Tsuruoka’s history leads back to the Japanese Edo period (1603-1868) over 400 years ago. Since then, remarkable gastronomical and agricultural traditions have developed in the region. The landscape surrounding the city offers a varied geographical landscape including sea, plains and mountains. This geographic diversity has resulted in an exceptional diversity of food being cultivated in the area surrounding Tsuruoka and includes foods such as mountain vegetables and mushrooms, rice, bamboo shoots, edamame (green soybeans) and seafood. Also unique to the city’s identity are spiritual traditions such as “Shugendo”(mountain asceticism) on the Three Mountains of Dewa and the “Kurokawa Noh” play.

Food-related industries in Tsuruoka, such as agriculture and the food and drink services are promising sectors for the future of the city. Tsuruoka is also home to number of talents stemming from the city’s gastronomical tradition and includes well-known agriculturists and renowned chefs. Indeed, farmers, cooks and chefs are true creators and artists in Tsuruoka. Universities and research facilities also explore topics related to gastronomy, resulting, for instance, in studying and valuing indigenous crops as “living cultural assets”.

Under the leadership of the Tsuruoka Creative City of Gastronomy Promotion Council, founded as a collaboration of citizens, industry, academia and government, Tsuruoka is currently encouraging the transmission of traditional cuisine and is promoting the production and use of indigenous crops.

spring season autumn season

Contribution to the network

As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Tsuruoka envisages:

  • encouraging the preservation and promotion of indigenous crops and their use in traditional gastronomy so as to transmit this knowledge to future generations – find more info here

  • promoting collaboration between farmers, chefs and those who are engaged in related industries as well as research in order to enhance the region’s unique gastronomy

  • sharing experiences related to the promotion of Creative Cities. Tsuruoka is committed to interacting with other members of the UCCN in order to support the development of each member’s potential – find mor info here

    slow food

Facts and figures




City 128’442


ø January °C -4

ø July °C 30


Designated Unesco Creative City since 2014

Michelin Green Guide Japan: Mt. Haguro in Tsuruoka has ★★ 2009

Japan Heritage Site: The Three Mountains of Dewa “A Journey to Rebirth” 2017

Guinness World Record: Kamo Aquarium – Most jellyfish species on display 2012

What’s on?

Click here to get information about the latest events

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.


About Tsuruoka


Toshiro Akiba

Director of Gastronomy Promotion Of ce