Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yamagata/Miyagi Trip (Part 1)

Exams are finally over and it's the spring holidays now!! This hols, I'm planning to travel (mostly around kanto), do a bit of baito, read, draw and many more (hey it rhymes haha). Last week, I managed to tick the first item of my list and went to Yamagata and Miyagi on a tour for foreign students! Not the most well known among the prefectures, but they're definitely not to be missed with all the beautiful natural scenery and experiences you can enjoy!

Located in the Northern part of Japan, in Winter, these places (or at least near the mountains), are in summary, SNOWLAND!! You do have areas with no/lesser snow, but the scenery changes drastically as you travel down the road.

Snow + Fields = Nice!

More snow

Snow everywhere

One of the areas that we firstvisited was the Uesugi Museum, Uesugi Shrine and Matsugasaki Shrine. The museum had a special exhibition about Uesugi Yozan, the daimyo who was known for his financial reforms (質素倹約 shissokenyaku: to be frugal) and his poem (which this blog's url is based on):

If you put your mind to it, you can do it;
If you do not, you cannot -- that is true for all things.
When something cannot be done, you are the one to blame
For not putting your heart into it. (Taken from Wikipedia)

Photos weren't allowed inside the museum but here's some of the outside and the shrine!

After that, we headed to the Yamagata Zao mountain range, and went up to the peak to see frost covered trees known as "Snow Monsters" (樹氷 Juhyo). It was so cold (-9°C) that even with a proper coat and gloves, I couldn't stay outside for more than 10 minutes...(luckily they had a rest area where you could warm up!) 

Trees on the way up

Trees on the peak

No regrets freezing to see these sights! To be continued in the next post (maybe later in the week!)

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