Yamagata's Nanyo Chrysanthemum Festival takes place from early October to mid-November every year at two venues: the Kumano Taisha Shrine precinct and the Nanyo Chuo Flower Park. This celebration of Japan's national flower comes with over 100 years of history, and the event is said to be the first festival that featured chrysanthemum dolls (known as kiku-ningyo) as part of their display. The chrysanthemum dolls are literally life sized dolls which are decked out with chrysanthemums as their "clothing" - it's an impressive sight to witness!
Typically during the event dates there are vendors at the sites selling food and drink - it's yet to be determined if that will be the case this year. Updates will be posted on the official event website closer to the season.
The Kumano Taisha Shrine portion of the chrysanthemum festival is located around 16 minutes by car from the Nanyo Takahata IC on the Tohoku Chuo Expressway, and the Nanyo Chuo Flower Park venue is around 13 minutes from the same interchange.
I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's gr...