Festivals & Events
Yamagata Cherry Festival 日本一さくらんぼ祭り
Pick cherries at this fruity festival in the cherry capital of Japan
Yamagata's most famous exports are the juicy cherries grown in the valleys running through the center of the region. The annual Yamagata Cherry Festival in late May or early June celebrates the succulent ruby fruits, enjoyed and celebrated through the region and Japan.
- The all-you-can-eat cherry-picking sessions
- The cherry-flavored ice cream, drinks, snacks and more
How to Get There
Picking venues change each season but are located across the region and can be accessed by train or car.
Ready, pick, eat
Yamagata produces some of the best fruit in Japan and, to enjoy one of the best products of the region, no fewer than 10 cities across the prefecture organize these annual cherry-picking events.
Depending on the orchard you choose, an all-you-can-pick cherry session costs around 1,000 to 3,000 yen. With such reasonable prices, thousands of pickers descend upon the groves annually to stuff themselves with as much fruit as possible.
After a quick explanation from the staff, visitors soon master the picking technique and learn how to find the best cherries.
A sweet and sour flavor in Sagae
While Yamagata Prefecture produces nearly 70 percent of cherries in the entire country, Sagae City is known as the capital of it all.
On the second week of June, visitors are allowed to get greedy and enjoy as many cherries as your stomach can handle in a 30- or 60-minute session.
Enjoy till the last bite
Held over two days, the Yamagata Cherry Festival is also an enjoyable opportunity for trying out some local food. Family events, live music, and fireworks displays provide continuous entertainment during the event.
Be sure to try the various tasty home-made cherry products such as liqueurs or ice creams. Nearly every manner of cherry-infused products can be found at the Yamagata Cherry Festival.