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Potato Stew

Yamagata


You can’t miss the famous Yamagata potato stew

A potato stew with meat, or imoni in Japanese, is the soul food of Yamagata. It contains a generous helping of ingredients such as scallions, carrots, mushrooms, bean curd, and konjac. The flavoring differs depending on the area, and Shonai is famous for its miso base with pork, while the inland areas use a soy sauce base with beef. Although the potato stew is well-known for being a home-cooked meal, it is easy to find in Japanese taverns as a local cuisine. Try the different regional flavors and compare to see which you like best.

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Enjoy Yamagata soul food in a camping atmosphere with friends

When autumn comes, you’ll find gatherings called imoni parties in nearly ever dry riverbed. This is a kind of outdoor party where potato stews are eaten. Splitting the contents of the pot with friends outside is a truly Japanese style banquet. The roots of the imoni party stretches back to the mid-17th century. The tradition began with men involved in transportation on the Mogami River. While waiting for the boats, they would stew potatoes from nearby towns along with sliced dried cod in a pot.

  • Potato Stew's photo
  • Potato Stew's photo
  • Potato Stew's photo

Enjoy the flavor of the potato stew at an imoni party festival

If you want to experience the flavor of the potato stew in the authentic style on a dry riverbed, come join in the Imoni Party Festival held on the first Sunday of September each year. This festival is the opening ceremony for the autumn imoni season, a stew for 30,000 people is cooked in a huge pot six meters in diameter. This pot is so big it needs special cranes for stirring! Enjoy the heat of the party and the fun of eating outside while keeping toasty warm. A visit to this festival is sure to help you understand why imoni is the soul food of Yamagata.

  • Potato Stew's photo
  • Potato Stew's photo
  • Potato Stew's photo

For reference

Imoni Party Festival

  • Address
    Mamigasaki riverbed, Yamagata-shi
  • Open
    Held every year on the first Sunday of September
  • Hours
    Tickets distributed from 8:30 am, food is handed out from 11:00 am (ends when food is gone)
  • Price
    Free of charge

Access

Shonai Airport is a one hour flight from Haneda Airport.
From the Shonai Airport, take the Shonai Bus to Sakata Station (40 min). From Sakata Station, take the JR Rikuu West Line to Shinjo Station (50 min). From there, transfer to the Yamagata Shinkansen and get off at Yamagata Station (50 min.). A shuttle bus runs from Yamagata Station to the venue.

Map

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