更新日:2020年9月28日

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Outline of Yamagata Prefecture

mapYamagata Prefecture is located at the southwest corner of the Tohoku region of Honshu. It borders on Akita Prefecture to the north, Miyagi Prefecture to the east, Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture to the south, and the Sea of Japan to the west. It’s located about 300 km from Tokyo, and is 9,323 square kilometers in area, of which 72% is covered by forest. The capital city is also called Yamagata.

Yamagata, translated to English, means “Mountain Shape,” and as might be expected, there are many famous mountains within the prefecture. In the north, looming over the Shonai coast, is Mt. Chokai. In the middle of the prefecture are located the three mountains of Dewa, or Dewa-sanzan: Gassan, Mt. Haguro, and Mt. Yudono. These three mountains are held to be holy, and each have temples on them that pilgrims visit. In the Murayama region lies Mt. Zao, a mountain with many hot springs, a crater, and a well-known ski resort.

Another symbol of Yamagata is the picturesque Mogami River, which wends its way through the heart of the prefecture past Sakata City to the Shonai coast. The river was the traditional means of trade, with goods flowing up and down its length to and from the coast and out to the larger cities of the south, including the old capital of Kyoto.

Yamagata’s climate contains four distinct seasons. Among these, the summer is quite hot and humid, with its highest tenperature once climbing to 40.8 degrees C in 1933, a national record at the time broken only recently in 2007.

The prefecture is well known for its fruit, earning the nickname “Orchard Kingdom.” The vast majority of cherries and pears are grown here, along with other fruits such as apples, grapes, and peaches raised as well. The area’s leading rice brand, Tsuyahime, is one of the select brands that has earned the top rice rating in Japan, and the beef produced in the southern Okitama region, named after its main city of Yonezawa, has been known for over a hundred fifty years as being very high quality.

Beyond agriculture, Yamagata also supports a burgeoning industrial sector. Yamagata is active in research and production in cutting-edge, high-tech fields such as nanotechnology, organic electro-luminescence, and ultra-high procession processing technology, among others. It also has continued its traditional industries, such cast-iron metalwork, knit clothing, and carpet making. Maintaining both old and new industries gives the prefectural economy flexibility and ample growth.

Yamagata by the Statistics
Population: 1,077,057 (519,870 male & 557,187 female) (as of Oct. 1st, 2019)
Land Area: 9323 sq. km.  
Gross Prefectural Product: 4,039.8 billion yen (2016 fiscal year)
Per-capita income: 2,758,000 yen (2016 fiscal year)
High school entrance rate: 99.5% (2019)
University entrance rate: 44.6% (2019)

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