Writer: Jackie Imamura
Jackie is a freelance editor who spends time trying to learn Japanese and enjoys picking cherries in Yamagata.
The Okama crater of the Zao volcano is accessible by bus, by car, and on foot. Okama wows from any angle, but approaching it on foot is a rare opportunity to experience the radical transformations caused by a volcanic eruption.
October 9, 2018
To enjoy winter properly, one must get into the snow. Literally. Here in Japan’s northeast, it’s been snowing since December, which means there is now enough accumulation (reaching over 5 meters) to start building things with snow.
February 14, 2018
Winter is upon us, and the distinct phenomenon of the juhyou or “snow monsters” of Mount Zao in Yamagata prefecture are not to be missed as one of Japan’s top winter wonders.
January 5, 2018
If you’re coming to Yamagata for the International Documentary Film Festival, to go skiing in winter, or cherry picking in early summer, most highlights of the city itself are within a 15-30 minute walking distance of Yamagata Station.
October 3, 2017
Tohoku’s mountains are ablaze with autumn color earlier than the Kansai or Kanto regions, giving hikers and “leaf peepers” a perfect jump on the season.
September 23, 2017
The pulsing drums, the grandiose floats, the colorful costumes: it’s all on parade in Japan’s northeast during the first week of August. Festivals in six different cities draw over one million visitors.
July 28, 2017
Depending on where you begin, a cedar-lined 1.7 km path (2,446 steps to be precise) leads either to the main shrine (三神合祭殿) at the summit, or to Gojunoto, a five-story pagoda that is registered as a national treasure.
July 26, 2017
The inner sanctuaries of Japan’s original capital are high on anyone’s list when visiting Kyoto. Yet walk out beyond the inner walls and into the surrounding public park and you will be rewarded with just as many discoveries.
June 10, 2017
Officially called Risshakuji (temple of standing stones), the training ground for monks of the Tendai sect was founded here over eleven centuries ago.
June 1, 2017
And there’s no better place to enjoy sakura than in Japan’s northeast, where you can take in the blooms with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
April 3, 2017
Late November marks the beginning of fall colors in western Japan, and there is no better place to enjoy them than Kyoto. This three-hour walking tour guides you through the city’s northeast Sakyo ward without paying any entrance fees.
November 26, 2016