We had a holiday get together for Tohoku AFWJ (Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese.)   It was held in Yamagata City, so I headed there last Thursday.  So much fun!

The place to go near Yamagata City is “Yamadera,” which is a bit separated from the city itself.  But I didn’t have time for that so I looked around downtown Yamagata City.  According to this totally random site I found on the internet, Yamagata City has a population of  253,267.  Whereas Fukushima City has a population of 293,186.  Yamagata’s downtown area felt more spread out and newer than Fukushima City (though as we shall see in the following days, Yamagata City does have older buildings that are of interest.)

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map of Tohoku……Bye Bye Fukushima!!!!  Going up north

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Yamagata’s name in kanji is 山形

山= yama=mountain

形=gata=shape

So I guess “Mountain shape”

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Yamagata City is indeed nestled among the mountains.  I think similar to Fukushima City, but the winter weather is more severe in Yamagata City.

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It was lovely weather that day.  Mostly blue sky, no wind, pleasantly chilly.

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Here I am at Yamagata City’s bullet train station!  A regular train (actually two–you need to transfer) takes a rather long time, but a bullet train took slightly less than an hour.

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Drying persimmon is a common autumn and winter site in the rural parts of this area.  My mother-in-law has loads of them.

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map of the downtown area.  Let’s explore!