Yonezawa, Yamagata

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Yonezawa (米沢市, Yonezawa-shi) is a city in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 February 2020, the city had an estimated population of 81,707 in 33278 households, and a population density of 150 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 548.51 square kilometres (212 sq mi). Yonezawa is most famous for its local delicacies (apples, Yonezawa beef, and carp) and for being a castle town that was once home to the Uesugi clan, including the daimyō Uesugi Yozan.


Yonezawa is located in the southeast corner of Yamagata Prefecture. The southern and eastern portions of the city are river basins surrounded by large mountains, forming the Yonezawa Basin. The southern portion of the city has a complex terrain with several rivers and alternating ridges and valleys orientated east to west. The Mogami River flows through the city. Part of the city is within the borders of the Bandai-Asahi National Park.

Neighboring municipalities

Yamagata Prefecture Takahata, Yamagata Kawanishi, Yamagata Iide, Yamagata Fukushima Prefecture Fukushima, Fukushima Kitakata, Fukushima Inawashiro, Fukushima Kitashiobara, Fukushima


Per Japanese census data, the population of Yonezawa has remained relatively steady for the past 70 years .


Yonezawa has a Humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heaviest from August to October. The average annual temperature in Yonezawa is 11.4 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1438 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.1 °C, and lowest in January, at around -1.3 °C.


The area of present-day Yonezawa was part of ancient Dewa Province and was controlled in the Sengoku period by the Date clan. The famed warlord Date Masamune was born in Yonezawa. During the Edo period, the area became Yonezawa Domain under the Tokugawa shogunate, ruled by the Uesugi clan. After the start of the Meiji period, the area was organized into Minamiokitama District, Yamagata Prefecture. The city of Yamagata was established on April 1, 1889, with the establishment of the modern municipalities system


Yonezawa has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 24 members. The city contributes three members to the Yamagata Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Yamagata District 3 of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

List of mayor of Yonezawa


The economy of Yamagata is based on agriculture, horticulture, light manufacturing and tourism.


Colleges and universities

Yamagata University Yonezawa campus Yonezawa Women's Junior College

Primary and secondary education

Yonezawa has 18 public elementary schools and eight public middle schools operated by the city government and four public high schools operated by the Yamagata Prefectural Board of Education. There are also two private high schools.



East Japan Railway Company - Yamagata Shinkansen Yonezawa East Japan Railway Company - Ōu Main Line Itaya - Tōge - Ōsawa - Sekine - Yonezawa - Oitama East Japan Railway Company - Yonesaka Line Yonezawa - Minami-Yonezawa - Nishi-Yonezawa - Narushima


Tōhoku-Chūō Expressway – Yonezawa IC National Route 13 National Route 121 National Route 287 National Route 399

Local attractions

Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum Yonezawa Castle Tateyama Castle Yonezawa Onsen Namegawa Great Falls Shirabu Onsen (in gorges of Otaru River south of Yonezawa)

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Moses Lake, WA


Takanabe, Miyazaki, since 1981 Jōetsu, Niigata, since 1981 Okinawa, Okinawa, since 1994 Tōkai, Aichi, since 1999


Taubaté, Brazil, since January 28, 1974 Moses Lake, Washington, USA, since May 1, 1981

Notable people from Yonezawa

Junzaburo Ban, actor Itō Chūta, architect Takehiko Endo, politician Yamashita Gentarō, admiral, Imperial Japanese Navy Masami Kobayashi, admiral, Imperial Japanese Navy Mutsuo Minagawa, Nippon Professional Baseball player Chūichi Nagumo, admiral, Imperial Japanese Navy Ikeda Shigeaki, politician Hirata Tosuke, Meiji period statesman
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