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Getting to Sakata

By air
  • 3.5 h
  • ¥ 10,000 - 20,000

ANA operates multiple flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Shonai Airport near the Dewa Sanzan and Sakata. Flight duration is 60 minutes. The regular one way fare is around 24,000 yen; however, discount tickets are typically available for between 10,000 and 20,000 yen. Buses connect Shonai Airport with central Tsuruoka (30 minutes, 780 yen one way) and Sakata (35 minutes, 860 yen one way).

By highway bus
  • 8 h
  • ¥ 8,000

Shonai Kotsu operates an overnight bus between Tokyo (Shinjuku, Tokyo, Akihabara and Ueno stations) and Tsuruoka and Sakata stations. The one way journey takes around 8 hours and costs 7,800 yen to Tsuruoka or 8,100 yen to Sakata. Round trip tickets are available for 14,000 yen and 14,600 yen respectively and must be used within seven days. Online reservations can be made through Willer and Japan Bus Online.

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Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Sakata's main transport hub is Sakata Station and the nearby Shonai Bus Terminal. The city center and tourist sites lie to the west and south of the station. The city is medium-sized and relatively compact with many of the attractions walkable from the station. Alternatively, bicycles can be rented for free from various points in the city including next to Sakata Station.

A network of buses connects the bus terminal and station with the tourist sites, but the buses do not tend to be too frequent or easy to use by foreign tourists. There are regular city buses operated by local bus operator Shonai Kotsu (fares depend on distance traveled) and several Run Run bus lines operated by the city (200 yen per ride).

Another option is to rent a car, which also makes travelling to the Dewa Sanzan from Sakata more convenient. There are multiple car rental outlets in the city center and at Shonai Airport.

Shonai Airport is located south of central Sakata and is connected to the Sakata Station by buses that are synchronized with the arrivals and departures of flights. The journey between the airport and the city center takes 35 minutes and costs 860 yen one way.