Enjoy Yamagata's famous imoni at a cozy, traditional restaurant

まいどや食堂 | Maidoya

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

Maidoya originally opened over 60 years ago as a dango shop, selling the sweet dumplings to pilgrims coming to Yamadera. As Yamadera started to become a more popular destination among travelers coming from all over Japan, the restaurant began serving lunch as well. Today, the restaurant is known for serving Yamagata’s famous imoni, a traditional soup dish with meat and taro.

The restaurant is situated on a riverbank, so choose a window seat for the best view. The tatami dining area encourages visitors to stretch out their legs and relax in the sunlight. Maidoya is run by Endo-san, the kindest, most thoughtful woman you’ll ever meet. For guests arriving in the winter, she recommends trying Maidoya’s imoni and soba meal. The combination of hot soba and hot imoni is a great way to warm up after a trek up to the mountain temple.

Yamagata is also known for a condiment called “dashi,” different from dashi soup stock that those familiar with Japanese cuisine might recognize. Yamagata’s dashi is a blend of minced vegetables including cucumber, eggplant, okra and tororo kelp. While it’s more popular as a summer dish, it’s available to try year-round. Add it to a bowl of soba or some rice for a refreshing twist.

If you’re travelling to Yamagata, imoni is not to be missed, and Maidoya is a great place to have it.

Reviews from Google Maps

Really liked the imoni soup n soba I had there. Friendly staff who provided very good service.

TM Koh ★★★★★

It's so good. Delicious!!!!! The boss is super nice, doesn’t understand English, but is very careful to explain, she is willing ~

jill lung ★★★★★



English and Chinese menus available


Lunch 11:00 -14:30


(Often closed on weekdays during the winter, so please call to make a reservation)