Mount Haguro’s Avenue of Centuries-old Cedar Trees

Mt. Haguro During the Winter

Nanyo Chrysanthemum Festival

One Day Exploring Sakata, Yamagata

The Tamasudare no Taki waterfall Sakata Port Miyagi beef from the restaurant Menu at Tobishima Shonai Base guest Juroku Rakan Iwa rock formation With an estimated population of over 100,000 inhabitants, Sakata (酒 田 市) is a city that I had the chance to discover recently. The Tohoku region, despite its unexplored aspects, is none […]

Sagae Park Azalea Festival

May 15th May 16th Just some of the azaleas at Sagae Park, Yamagata (Photo: Crown of Lenten rose/CC By SA 3.0) Venue: Sagae Park, Yamagata When: May 15th – May 16th 2021 Each year around mid-May, Yamagata's Sagae Park is home to an azalea festival which celebrates the impressive number of them on the grounds. […]

Sakura Season at Eboshiyama Park

Mid Apr Early May The beauty of sakura season at night (Photo: Tomofumi Sato/CC BY SA 3.0) Venue: Eboshiyama Park, Yamagata When: Mid Apr – Early May 2022 Yamagata's Eboshiyama Park is one of the prefecture's top destinations to enjoy sakura season, and for good reason. The park received the honor of being named on […]

Sakuranbo Marathon in Higashine

Is the Sakuranbo Marathon more fun than Tokyo Marathon? Run for the cherries – at the start of the Sakuranbo Marathon Encouraging runners along the way – the Sakuranbo Marathon is fun for those who don’t run too What a large crowd of people for a small race Just before the start of the 2009 […]

Picking Mountain Vegetables

This is Warabi, a kind of bracken My harvest of Warabi Removing the harshness from Warabi by putting it into water The Fuji tree (Japanese wisteria) in full bloom (Photo: Tomaoki Sato) Rice fields in the mountains (Photo: Tomaoki Sato) Mount Chokai in the distance Small pond in the mountains This is a huge wisteria […]

Shirabu Hot Springs in Yamagata – 2

I first discovered the cable car when I saw this information board. The cable car station. The first thing you see when you reach the heart of the mountain is a shrine. The city of Yonezawa from the plateau. I wrote my name on a stone to commemorate the event. You can go even further […]

Shonai, Yamagata Prefecture

Mount Chokai -Do You Know?- Vegetarian menu Juicy kaki in -Do You Know?- restaurant Cuteness of Shonai Tora-Fugu, Snow-Crab & Urchin cream Meuniere of Cod “Dadami” (type of Shirako) Where is it? Things to do in Shonai Awaken your inner gourmet Only in Shonai Warm up your winter time by going on a journey to […]

Yumiharidaira Snowshoe Trekking

At the beginning of the snowshoe trek In winter trails are visible; walk here in summer and you might get lost in the woods Icy winter landscape all around Our guide explains the landscape around us The guide knows his territory inside out Wow, we stood just underneath this potential hazard Stop walking and listen […]

Sunflowers in Haguro

A single dark red sunflower. Butterfly! Sunny days in Tsuruoka. A path into the million sunflowers. Shy sunflowers. Happy flowers. Yellow, green, blue… Faces toward the sun. Rolling hills of sunflowers. Flowers in the foreground, mountains in the background. So many happy faces. Getting the cold shoulder from some flowers. Close up. Every summer, a […]

Tamasudare Fall

This waterfall is huge and there are only few visitors there Only a short walk from the car park and I found the fall in the forest On my way to the waterfall I walked in the forest and enjoyed the fresh green leaves On my way back to the car park, I caught a […]

Taranokidai Ski Resort in Tsuruoka

Plenty of skiis… Young kids getting their practice in… The lifts… Skiiers being pelted by snowflakes Another young kid getting his practice in… Taranokidai Ski Resort in Tsuruoka Plenty of skiis… Choosing which ski resort to hit up in Yamagata Prefecture can be like choosing which drink to enjoy at a bar (provided you're at […]

Temple Trekking Through Northern Yamagata

Sanjin Gosaiden Churenji and Dainichibo Temple Zenpoji Temple Yamagata is one of the primary pilgrimage destinations in northern Japan. In addition to the well known Dewa Sanzan area, there are numerous temples and shrines that make for interesting sightseeing destinations. Yamadera and the famous Risshaku-ji Temple were not included in this list due to travel […]

The Omoshiroyama-Yamadera Trail

One of the bridges along the trail The small road leading to Yamadera Coins left in the cracks of the rocks One of the building near the summit The top terrace looking out on the below valley At the top, one of the famous view of Yamadera temple While the Yamadera temple is very popular, […]

Yamadera by Evening

The beginning of the walk. Steps in all directions. Tiny, well-dressed gods. Small temples with a lot of character dot the mountain. There are dozens of small (and not so small!) sets of steps leading to the summit. Jet trails across an evening sky. Rows of little stone markers all up the mountain. Paths lead […]

Yamadera: Temple in the Clouds

Outside Godaido Hall Outside Yamadera Station as you approach Yamadera One of the temples at the mountain base Hike entranceway Beautiful mountain canopy Along the hike Yamadera temple (literally 'Mountain temple') is located in the northeast of Yamagata city. This is a place filled with temples and scenic views, located high up in the mountains. If […]

Yamagata in Winter

By November, the mountains are covered with snow, reminding people that it’s only a matter of time before winter properly arrives! This is Mount Chokai, Yamagata‘s highest mountain. Traditionally, people would wear these wara (straw) boots during the winter. Nowadays, most people prefer something a little sturdier! A half-buried red torii shows the depth of […]

Yonezawa Meat Summer Festival

More is better The cook has a serious face of concentration Some of the many tents to eat under Preparing for the sake barrel opening ceremony Yonezawa beef symbol Everyone comes to eat Vegetarians read no more; this is for the lovers of tender, juicy, mouth-watering meat. In recent years food critics have noted fish-loving […]

Yutagawa Onsen

The public bath in Yutagawa Onsen in winter The main street of Yutagawa Onsen in winter The main street of Yutagawa Onsen in winter – looking into the other direction Main street of Yutagawa Onsen in summer Foot onsen at Yutagawa Onsen Entrance to the public bath at Yutagawa Onsen The public bath in Yutagawa […]

Zao Onsen in Winter

Ouch, this is hot! Self-catering tourists on a quick food shopping trip One of the public onsen in the center of Zao Onsen invites to warm up cold feet You don’t want to be outside on a cold day unless you enjoy skiing or snowboarding Zao Onsen is totally snowed in but passageways are kept […]

Zao-san’s Okama Crater Lake

Goshikinuma Pebble marker Another close-up view of Okama crater lake Another pebble and stone shrine with statues Sulphurous mountainside near Okama crater lake Pebble shrine or marker Lonely but stately torii at Okama crater lake Yellow-tinted landscape near Okama crater lake Small Shinto shrine overlooking Okama crater lake Zao-san (Mount Zao) is a volcano on […]

Zao Ski Resort

Zao Ski Resort is not just for skiing but it is also snow boarders’ paradise Lining up at the Zao Sanroku ski lift Getting off the ski lift, weather conditions today look grim but this does not deter the winter sports enthusiasts Family fun at the lower slopes of Zao Ski Resort Quick lunch for […]

Zao Snow Monsters 2015

Some travelers use snow shoes to move around Going up the cramped lift, hungry monsters eye passengers from below At the summit, the strange shapes are all around Zao ski resort offers fun runs with some wide slopes A Jizo statue buried up to its chest in the snowfall. Return during summer to see it […]

Zao is Snow Monster Paradise

Going up to the top with the cable car At the and of the day a nice hot spring bath! Snow monsters are coming! Hugging and chatting? Snow monsters having a secret language. When you get closer, they will stare at you. Skiing is fun even with monsters. Coming from Austria it feels natural to […]

Hotel Folkloro Takahata

Hotel Folkloro Takahata The welcoming lobby at Hotel Folkloro The friendly reception at the hotel The comfortable rooms promise a good night’s rest Complimentary tea is available in the rooms Wake up to a large and delicious breakfast If you intend on experiencing all that Japan has to offer, it is essential that you take […]

Katoya Ryokan Obanazawa

The entranceway is set back from the street, but is instantly welcoming. The simple and lovely tatami room. The view from the window. The entranceway is set back from the street, but is instantly welcoming. They say first impressions count, and my first impression when I entered Katoya Ryokan was “omigod I get to stay […]

Koyo Ryokan in Kaminoyama

A very relaxing onsen right by your room, hop in and out, and back in. An exquisite setting for dinner at the ryokan. The ladies of the house, three generations, welcome you. A very relaxing onsen right by your room, hop in and out, and back in. Kaminoyama Onsen south of Yamagata City is not […]

Kuhe Ryokan

Room with garden view The entrance to Kuhe Ryokan The entrance to the ryokan In the lobby of Kuhe A traditional Japanese-style room with futon The hot tub inside Room with garden view The memories of a winter trip to Yamagata in February several years ago are still vivid in my memory. What an adventure! […]

Matsumoto Ryokan in Ginzan Onsen

Making myself comfortable. The entrance surrounded by plants. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t finish all of it… Making myself comfortable. One of the greatest experiences one can have in Japan, in my humble opinion, is to stay in a good ryokan. These traditional Japanese hotels are designed to relax and pamper you, and Matsumoto […]

Tendo Central Hotel

Exterior Interior Interior Exterior The most important thing a business hotel can do is be convenient, and Tendo Central Hotel in Tendo, Yamagata is exactly that. Located an easy two minute walk from Tendo Station, and very easy to recognise, Tendo Central Hotel is an ideal place for travellers to base themselves for their time […]

Tokyo Dai-ichi Hotel Tsuruoka

Spacious and comfortable room for a single traveller. Entrance of the Tokyo Dai-ichi Hotel Tsuruoka. View of the “Observation Spa” on the top floor of the hotel. View over snowed in Tsuruoka City from an upper floor of the hotel. This is a sizable hotel that caters to a range of different needs. Support of […]

Yamagata Ryokan Kajikaso

Lobby looking towards the entrance An amazing view from the upper floors Lounge area next to the lobby Fun and elegance The refurbished dining room Gift shop Onagawa Onsen Kajikaso (小野川温泉河鹿荘) is one of a dozen rustic ryokan concentrated in the Onogawa hot spring district of Yonezawa, Yamagata. While the area is still a secret […]

Zao Shiko Hotel in Zao Onsen

Front side of the hotel in early morning in February View from an upper floor over the Zao Onsen surroundings Main entrance and side entrance to the locker room for skis and snowboards Front side of the hotel in early morning in February There are many options for accommodation in Zao Onsen but if you […]

Taro Okamoto Museum Of Art

This will greet you as you enter the museum Street near Kiyomizudera temple in Kyoto in the 1960s Mr. Okamoto was a great photographer The picture in Mexico that inspired one of his paintings Sketches he drew before creating the painting The painting that was inspired from the picture he took in Mexico Located inside […]

A Summer Day in Yamagata City

The Espresso Cafe The Espresso Cafe The beginning of the Chitoseyama trail Sunset over Yamagata from the free observatory at the Washington Hotel The view over Yamagata from Chitoseyama Dondonyaki Yamagata is known all over Japan for the wonders located all around its prefecture. The impressive Okama crater, Ginzan onsen town with its heavy snowfalls […]

Audrey Hepburn Photo Exhibition

Nov 28th Jan 22nd The event flyer Venue: Sakata City Museum of Art When: Nov 28th – Jan 22nd 2021, 9:00am – 5:00pm A special event taking place at the Sakata City Museum of Art looks at the life of Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) through photographs. Hepburn made her silver screen debut in the […]

Basho Memorial Hall Museum

The entrance is quite unassuming, but inside the building is more extensive. The way of haiku: the sign explains that the steps are grouped in the order 5, 7, 5 in honor of haiku poetry. The view from the steps is rather beautiful; you can understand why Basho was moved to write poetry about Yamadera. […]

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