Trip to Yamagata

Today is Culture Day here in Japan, which is a national holiday. Tohoku University’s student exchange division offered a day trip to Yamagata and I signed up for that. Yamagata is both the name of the western neighboring prefecture (from Sendai, which is in Miyagi prefecture) and that prefecture’s capital city. Getting there took a one-and-a-half hour trip by bus through Honshu’s central mountains. We got to see some nice landscape on the way. Hint: This is going to be a very picture-heavy post.

Our first stop was a pottery school. This cute little guy was guarding the entrance.

A cute chubby dragon made of clay in front of a bush, houses in the background.

After a short introduction (how to make a plate, cup or bowl and general rules in case we want to make anything else), we were each given a chunk of clay to make something. Of course, the time was too short to get the results properly baked, so we left them at the school with the promise that they would be delivered to us sometime next month. This is what I made, I hope you recognize it. 😉

A clay bowl with the shape of a cat's face.

Close to the pottery school I took this picture of autumn leaves and some berries. I don’t know what those are, but I like the photo. We also got some tea in the pottery school’s shop. 🙂

Red leaves and a twig with violet berries

The next stop was the Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum. Inside, photography was not allowed, so I don’t have pictures of that. Bashō was a very famous Haiku poet. The museum was interesting, but I think I’ll need to learn a lot more Japanese before I can really appreciate Haikus.

We had lunch at a restaurant near the Yamadera temple, which would be the final stop. I think for the European reader the most noteworthy item were the green, ice-cooled noodles.

A lot of japanese food - rice, noodles, side dishes and tea

Apparently, Yamadera is really famous in Japan, and I have to admit that the area is really beautiful. Sadly the weather was cloudy with some drops of rain, which made it difficult to get good photos. An huge part of the time was spent climbing ancient stairs through the forest.

Stairs in a forest with very high trees. Stone lanterns on both sides of the way.

This huge gate marked the entrance to the top area. As you can see, there was still some climbing to do after the gate, and some trees are even higher.

High tree and temple gate, valley in the background.

One of the temple buildings near the top:

Mountain temple on a rock, path leading towards it. On the left, the valley can be seen.

A tree with beautiful read leaves, standing on the edge of the precipice.

A tree with red leaves, steep valley in the background.

The view of the valley below was magnificent, and I love how the mountain tops in the distance are shrouded in clouds.

A valley with houses, roads, a railway line and river. In the background mountains with forest, the tops disappearing in the clouds.

As we climbed down, the clouds opened, and we saw a rainbow over the river. A wonderful symbol of God’s faithfulness. 🙂

“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
Psalm 139:9-10

Rainbow over the river. Two bridges and some houses can be seen as well.

When we returned to the dorm it was getting dark, but I don’t mind. This was a nice holiday!

3 thoughts on “Trip to Yamagata

  1. Hört sich nach nem schönen Trip an ^^
    Die Katzen schüssel ist echt schnuffig (aber irgendwie girly oder? XP)
    Von dne Fotos fand ich das im Fals am schönsten. k die Leute waren irgendwie störend aber die Farben und das Licht bei dem Baumwipfeln kommt schön rüber ^-^
    muss echt schön da sein

    1. Das Bild ist von einem der wenigen Momente, wo die Sonne zwischen den Wolken heraus schaute, und es ist wirklich besonders schön. 🙂
      Der Moment war aber leider auch schnell wieder vorbei. Heute war dafür den ganzen Tag herrlicher Sonnenschein. ^^

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