Sakata Cruise

The Sankyo rice storehouse

The Haguro-san shrine of rebirth

The Ken Domon Museum of Photography

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Sakata / Yamagata

A small tresaure full of colors and traditions

An MSC Cruise will take you on the edge of the fertile plains of Shonai, well-known for its cultivation of rice, in the Yamagata Prefecture, where Sakata rises.
The first historical references regarding this city date back to the Edo period (1603-1868) where thanks to the rice and sake trade, as well as the cultivation of the safflower, which was used in the production of oils and tinctures, Sakata became the second most important port in Japan. Nowadays, the city is still a very active commercial centre and it proudly shows off a collection of architecture pieces that is unique in Japan. Here, indeed, the merchants chose to distinguish themselves by building unique properties and enchanting public buildings for the community.
Just 10 minutes by bus from the station you can admire the 12 Sankyo storehouses, built in 1893. This is one of the most historic places in Sakata. Rice is still packed here and shipped to the rest of Japan and the rest of the world. One of these storehouses is now a museum with a souvenir shop and local products on sale. The surroundings have remained unchanged in time: the storehouses are surrounded by Zelkova trees, which provide the right ventilation in the summer and provide protection from the rigid winters.
An MSC excursion will take you to the hinterland of Sakata, where the three Dewa Sanzan mountains rise up. One if these is called Haguro-san and at its summits stands the shrine of rebirth. You can easily explore this cultural site, which is open all year, by following a footpath through a magical forest of cedar trees. You will come across 33 carved sculptures along the way, which bring prosperity to those who find them all. 
Once back down in the valley you can visit the Ken Domon Museum of Photography, dedicated to the famous photographer of the same name, who was born in Sakata. Before his death, he donated some 70,000 photographs to the city, which were put on display in this museum. By exploring its rooms you will discover the realistic and unique style of Domon in documenting post WWII Japan.
An Asia Cruise offers you all this. 

Discover excursions in Sakata


    A dìfferent planet
    A dìfferent planet

    There’s nothing quite like a cruise to Japan. The very quintessence of Eastern culture, it has long excited the imagination of the West, with a great many of its joys etched indelibly into the minds of folk who live oceans away.

    Sushi and sake, anime and manga, samurai, ninja and the bullet train: everyone knows something of this island nation’s culture, but there’s far more to discover beyond these highly enjoyable stereotypes. Prepare to be pleasantly disorientated. 

    One of the joys of visiting Japan is experiencing the ordinary ways in which the Japanese aesthetic enters into everyday life. The presentation of food, a window display or the simplest flower arrangement can convey, beyond the walls of any museum or gallery, the essential nature of Japanese art. 

    An MSC cruise to Japan will reveal the major attraction of this “Land of contrasts”; it may be the world’s laziest travel cliché, but those who visit Japan find themselves constantly surprised at the easy co-existence between the country’s past and present. 

    Discover Japan and its unexpectedly beautiful landscapes, its charmingly courteous people and its tangible sense of history and cherished traditions – few will be able to resist the chance to get to grips with its mysterious, yet tantalizing, culture.