Tsuruoka, Yamagata

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Tsuruoka City Hall
Tsuruoka City Hall
Flag of Tsuruoka
Official seal of Tsuruoka
Location of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture
Location of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture
Tsuruoka is located in Japan
Coordinates: 38°43′38″N 139°49′36″E / 38.72722°N 139.82667°E / 38.72722; 139.82667Coordinates: 38°43′38″N 139°49′36″E / 38.72722°N 139.82667°E / 38.72722; 139.82667
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Yamagata Prefecture
 • Total 1,311.53 km2 (506.38 sq mi)
Population (October 2015)
 • Total 129,639
 • Density 98.8/km2 (256/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Japanese beech
- Flower Sakura
Phone number 0235-25-2111
Address 9-25, Babachō, Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata-ken 997-8601
Website Official website

Tsuruoka (鶴岡市 Tsuruoka-shi?) is a city in Yamagata Prefecture, in the Tohoku region of northern Japan.

As of October 2015, the city had an estimated population of 129,639 and a population density of 98.8 persons per km². The total area was 1,311.53 square kilometres (506.38 square miles).


Tsuruoka is located on the coast of Yamagata Prefecture bordering the Sea of Japan and has some locally popular beaches such as Yunohama and Sanze. All three of the Three Mountains of Dewa are at least partially within the city limits.

Neighboring municipalities[edit]


Tsuruoka has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with very warm summers and cool winters. Precipitation is plentiful throughout the year, although the months from February to June have somewhat less rainfall.


The area of present-day Tsuruoka was part of ancient Dewa Province, and was under the control of the Shonai Domain under the Tokugawa shogunate in the Edo period. It was a minor port for the kitamaebune coastal trade.

After the start of the Meiji period, the area organized as Tsuruoka Town under Nishitagawa District, Yamagata Prefecture in 1878. It was elevated to city status on October 1, 1924 becoming Japan's 100th city. In 1955, the city expanded by annexing the town of Kamo and nine neighboring villages. The town of Oyama was annexed by Tsuruoka in 1963.

On October 1, 2005, the towns of Fujishima, Haguro and Kushibiki, and the village of Asahi (all fromHigashitagawa District), and the town of Atsumi (from Nishitagawa District) were merged into Tsuruoka.


Tsuruoka has a mixed economy based on light manufacturing, commercial services, agriculture and commercial fishing.






Colleges and Universities[edit]

High Schools[edit]

Junior High Schools[edit]

Elementary Schools[edit]

Health care[edit]

  • Tsuruoka Shonai Hospital
  • Tsuruoka Kyoritsu Hospital
  • Yutagawa Onsen Rehabilitation Medical Center



  • NHK Tsuruoka Broadcast Station


  • Shonai Nippo

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Tsuruoka is twinned with:

Local attractions[edit]

  • Yamabushi Training at Ideha Culture Museum (いでは文化記念館, "Ideha Bunka Kinenkan")
  • Mt. Haguro
  • Zenpo Temple - Where, in 1990, a carp fish with a human-like face was seen in a pond on the temple grounds.[4]
  • Chido Museum
  • Shōnai Shrine
  • Yutagawa Hot Spring
  • Yunohama Hot Spring
  • Dewa-no-Yuki Shuzō Museum
  • Tsuruoka Art Forum
  • Dewa Shōnai Kokusai Mura International Forum and the Amazon Folk Museum
  • Gassan Asahi Museum
  • Tsuruoka Kamo Aquarium

Local events[edit]

  • Saitansai (New Year Ceremony) in Mt. Haguro Shrine - January 1
  • Ogisai Kurokawa Noh (Noh Festival) in Kushibiki - February 1 to 2
  • Oyama Sake Festival - Middle of February
  • Mt. Yudono Ski Festival in Mt. Yudono - From middle to late February
  • Tsuruoka Hinamatsuri in Shonai Temple and Chido Museum - March
  • Tsuruoka Sakura Festival in Tsuruoka Park - From middle to late April
  • Tulip Festival in Ikoi Village Shonai - From late April to Early May
  • Amazon Kid Festival in Gassan Asahi Village - May 3 to 5
  • Ceremony for Women and Children in Mt. Haguro Shrine - May 5
  • Kinensai (Prayer service for a good crop) in Mt. Haguro Shrine - May 8
  • International Nordic Walk in Yunohama - Middle of May
  • Tenjin Festival - May 25
  • Oyama Dog Festival - June 5
  • Yutagawa Hot Spring Hotaru Matsuri (Firefly Festival) - June 15 to August 10
  • Flower Festival in Mt. Haguro - July 15
  • Gassan Shrine Festival in Mt. Gassan - July 15
  • International Bungee jumping in Gassan Asahi Village - Middle of July
  • Edamame Shop Open in Shirayama - Late July to Late August
  • Akagawa Fireworks Festival - Middle of August
  • Oku no Hosomichi National Haiku Competition at Ideha Bunka Kinenkan - Middle of September
  • Experience:Yamabushi Training at Ideha Bunka Kinenkan - Middle of September
  • Miss Shonai Contest - Late October
  • Shonai Hyakuman-goku Festival - Early November



Tsuruoka is known for "dadacha-mame" (だだちゃ豆), a brand of soybean, which have been called "the king of edamame"; they are also used for other products such as nattō and in manjū. There are two theories as to the origin of the name: one is that it derives from dadacha, the Shonai dialectical word for "father" – gagacha is the dialectical word for "mother", while the other is that the beans came from Date, Fukushima, and were originally called Date-no-chamame, which became Date-chamame and then Dadacha-mame.[5]

Notable people from Tsuruoka[edit]


  1. ^ 姉妹・友好・兄弟都市 [Twin cities]. Kagoshima International Affairs Division (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2013-06-02. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  2. ^ "US-Japan Sister Cities by State". Asia Matters for America. Honolulu, HI: East-West Center. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Metropolis, "Fortean Japan", 27 June 2008, p. 12.
  5. ^ Yamagata foods: Dadacha-mame

External links[edit]