Sakata is a port city in Japan's Yamagata Prefecture (northwestern location on Honshu island), with a population of around 105,000. The current-day city was founded in 1933. In October 1976, the city suffered a major fire which devasted approx 23 hectares of downtown and destroyed 1774 buildings. In 2005, the neighbouring (Akumi District) towns Hirata, Matsuyama, and Yawata were merged into Sakata City.
The city's economy is based on manufacturing, agriculture, and commercial fishing. Major businesses include Maeta Seikan (concrete products manufacturer), Kao (chemical and cosmetics), Seiko Epson (electronics). Shonai Airport serves domestic flights (by All Nippon Airways) that connect Sakata with Tokyo (Haneda Airport). The service to Osaka (Itami Airport) was terminated in 2009. Highway connections include Yamagata Expressway, and the National Routes 7, 47, 112, 344, and 345. Railway connections (via the state-owned JR-EAST company) are via Uetsu Main Line and Rikuu West Line. They connect Sakata with Niigata, Shibata, Murakami, Sakamachi, Yonezawa, Shinjo, Shonai, Tozawa.
Port Sakata is a large seaport on the Sea of Japan, located at the mouth of Mogami River and to the west of downtown Sakata (approx 10-20 min drive distance). The Japanese government has classified the port as Major Port and Special Port.
In 2017, Port Sakata started to receive international cruise ship calls. The maiden visits were by Costa neoRomantica (2017) and Diamond Princess (2018). For 2019, the homeported in Yokohama Diamond Princess (Princess Cruises) was scheduled for 4 visits - April 23, June 23, August 30, September 30.
Sakata cruise terminal
Being located in Sakata's industrial zone, the seaport doesn't have regularly scheduled public transport connections to the city. Cruise ship passengers can use taxis. Bus shuttle service to downtown is also privately arranged during ship calls.