Live in Yamagata

What is Yamagata like?

What is Yamagata like? Here you’ll find daily life information helpful for studying abroad in Yamagata!

From finding housing, to calculating living costs, this is the one-stop-shop to get all of your questions answered.

This is Yamagata

Yamagata is in the Tohoku (north-east) region of Japan, situated by the Japan Sea. It is about 300 km north of Tokyo, and is full of nature that changes its appearance with each season, starting with the beautiful mountains of Zao and the Mogami River.

In Yamagata, there are many soba places, sake breweries, and wineries. In addition to proudly producing the largest amount of cherries in Japan, Yamagata also produces many other kinds of fruit, and you can even experience picking your own fruit from the tree year-round.

Yamagata is a region of lush nature, surrounded by many beautiful mountains including Zao, Gassan, Chokai, Azuma, Iide, and Asahi, part of Japan’s top 100 mountains, and the Mogami river, also called the “Mother River” flows from Yonezawa in the south through the basins of Yamagata and Shinjo, to the plains of the Shonai region. The communities in which people live are a beautiful combination of urban and rural, in which humans and nature coexist. Here exists “yet another Japan.”

The famous Edo era haiku poet, Matsuo Basho spent 43 days, a third of his 156-day journey as written in “Oku no Hosomichi” in Yamagata. This journey towards the Three Mountains of Dewa is also known as “the journey of the spirit”. Yamagata has been revered as a place of spiritual culture since ancient times.

Yamagata is the 9th largest prefecture in terms of area in Japan at 930,000 hectares, and from its topography and the remains of the Edo era domain system come differences in diaclect, food, and culture throughout its four regions: Okitama, Murayama, Mogami, and Shonai.

We Talked to the Yamagata Study Abroad Ambassadors.


The scenery in Yamagata Prefecture is very beautiful. Every time I look at the morning sunrise and evening sunset I feel at peace. There are so many warmhearted people and when there is something difficult in class, my kind classmates are there to help. There is a lot of snow in the winter, but it doesn’t bother me that much.


There are so many kind people around so I have really been enjoying myself. The fruit in Yamagata Prefecture is particularly good. I receive season fruit from the farmers or students. I once received more Shonai perssimons, a local speciality, than I could eat by myself!


I studied abroad in Tokyo for 4 years but, the towns in Yamagata Prefecture are quite and easy to live in. Also, the rent in Yamagata is much less than in Tokyo so I am able to save money. There is so many good food that I’m loving, like soba and ramen, and meals at local shops.

Working Part-Time

We asked international students who are working part-time in the prefecture what kind of jobs are they doing. Here were the most popular answers: convienience store or grocery store clerk, teaching assistant at their university, food service, and interpretation and translation.

When Facing Difficulties

There is a One-Stop Consultation Desk for Foriegners in Yamaga Prefecture. You can discuss any issues or problems you may be experiencing in different languages (English, Chinese, Portugues, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). For more details visit the Association for International Relations in Yamagata (AIRY) website.