●Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion “Bunshokan” (Former Prefectural Office and Assembly Building)
The Bunshokan is a brick building dating from 1916 constructed in the English neo-Renaissance Style. It is an important representative of the Western architecture style buildings of the early Taisho period (1912 to 1926). Designated a national Important Cultural Property in 1984, it underwent restoration works over a period of 10 years from 1986. It now serves as the Yamagata Prefectural Hometown, open to the public free of charge, while volunteer guides can also offer tours. The building and its interiors were restored following the same methods used when it was first built, giving them a feel of the good old Taisho days. There are exhibition rooms within the building holding records of the restoration works and otherwise introducing the history and culture of Yamagata. While the grand meeting hall, the courtyard, the gallery and the conference room can be rented, the Bunshokan is also used for various cultural activities, including concerts, plays, exhibitions or local events held in its garden. Open to the public, it is beloved by the people of Yamagata prefecture.
This hall was used for briefings, appointments of new officials and otherwise important public assemblies. The interior decoration is particularly luxurious, with the original marble decorative pillars still in place. The flower decorations of the plastered ceiling were laid petal-by-petal by artisans. Details of the restoration can be seen on video in the restoration corner room on the third floor and in the movie hall on the second.
＜Office of the Governor＞
This office is decorated with a desk, chairs and wallpaper recreating its original state. The wallpaper was restored with replicates of the original’s motif of pomegranate and grapes, which can be observed in the restoration corner room. The carpets, woven in Yamagata in 1960, are the original ones, cleaned and re-laid.
The hall, popular among the people of Yamagata prefecture, is now often rented for official events, concerts or piano recitals. It has also been used since its completion in 1916 as a hall for performances or lectures when the assembly was out of session. Reconstruction works started in 1986 restored the curved semi-cylinder-shaped vaulted ceiling and pillars on the left and right within the hall.
This is the second oldest functioning clock tower in Japan, next to the one in Sapporo. Symbol of the Bunshokan, it has been indicating time for more than 100 years. The weight moving the pendulum is manually readjusted every five days by a clock smith. The four faces of the clock are all 1 meter in diameter.
By bus: 1 minute on foot from “Yamagata Shiyakusho-mae” (Yamagata city hall) bus stop on various bus routes from Yamagata station; 5 minutes on foot from “Hatago-machi ni-cho-me” bus stop on “Benichan-bus” route from Yamagata station east exit.
By car: Approximately 10 minutes from the Yamagata Zao IC off the Yamagata Expressway
Parking: There is parking space for approximately 40 cars on the north side of the Bunshokan. Parking is free, but reservations are required for microbuses and motor coaches. Please use other nearby paid parking lots if there are no more places available (no discount is offered).
Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion “Bunshokan”
〒990-0047 Yamagata-shi Hatago-machi 3-4-51
TEL: 023-635-5500 FAX: 023-635-5501
Operating hours: 9am to 4:30pm
Closed: First and Third Monday of each month. (In the case of a national holiday, it will be open on the holiday and closed the following day.)