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MURATA is a town surrounded by natural beauty. It's rich history is apparent in it's, notable sites such as the SHIRATORI Shrine, and the GANSYOJI and RYUTOIN Temples, which the visitor should not miss. Be energetic in the fresh air at the TANIYAMA Outdoor Activity Centre, and at SUGO, the TOHOKU Mecca for motor sports, or relax completely at TANIYAMA Spa. We have so many places which young and old alike can enjoy.



MURATA was the center of commerce in Southern MIYAGI throughout the EDO period until the start of the MEIJI period. MURATA's typical crop was safflower, it was transported to YAMAGATA where dye was extracted that eventually found its way to KYOTO in the from of lipstick and clothes. The legacy of past trading is apparent in the EDO period houses and granaries lactated in the central part of town. The RYUTOIN Temple houses the mausoleum of MUNETAKA DATE the seventh son of MASAMUNE DATE. The temple also has a traditional and very beautiful Japanese garden. Older still and situated by the river stands the SHIRATORI Shrine; in the region of one thousand years it is surrounded by ancient trees including the one thousand three hundred year old wisteria that forms the basis of the shrines legend.


Local Legends

A samurai warrior HACHIMAN TARO was ambushed and fled to SHIRATORI Shrine. He sought the protection of the shrines Wisteria as he was surrounded by his enemies. The Wisteria then changed its shape to resemble two serpents and HACHIMAN TARO's enemies fled in fear. The tree was named "OSYU-NO-JAFUJI" Serpent. Wisteria and still bears name today.


Nine hundred years ago in HEIAN period, a samurai named WATANABE-NO-TSUNA and a demon fought in KYOTO; the samurai cut off the demons arm. The Samurai was proud of the arm and displayed it to people as he traveled. One day WATANABE met an old lady just outside of MURATA. She said, "Let me see the famous arm", he pulled the arm out of his bag and as he did so the old woman snatched the arm and run away changing back into the revitalized demon as she went, WATANABE-NO-TSUNA pursued but in vain, the demon was too fast. However as he run the demon fell and he stretched out his arms to save himself. The newly installed arm pressed against a stone and left an imprint of a clawed hand that is still clearly visible today.

A samurai and a merchants daughter lived in MURATA in the early eighteen hundreds. At this time society was highly stratified and the couple although deeply in love were aware that marriage was impossible. Faced with stern parental opposition and increasing despair the pair formed a suicide pact and united in death. The love of the distraught parents then overcame social convention and a memorial to the pair was placed in the grounds of the GANSYOJI Temple.



The Sights

MURATA is facing the great ZAO Mountains to the west and holding inside the town a clean stream from the Mt.ZAO also consisting rich mother land. Affluent nature is the pride of the residents. Specifically, the TANIYAMA Natural Park in a great natural area consisting National The Park is also widely known as a treasure house for wild grasses and wild birds. People can enjoy variety of natural charms throughout the four season such as hiking and picking edible wild plants in fresh green environment in spring, camping in summer, seeing ablaze with red leaves and picking chestnuts in autumn, silver white snow landscape in winter. TANIYAMA and its neighborhood area is new focused by public attention as a new sight-seeing spot in MURATA.

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