Nan'yō, Yamagata

Coordinates: 38°3′18.4″N 140°8′51.4″E / 38.055111°N 140.147611°E / 38.055111; 140.147611
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Nan'yo City Hall
Nan'yo City Hall
Flag of Nan'yo
Official seal of Nan'yo
Location of Nan'yo in Yamagata Prefecture
Location of Nan'yo in Yamagata Prefecture
Nan'yo is located in Japan
Coordinates: 38°3′18.4″N 140°8′51.4″E / 38.055111°N 140.147611°E / 38.055111; 140.147611
 • Total160.52 km2 (61.98 sq mi)
 (March 2020)
 • Total31,112
 • Density190/km2 (500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeSakura
- FlowerChrysanthemum
Phone number0238-40-3211
Address436-1 Mitsumadori, Nanyō-shi, Yamagata-ken 999-2292
WebsiteOfficial website

Nan'yō (南陽市, Nan'yō-shi) is a city located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 March 2020, the city had an estimated population of 31,112 in 11379 households,[1] and a population density of 190 persons per km². The total area of the city is 160.52 square kilometres (62 sq mi).


Nan'yo is located in the northern part of Okitama Basin in southern Yamagata Prefecture, with mountains to the north, east and west and the Mogami River forming its southern border. It is approximately 21 km from Yonezawa, 35 km from Yamagata city, 61 km from Fukushima, and 95 km from Sendai. The city has an altitude of about 200 meters in the plains rising to 450 meters in the northern mountains. Mt. Shirataka (elevation 994 meters) is the highest elevation in the city.

Neighboring municipalities[edit]


Nan'yō has a Humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heaviest from August to October. The average annual temperature in Nan'yō is 11.3 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1486 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 25.0 °C, and lowest in January, at around -1.4 °C.[2]


Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Nan'yō has declined slightly over the past 30 years.

Historical population
1960 41,324—    
1970 37,271−9.8%
1980 36,682−1.6%
1990 36,977+0.8%
2000 36,191−2.1%
2010 33,664−7.0%
2020 31,112−7.6%


The area of present-day Nan'yo was part of ancient Dewa Province. In Japanese folklore it is the setting of the Tsuru no Ongaeshi legend. After the start of the Meiji period, the area was organized into villages within Higashiokitama District, Yamagata Prefecture with the establishment of the modern municipalities system, including the village of Akayu. Akayu was raised to town status in December 1895.

The city of Nan'yo was established on April 1, 1967 by the merger of the former towns of Miyauchi and Akayu with the village of Wagō. Akayu is famous for its hot springs, cherries and hang gliding and includes the former village of Nakagawa. Miyauchi is famous for its chrysanthemum festival and the Kumano-taisha Shrine, and includes the former villages of Urushiyama, Yoshino, and Kaneyama. The village of Wago was created in 1955 by the merger of the villages of Okigō and Ringō. The English travel-writer Isabella Bird visited Akayu in 1878 and wrote about the town in Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.[4][5] The city is named after Nanyang, China, where according to legend a chrysanthemum spring can make drinkers immortal.[6]


Nan'yō has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 17 members. The city contributes one member to the Yamagata Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Yamagata District 2 of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.


The economy of Nan'yo is based on agriculture, light manufacturing, and tourism.[citation needed] A number of wineries are also located in the city.


A cask of wine from the Sato Winery in Nan'yō during the annual wine festival

Nan'yō is home to the following three major wineries.

  • Sakai Winery[7]
  • Oura Winery[8]
  • Sato Winery[9]

In addition to the three wineries, Nan'yō is also home to a sake brewery called Azuma no Fumoto (東の麓).[10]


Nan'yō has seven public elementary schools and three public middle schools operated by the city government and one public high school operated by the Yamagata Prefectural Board of Education.

High schools[edit]

  • Nan'yō High School

Junior high schools[edit]

  • Akayu Junior High School
  • Miyauchi Junior High School
  • Okigō Junior High School

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Akayu Elementary School
  • Miyauchi Elementary School
  • Nakagawa Elementary School
  • Ogi Elementary School
  • Okigō Elementary School
  • Ringō Elementary School
  • Urushiyama Elementary School



East Japan Railway Company -Yamagata Shinkansen

East Japan Railway Company - Ōu Main Line

Yamagata Railway Company - Flower Nagai Line




Local attractions[edit]

Lake Hakuryuu, with a vineyard on the mountain in the background
  • Inarimori Kofun, Akayu
  • Akayu Onsen, Akayu
  • Nan'yo Skypark, Akayu
  • Mount Eboshi, Akayu. Listed as one of the 100 cherry blossoms sights in Japan.
  • Toyotarō Yūki Memorial Museum, Akayu
  • Kumano Shrine, Miyauchi
  • Hygeia Park onsen complex, Miyauchi
  • The 33 Images of Buddha, Mt Iwabu, Nakagawa
  • Yuzuru no Sato Museum, Urushiyama
  • Chinzo-ji Temple, Urushiyama
  • Kuguri waterfall, Kotaki
  • Lake Hakuryuu, Akayu

Local events[edit]

Eboshiyama, one of the 100 best places to see the cherry blossoms in Japan
  • Eboshiyama park cherry blossom festival, Akayu, late April to early May
  • Sosho park rose festival, Miyauchi, June
  • Kumano-taisha festival, Miyauchi, 24–25 July
  • Grape picking, sightseeing vineyard, Akayu, August–October
  • Nan'yō wine festival, Hygeia park, Miyauchi, August
  • Akayu onsen furosato festival, Akayu, second weekend of September
  • Chrysanthemum doll festival, Miyauchi, mid-October to mid-November

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Notable people from Nan'yo[edit]


  1. ^ Nan'yō City official statistics (in Japanese)
  2. ^ climate data
  3. ^ Nan'yō population statistics
  4. ^ Isabella Lucy Bird, Unbeaten tracks in Japan: An account of travels in the interior including visits to the aborigines of Yezo and the shrine of Nikko (1888) online.
  5. ^ Andrew Elliott, "'A perspective close to our own': footsteps travel and the Japanese reception of Isabella Bird’s Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, 1996–2016." Studies in Travel Writing (2017) 21#1: 1-16.
  6. ^ "Profile" (in Japanese). Nanyo City Government. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Sakai Winery".
  8. ^ "Oura Winery".
  9. ^ "Suto Winery".
  10. ^ "Azuma Sake Brewery".
  11. ^ "Okitama Times". Archived from the original on 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
  12. ^ "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.

External links[edit]