Yamaga City was formed in January 15th 2005 when the former Yamaga City, Kahoku, Kikuka, Kamoto, and Kao merged together to form a new "Yamaga City."
Located in the northern part of Kumamoto Prefecture, this city is home to part of the abundant cultivated land that sprawls across the Kikuchi River Basin. The city borders various other locations: to the north are Fukuoka and Oita prefectures, to the east is Kikuchi City, to the south is Kumamoto City, and to the west is Nagomi-machi.
The northern part of Yamaga City is blanketed in lush mountain forest. The sources of various rivers such as the Iwano and Kami-Uchida Rivers are here; these rivers run through the city center east-to-west, emptying into the Kikuchi River. In the southern part of Yamaga is a flatlands region centered around the Kikuchi River Basin, a sprawling countryside area containing a city region at its center with a network of highways branching outward. The Yamaga City area acts as an access hub for regional transportation due to being a focal point for roads such as Japan National Route 3 which cuts through the city, Japan National Route 325 which stretches from to the east and west, and Japan National Route 443.
With a mild climate, this is a fragrant region naturally blessed with fertile land as well as culture rooted in history and tradition.
Yamaga City's total land area is 299.67ｋ㎡ (21.5km east-west and 26.7km north-south), occupying 4.0% of the overall prefecture. Due to Yamaga's land usage situation, the proportion of farm-use land is the highest in the prefecture, with a high proportion of forest in the city's northern region.
Yamaga Onsen, Kumairi Onsen, Hirayama Onsen, Kikuka Onsen, and Kamoto Onsen all have long histories. Boasting the highest water output in the prefecture, the high-quality water from these skin-softening hot springs is also called 'bijin-no-yu' (water of beauty). There are about 40 overnight accommodation facilities, with plenty of family baths and public baths scattered around as well.
Sakura-yu Inside view
There's no shortage of places to eat in Yamaga, from traditional old shops to retro-stylish cafes and more. Savoring the historical atmosphere while you enjoy food or sake is one of Yamaga's appeals.
In the fertile land of the Kikuchi River basin, numerous farm products are produced, starting with high quality rice, watermelons and other melons and kumquats. The mountainous regions boast the highest production of chestnuts and bamboo shoots, tea and shiitake mushrooms in the prefecture. You can find all of these items and more being sold in product promotion centers, etc.
Wine & Sake
"Yamaga Tourou" (Yamaga Lanterns), which are made entirely of Japanese-style paper, received the designation of "Nationally Designated Traditional Craft" in December of 2013.
The "Yamaga Tourou Matsuri" is held every year on August 15th and 16th. At this festival, women carry "hounou tourou" (dedication torches) or metal torches atop their heads as they perform an elegant dance called the "Sennin tourou-odori" (Thousand-Person Lantern Dance). The repeatedly overlapping circles of lanterns beckon onlookers into a magical otherworld.