Yamagata Prefecture (山形県 Yamagata-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on Honshu island. Its capital is Yamagata.

The climate of Yamagata Prefecture is characterized by long hot humid summers and long snowy winters. Both spring and autumn are short, the former often cold, the latter often warm, but both quite dry and sunny. Yamagata Prefecture, along with northern parts of Miyagi and Iwate are the transition areas from humid subtropical climate (Koppen Dfa/Dfb) to humid continental within the Japan mainland. Winter temperatures rarely fall below -10 °C in populated areas; they frequently rise above 30 °C in July and August. Precipitation falls all year round and the remnants of one or perhaps two typhoons usually pass through between August and October. The winters see heavy snowfall especially at higher elevations, though the Japan Sea coast (Sakata) is milder and has more rain. Snowfall for Shinjō is typical of populated mountainous areas, snowfall for Yamagata City typical of the valleys. The central mountains around Gassan may see as much as 3000 cm of snow in a season with depths up to 8 metres at higher elevations.


The temple of Yama-dera, carved into the mountainside near the city of Yamagata, is a major attraction.

The Dewa Sanzan are three holy mountains that form a traditional pilgrimage for followers of the Shugendō branch of Shintō. The famous Gojudo (five-story pagoda) is at the base of Mount Haguro, the lowest of the three mountains.

Mount Zaō is a famous winter ski resort, also known for its snow monsters (frozen snow-covered trees) in the winter, and the Okama crater lake, also known as the Goshiki Numa(Five Color Lake) because its colour changes according to the weather.


Site of Yamagata :