First Time in Yamagata

The Yama-dera Temple is known mostly for being the place where famous Japanese poet Matsuo Basho wrote his poem “ah this silence / sinking into the rocks / voice of cicada”. As told by the poem, Yama-dera is a quiet, peaceful place deep in the mountains, and is designated a Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site. The temples are unusual as they are built as though to cling to the cliff sides. The cedar trees that surround the temple grounds are also beautiful, as they are thick and stretch up to the skies.
Kamo Aquarium
Kamo Aquarium is the only aquarium in Yamagata Prefecture, and is most famous for having the largest collection of jellyfish on display, with over 50 kinds of jellyfish. They also have a large, 5 meter wide tank filled with over 2000 small jellyfish, known as the “Jellyfish Dream Theatre”, where you can stare in awe and relax at the sight of the floating jellyfish. There is also a Jellyfish bar, where you can sit at a mock bar counter and learn about the life cycle of the common jellyfish.

With many buildings left from the Taisho Era, this Hot Spring neighborhood is beautiful in all aspects, including but not limited to food, atmosphere, accommodation, and of course, romance. Along with many hot springs, the area is also famous for having gas lanterns that light up the night, warming up the streets with their warm glow in contrast to the harsh street lights of Tokyo. Many couples go to the Ginzan Onsen as a date spot, as it is romantic, and has great food to boot.
 
Uesugi Shrine
Dedicated to the famous military command Uesugi Kenshin, the Uesugi shrine was established in 1876, but burned down during the Taisho period. Uesugi has been the subject of many manga and dramas, as he was a very important figure during the warring period of Japan. He was so good as war, that he was also called the “War God”.  Fortunately, the Shrine was rebuilt to its former glory, and now includes 131 registered important cultural properties, and over 1000 art items including swords, weapons, paintings, calligraphy works, and even Uesugi’s personal Lute. 

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