Japan Heritage

Enjoy safflower culture

Basho – Seifu Historical Museum

During his Narrow Road to the Deep North journey through the Tohoku region, Matsuo Basho visited Suzuki Seifu and stayed in Obanazawa for 10 nights. Suzuki Seifu was a wealthy Dewa merchant who is said to have been referred to as the “Safflower Millionaire” who built his fortune through finance, lending, and brokering local specialty goods.
At Basho – Seifu Historical Museum, it is possible to learn about the meeting of Matsuo Basho and Suzuki Seifu in Obanazawa. The museum buildings comprised the store and main building of the Former Maruya-Suzuki Yahei Family Residence, which have been relocated to beside the Former Suzuki Seifu Residence and restored, and so there are latticed shutters from the fire safety door hanging in the former storehouse that now serves as the “shop”.
The main building has a chumon construction style with various wings and a through-passage, enabling visitors to see the care and consideration given to construction of private houses and townhouses in Snow Country.

Address5-36 Naka-machi, Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture
Opening hours9:00 – 16:30 (Opens at 9:30 December – February)
Closed: Wednesdays (When Wednesday is a public holiday, the next weekday); Year-end/New Year (December 29 – January 4); the closing schedule is subject to change due to exhibit replacement 
FeesAdults 210 yen, High School/University Students 100 yen, Junior High school Students and under Free of charge
[Groups of 20 people or more]
Adults 120 yen, High School/University Students 60 yen
Separate fees may apply for special exhibitions
Car parking13 parking spaces
Barrier-free facilitiesMulti-function toilet (wheelchair accessible)
From Oishida Station on the Ou Main Line/Yamagata Shinkansen, take a bus bound for Obanazawa and get off at the Obanazawa Machiai-jo bus stop; it is a 10-minute walk to the museum from the bus stop
30 minutes from Higashine Interchange on the Tohoku Chuo Expressway via National Route 13
From Yamagata Airport, take a Yamagata Airport Sightseeing Bus and get off at the Obanazawa City Office bus stop; it is a 10-minute walk to the museum from the bus stop

Recommended points/experiences

Two handwritten Matsuo Basho manuscripts; trilogy of selected Suzuki Seifu works, building architecture

Access from Yama-dera

[Senzan Line]
Yamadera Station →Uzen-Chitose Station

[Ou Main Line]
Uzen-Chitose Station→Oishida Station

Oishida Station→Obanazawa Machiai-jo bus stop(bus bound for Obanazawa); it is a 10-minute walk to the museum from the bus stop

Google Map

Nearby site/facility information

Within 10 minutes’ walking distance of the museum there is Yosen-ji Temple, where Matsuo Basho once stayed for 7 nights. Within the temple precincts is a monument inscribed with a poem written by Basho (erected in 1762) which is known as Ryozuka.

Restaurants, EateriesWithin 10 minutes’ walking distance there are two buckwheat noodle shops belonging to “The Narrow Road to the Deep North Obanazawa Soba Highway” (Kashiwaya, Fukuharaya). There are also eateries serving Obanazawa Beef Ramen noodles, a famous Obanazawa dish (Kashiwaya, Fukuharaya, Wakaba Shokudo, Obanaya, and Ichiban).
Hotels, Japanese-style innsWithin 10 minutes’ walking distance of the museum there are three business hotels (Katoya Ryokan (Japanese-style inn), Business Hotel Omotaka, and Business Hotel Sugahara)