Yamagata, Japan Mar. 26 Sun 8:35AM
Yamagata, Land of Holy Mountains
Located in Japan’s northern Tohoku region, the essence of Yamagata Prefecture can be felt in its hundreds of natural hot springs and the lovely towns that have risen up around them, in its respect for nature, and its grand temples and shrines, letting visitors get a taste of Japan’s ascetic faith of the past.
With attractions in each season, Yamagata can be an attractive destination throughout the year.
Whether fall, when Yamagata’s numberless mountains reflect the mellow yet stunning autumn colors:
Or winter, when one can ski or snowboard among the unique “Snow Monster” formations in the Zao area:
Yamagata presents just the right mix of typical Japanese essence and a certain “deep” flavor.
For one interested in Japan’s traditional religions, Yamagata is an ideal destination, with a unique local culture of “yamabushi,” or ascetic mountain monks that continue to this day. Climbing up to one of its magnificent mountain temples is a spiritual trial all its own, and serious pilgrims can challenge all of the Dewa Sanzan, or the Three Holy Peaks.
If before or after your trials, you’re looking for some relaxation, one of Yamagara’s many onsen town guarantee a gorgeous time.
Though there are more famous onsen, more famous mountains, and more famous temples, the traveler looking for more secluded and hard-won (and therefore all the more meaningful) pleasures is sure to enjoy Yamagata Prefecture.