Getting to Tsuruoka:

By train (with the JR network)

Tsuruoka station belongs to the JR network and can be reached with the JR pass!

Come from Tokyo:

Via Niigata :

  • Tokyo station → Niigata Station (Joetsu Shinkansen) = 1h45min. → Transfer at Niigata station → Tsuruoka station (Inaho Limited Express) = 1h45 min.

*Please note Atsumi Onsen’s station is noted on the illustration, but there is no need to make a transfer at Atsumi Onsen in order to reach Tsuruoka station (however, if you have booked a room at a ryokan in Atsumi Onsen, please get off the train at Atsumi Onsen’s station).

Via Yamagata :

  • Tokyo station → Yamagata station (Yamagata Shinkansen) = 2h30 min. → Transfer at Yamagata Station → Shinjo Station = 45 min. → Transfer at Shinjo Station → Amarume Station (Rikuusai Line) = 50 min. → Transfer at Amarume Station → Tsuruoka Station (Uetsu Line) = 15min.
  • If you choose to use the Yamagata Shinkansen, consider taking a high-speed bus from Yamagata Station for convenience (to avoid making multiple transfers).

Useful Services:

By plane:

Tsuruoka is only 20min. away from the Shonai Airport (SYO), where ANA operates 5 flights a day from/to Haneda Airport (HND)!

Useful services:

ANA SKY WEB (All Nippon Airways)’s desk at ANA Shoko Plaza Tsuruoka

Shonai Airport

  • The most convenient airport to access Tsuruoka city is Shonai Airport.
  • Note that there are two airports in Yamagata Prefecture. Please do not mistake Shonai Airport (SYO) with Yamagata Airport (GAJ). From Yamagata Airport (located in Tendo City) to Tsuruoka City, it takes approximately 2 hours by car. There are no airport shuttle buses to Tsuruoka, so you will need to take the shuttle bus to Sagae City, and take the bus from Sagae to Tsuruoka.

Shonai Airport Shuttle Bus / Taxi Services

It takes around 30 minutes to reach Tsuruoka Station (Japanese name: Tsuruoka ekimae) with the Airport Limousine Bus run by the transportation company “Shonai Kotsu”.

  • Shonai Kotsu (Limousine Bus)
  • Phone: 0235-22-2600
  • Limousine bus service (800 yen/person) :  Website 

By bus:

We recommend you use the expressway bus to Tsuruoka if you plan to come from Sendai City (2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours) or Yamagata City (1 hour 30 minutes).

The night-bus from Tokyo takes roughly 7 hours to arrive to Tsuruoka.

The Yamagata Line can be ridden without a reservation, but the Sendai, Tokyo, and Osaka routes require reservations. For more information, please contact the Shonai Kotsu Highway Bus Reservation Center (website).

Useful services:

By car:

  • It takes about 6 to 7 hours to drive from Tokyo to Tsuruoka.
  • It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive from Niigata to Tsuruoka.
  • It also takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive from Sendai to Tsuruoka.

Useful services:

E-NEXCO Drive Plaza Itinerary Calculator 

Central Nippon Expressway (Traffic info)

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Yamagata River National Highway Office