Yamagata Safflower Experience
Yamagata Safflower Experience

3,300 yen/person

Customer Satisfaction
Experience Type
Cultural, Outdoors
Activity Level
Group Size
Small to large groups (2-15 people)
Yamagata Safflower Experience

The Yamagata “Benibana” Safflower has been treasured by the prefecture for centuries and is highly prized for its rich natural crimson hues. The safflower is often used for the dyeing of fabrics and textiles across Japan such as the shrine garments worn at  Ise Grand Shrine, the holiest shrine in Japan. Another popular usage of the pigments made from the safflower is the red lip tint of maiko and geishas.


This experience starts with picking the benibana flowers as local farmers have been doing for centuries. After picking for thirty minutes or so (or until you feel content), you will learn more about the pigmentation process by making “Beni-mochi” or “pigment pucks” out of the flowers. Although the beni-mochi you made won’t be ready in time for you to use, you’ll then use the beni-mochi from the other day to dye your handkerchief.


By folding, twisting, stamping, and manipulating the fabric, you’ll turn a plain piece of fabric into a bright red masterpiece! No two handkerchiefs are quite the same and after it dries, you can bring it home as a memory that will last a lifetime!


This experience is great for adults or kids and is a wonderful way to meet and talk with local people while engaging in a practice that has been passed down through the generations.


Proceeds from this experience go directly back into maintaining and preserving this traditional culture and making sure that Benibana Yamagata Safflower Culture has a sustainable future here in Yamagata.

Yamagata Safflower Experience
The local farmer will show you the special technique used to carefully pluck just the petals of the safflower
Activity Details
Activity Location
Benibana no Kan, Shirataka, Yamagata Prefecture
Seasonal Availability
End of June through the start of August
Experience Duration
2-3 hours
Amount of Participants
2-15 people (Inquire separately for larger groups)
Start Time
End Time
Not Included
Please book at least 3 days in advance
Sample Itinerary

9:00 Arrive at Benibana no kan

9:00 – 9:30: Safflower picking

9:30 – 9:40: Wash up and rest

9:40 – 10:00 : Dye preparation

10:00 -11:00 : Handkerchief dyeing

11:00: Finish

Please note that this is a sample itinerary and is subject to change depending on the day and number of participants.

Safflower Safflower Experience
how you dye is entirely up to you! Each handkerchief is completely unique and your only limit is your creativity!
Meeting Location

A rental car is recommended for this experience. However, by public transit from Arato Station you can either take a taxi (roughly ¥1,300) or take the 町営バス荒砥ー中山線 bus (¥200) and walk 6 minutes.


This was a really fun experience that I could do with my entire family! Even though I am Japanese, this is the type of activity that you can only do here!



This is the type of experience I would never have a chance to try on my own! Even though I live in Japan, my Japanese is not great and so I would have no way to even learn about this experience on my own, yet everyone was so kind, friendly, and accommodating! 



After you pick the safflowers, you will need to wash, kneed, and roll the flowers into "beni-mochi" dye packets for the pigment to properly activate
Cancelation Policy
Three or more days prior
Two or more days prior
Day before
Day of