Close this search box.

Yamagata Cycling: Nature and Craft

History, culture and craft of Yamagata City.

Experience a tour around Yamagata City by e-bike. As you ride, enjoy learning about the history and culture of Yamagata from your English-speaking guide. More than just cycling, this tour also takes visitors out to Hirashimizu to enjoy a pottery making experience. Using the Yamagata Creative City Center Q1 as a base, cycle through the modern city center, then up into the foothills of east Yamagata to the Hirashimizu artisan hamlet. Take in the old-fashioned charm of the area as you enjoy a pottery making experience. After pottery, visit a local restaurant for a lunch of Yamagata soba (For those with allergies, an alternative lunch spot is available).

Yamagata Cycling: Nature and Craft in Yamagata City

What's Included

  • E-bike and helmet rental
  • Pottery making experience
  • English-speaking guide
  • Accident insurance (any other type of insurance is not included)


¥20,000 per person

Experience Availability

Spring to Fall

Average Duration

Approximately 5 hours

Meeting Location

Yamagata Creative City Center Q1, room 1-A
The Hidden Japan Yamagata City office

Minimum number of participants

2 people

Maximum number of participants

4 people

Important notes

Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
Please notify us at least 3 days before if you must cancel or modify your reservation.

Cycling, nature and craft

Meet at the reception and receive your e-bike and rental helmet, then head outside to the courtyard to review basic safety maneuvers and movements like braking and U-turns.

The following points will be checked:
a. Can rider make a U-turn?
b. Can rider make a U-turn without putting their foot down?
c. Can rider make a U-turn without wobbling?
d. Is rider using brakes to control their speed?
e. Can rider come to a complete stop using only bicycle brakes (i.e., the rider is not using their feet to brake when coming to a stop)?
f. Can the rider come to a stop and set their feet down without losing their balance?
*Guests may be refused participation in the tour if cycling guide deems them to be having excessive difficulty executing the above-listed maneuvers.

Start your tour of Yamagata City, the capital of Yamagata Prefecture. At the end of the modern downtown district stands a large and stately old building- Yamagata Kyodo-kan, nicknamed Bunshokan. Built in 1916 in an English Renaissance Revival style, it served as the seat of the prefectural government and prefectural assembly hall until 1975. In 1984, the building was named a National Important Cultural Property. Starting in 1986 over a period of 10 years, the building was restored to its former beauty using historically accurate reconstruction techniques. As the Yamagata Kyodo-kan, it is now open for visitors to explore free of charge.

The next location, the Hirashimizu area, lies on the outskirts of Yamagata, a slight uphill journey from the city center. Thanks to the e-bike’s assist function, climbing this slope will feel like a breeze. Pedaling at your own pace, take in the nature of Yamagata in comfort. If you find a view spot you are fond of, feel free to stop your bike along the side of the road and snap a picture.

After about an hour of cycling, arrive at the Hirashimizu-yaki pottery workshop.Under the guidance of an instructor, make your own original item of pottery. Anyone, regardless of age, can enjoy pottery making at this workshop—no need to bring any special gear with you. A potter will apply a glaze of your choice to your piece, then place it in the famous climbing kiln of Hirashimizu for firing. The process will be completed in about 1 month. Once your piece has been fired, it will be shipped to you (please bring cash to pay for postage fees).

Sample tour schedule

Meet in downtown Yamagata at Yamagata Creative City Center Q1Reception→ E-bike test riding and safety check→ Ride south with guide→ (About halfway to destination) Begin ride uphill→ Arrive at workshop→ Pottery making experience→ Lunch at soba restaurant→ Return to central Yamagata along same route→ Arrive back at Yamagata Creative City Center Q1 

Yamagata Cycling: Nature and Craft reservations

You can send a booking inquiry for your experience below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm the booking with our partners and send you a booking confirmation email at least 3 days before your desired date.
Please note this form does not confirm the availability of an experience or reserves an experience straightaway.

Cancellation policy

Our general cancellation policy for this experience is below. Cancellation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

3 business days before tour start date

20% of total price

Date of experience before designated start time

50% of total price

After designated start time, or in the event of a no show

100% of total price