Shonai is an area on the Japan Sea side centered on Sakata City in Yamagata Prefecture. This area is famous for delicious groundwater and spring water, and it is also known as a production area for brand-name rice in Japan.
Shonai is an area that is rich with nature; you can enjoy trekking on Mt.Haguro-san and Mt. Chokai-san here. Another popular spot is Atsumi Onsen which is said to have been used by people for over 1,300 years. The area is also home to historical buildings, including the Maiko-Chaya Hinagura-Garo Soma-ro, a restaurant that has been in service since the Edo Period（1603-1868）that has recently been restored and open to the public. Another noteworthy historical building is Chido-kan, Han-School of Shonai.
For traveling in the area, buses and trains are convenient. To get from Tokyo to the area’s central Sakata Station, you can take the Shinkansen or the Uetsu Main Line. The nearest airport is Shonai Airport; from Haneda Airport it is about 1 hour away.