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Discover the Hidden Gems of Shonai in Tsuruoka, Japan

Shonai is a small town located in the northwestern part of Tsuruoka, Japan. It is a hidden gem that boasts stunning natural wonders, rich culture, and friendly locals. One of the most interesting facts about Shonai is that it is home to the largest rice paddy art in the world. This impressive work of art covers a vast area of 15,000 square meters and features a different design every year. Visitors can enjoy the view of the rice paddy art from a nearby observation deck or take a helicopter tour for a bird's eye view.

Top Reasons to Visit Shonai and Experience Its Unique Culture

Shonai is a perfect destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. The town is known for its traditional festivals that are held throughout the year. One of the most popular festivals is the Shonai Kagura, a traditional dance that features colorful costumes and live music. The festival is held in various locations around Shonai, and visitors can enjoy the performances for free. Another festival that is worth checking out is the Shonai Bonbori Matsuri, a lantern festival that takes place in August. During the festival, the streets of Shonai are illuminated with thousands of colorful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.

How to Go to Shonai and Explore Its Natural Wonders

Shonai is easily accessible by train or bus from Tsuruoka City. From Tsuruoka Station, take the JR Uetsu Line to Shonai Station, which takes around 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Tsuruoka Bus Terminal to Shonai Bus Terminal, which takes around 40 minutes. Once you arrive in Shonai, there are many natural wonders to explore. One of the most popular attractions is the Shirakawa Waterfall, a picturesque waterfall that drops 72 meters into a deep pool. Visitors can take a short hike to the waterfall and enjoy the scenic view of the surrounding forest.

Fun Things to Do in Shonai and Make the Most of Your Stay

Aside from the natural wonders, Shonai has many other fun activities to offer. For example, visitors can try their hand at making soba noodles, a traditional Japanese dish made from buckwheat flour. There are many soba noodle shops in Shonai that offer workshops where visitors can learn how to make soba noodles from scratch. Another fun activity is visiting the Family Lodge Hatagoya Shonai, a theme park that features various attractions such as a mini zoo, a fishing pond, and a playground. The park is perfect for families with children and offers a great way to spend a day in Shonai.

Why Use to Book a Hotel in Shonai and Enjoy Exclusive Deals

When it comes to booking a hotel in Shonai, is the best choice for travelers. offers a wide range of accommodations in Shonai, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts. By booking through, travelers can enjoy exclusive deals and discounts on their hotel bookings. Moreover, offers a seamless booking experience, with a user-friendly interface that allows travelers to easily search for and book their preferred accommodations.

The Best Season to Visit Shonai and Witness Its Spectacular Festivals

The best time to visit Shonai is during the summer months, from June to August, when the town comes alive with various festivals and events. The Shonai Kagura, which is held in July, is a must-see festival that features traditional dances and live music. Another festival that is worth checking out is the Shonai Bonbori Matsuri, which takes place in August and features thousands of colorful lanterns that light up the streets of Shonai.

Traveler's Guide: Tips for Visiting Shonai and Making Your Trip Memorable

For travelers who are planning to visit Shonai, here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable. First, it is recommended to bring comfortable shoes and clothes, as there are many natural attractions in Shonai that require a bit of hiking. Second, it is a good idea to bring cash, as many shops and restaurants in Shonai do not accept credit cards. Third, it is important to respect the local culture and customs, especially during festivals and events. Finally, it is recommended to book your hotel in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability.

Where to Stay in Shonai: Top Accommodations for a Comfortable Stay

Shonai offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. For budget-conscious travelers, the Family Lodge Hatagoya Shonai is a great option. This guesthouse offers comfortable rooms at an affordable price, and is located near many of Shonai's attractions. For travelers who are looking for a more luxurious stay, the Family Lodge HATAGOYA Shonai is a great option. This resort offers spacious rooms with modern amenities, and features a hot spring bath and a restaurant that serves delicious local cuisine.

What to Eat in Shonai: Delightful Local Dishes to Satisfy Your Palate

Shonai is known for its delicious local cuisine, which features fresh seafood and vegetables. One of the must-try dishes in Shonai is the shojin ryori, a vegetarian cuisine that originated from Buddhist temples. This cuisine features various dishes made from seasonal vegetables, tofu, and other plant-based ingredients. Another popular dish in Shonai is the kiritanpo, a grilled rice cake that is made from mashed rice and shaped into a cylinder. Kiritanpo is often served with miso soup and grilled chicken, and is a perfect comfort food for cold winter nights.

How to Travel Around Shonai

Shonai is a small town that can easily be explored on foot or by bicycle. Many of the attractions in Shonai are located within walking distance from each other, and there are many rental shops that offer bicycles for rent. For travelers who prefer public transportation, there are buses that connect the major attractions in Shonai, and taxis are also available for hire.