Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion “Bunshokan”

An important Western-style building from the Taisho Era (1912 to 1926)

Closest station

JR Yamagata Station

  • From JR Yamagata Station take the Benichan Bus for around 8 minutes, get off at the “Shiyakusho Minami-guchi” (City Hall south exit) stop, and then walk for around 5 minutes.
  • From JR Yamagata Station take the Yamako Bus bound for Tohoku Chuo Hospital for around 10 minutes, get off at the “Yamagata Shiyakusho-mae” (just before Yamagata City Hall) stop, and then walk for around 1 minute.

3-4-51 Hatagomachi, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture

Opening hours

9:00 – 16:30


1st and 3rd Mondays of every month (if this falls on a public holiday, then the Bunshokan will be closed on the following day), and year-end and New Year holidays



Great Stuff to See and Do!

Pay close attention to the decorations that were renovated and restored by craftspeople


The Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion, also known as the “Bunshokan,” is a British early modern revival-style building that is open to the public free of charge as a public cultural facility. It was designed by Shinnosuke Tahara, a disciple of British architect Josiah Condor, with Seiichiro Chujo, from the Yonezawa area, serving as a design consultant. The Bunshokan was built in 1916 and was then used as the prefectural government building and prefectural assembly hall until 1975.

The Bunshokan was later designated as a national Important Cultural Property, and conservation and restoration work was carried out over a 10 year period. There are numerous highlights, such as the original glass from when it was first built and the elaborate decorations created by craftsmen when it was restored. The highlight of a visit to the Bunshokan is the impressive, semicircular vaulted ceiling in the former prefectural assembly hall. The stately exterior and ornate decorations of the beautiful interior really give visitors a sense of the romanticism of Japan’s Taisho Era (1912 to 1926).

Also enjoy the exhibition corner and cafe


The clock tower, the symbol of the former prefectural government building, is the second oldest operating clock tower in Japan after the Sapporo City Clock Tower. Even today, a clockmaker still visits the clock tower every five days to maintain it, and it has been ticking and keeping time for more than 100 years.

In addition to touring the building itself, there is also a permanent exhibition with information about the local area, where visitors can learn about the climate and culture of Yamagata Prefecture, view records about the restoration, and enjoy the Bunshokan more deeply.

One of the rooms in the former prefectural government building has also been turned into a cafe, where visitors can enjoy a menu filled with foods made using ingredients from Yamagata Prefecture.