Monday, August 17, 2009

Random Yamagata TRIP 2009

This was my bed for the fifteen hour ferry ride from Tomakomai to Sendai. I pretty much spent my whole time in here, although I did also visit the restaurant and the bathouse. Briefly.

MH and I went down to see the Yamagata Hanagasa Festival (or Straw Hat Festival) on Friday the 7th, where it seems the entire FREAKING population of Japan dance down the street twirling straw hats. Unfortunately it rained on and off the whole time. Fortunately clothes dry fast these days!

These chicks were WICKED fast!

We went out to see Yamadera on Saturday, which according to the Lonely Planet is a "cluster of buildings and shrines laid out on wooded slopes". Lots of stairs too. And people. Pretty cool though.

After Yamadera we went to the Kajo Park, which has the remains of the stone walls of the old castle here, as well as some museums etc. Honestly, it was a little average. As was Mount Zao on Sunday. We wanted to hike up to the Okama, or volcano crater-lake, and just generally check out the mountain. However it was shrouded in fog, which then turned to rain, so we just looked around the resort before bailing back to Yamagata instead (no photo here for obvious reasons!)

The specialties of Yamagata are cherries, la france (a kind of pear) and hiyashi ramen, or cold ramen. I don`t actually like ramen THAT much. Cold ramen was even less well-received. But while in Yamagata...

Seeing as we travelled through Sendai to get to Yamagata, we really wanted to have grilled cow tongue, which is the local specialty. We almost didn`t get it either - until we got to the Sendai Ferry Terminal and were waiting to board for the trip back to Tomakomai, that is. Came out of a packet though...

We couldn`t get beds in the bunk rooms, so we had to get a room on the way back! This was pretty sweet and it didn`t feel like we were travelling at all. Again I spent almost the entire time here. Although we did have the BUFFET dinner - man, that steak was good!

No comments: