unasaka Han" used in his novels is said to be a model.

The settings used in his books often resembles Tsuruoka a lot. Simply walking around the castle town can sometime make you feel submerged in the book.

Also, in "Heishindo", which is known as the location of the movie "Semishigure", the former house of Kazama, who used to be one of the wealthiest merchant, displays many of his precious remaining hina dolls.
The nostalgic hina road
When Ou Main Line was available until Shinjo in 1903, and Rikuu West Line was inaugurated in 1914, the role of the Mogami river was slowly replaced by railroad transport. However, the past glory days of the Mogami river was not forgotten and still permeates our lives. The hina dolls scattered in various places of the prefecture is one of the things that reminds us of that time and are precious historical objects. They may only be displayed for little interval of times per year, but if you are interested, please come take a look!
Maikochaya Hinaguragaro Somaro
The atmosphere felt through the architecture gives the impression to travel back through time. While enjoying a meal, you can watch dancing ladies.
Sakata's dancing ladies
Homma Museum of Art
The villa of the Honmas pride from the prosperous Edo era. The Japanese garden maintained for many years is a must-see.
Sankyo Soko [warehouse]
The tourist attraction that is known as a location of NHK drama show "Oshin".
"Hana-no-kan" museum
Young bird of the Katos
Yusoku Hina (Chido Museum)
The history conveyed by the vestiges of wealthy merchants "Heishindo"
Yunohama Onsen is recommended as an accommodation place Hina doll seeing.
The Hina doll sweets delicately made by artisans.
In Tsuruoka-shi facing the Sea of Japan side, the setting sun may be observed.


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