Watch Maiko Perform and Eat Local in Sakata
A harbor town teahouse with culture and atmosphere preserved since the Edo period
Travel to the city of Sakata in northern Yamagata Prefecture and find Somaro―an Edo-period (1603-1867) teahouse that offers locals and tourists alike the chance to slip back to Japan’s olden days. Just minutes from the shores of the Mogami River and Sea of Japan, enjoy traditional maiko performances at a venue formerly open only to the most esteemed guests. Marvel at the historical white storehouse that survived the 1894 Shonai Earthquake, and has since been designated by the Japanese government as an Important Cultural Property.
Make a reservation and visit Somaro Maiko Teahouse for a luxurious lunch and experience what it was like to be an Edo-period VIP. Dine on local delicacies such as eel or chirashi (scattered) sushi. Feast your eyes on exquisite performances of traditional dance put on by authentic apprentice geisha.
Art aficionados are encouraged to stop at the neighboring Yumeji Takehisa Museum of Art to enjoy Nihonga illustrations of women said to have pioneered the stylistic features in classic manga.
Access: Fly from Haneda Airport to Yamagata Airport (1 hour), then take the train to Sakada (1 hour).
Maiko Chaya Somaro Takehisa Yumeji Museum
1-2-20 Hiyoshi-cho, Sakata-shi, Yamagata-ken