Actually I wrote half of my travel log during the trip using note so I am just going to copy and paste them here and add more details. I have finished editing my photos yesterday, only day 1 though, and I really cannot imagine how much more time it will take for me to finish the photos I took that week. Lol. I really take too many pictures. But anyway, on to the travel log but it might sound awkward cause half of it was written on that day and half of it now.
And so I set off early in the morning for Tohoku! A rare Monday without any Monday blues but I am just super super sleepy cause I slept at 12 yesterday and woke up at 4:30 this morning. Was too excited to sleep ytd I guess. Anyway I spent so much time checking my room before leaving (had to make sure it was clean if not I might go home to a bunch of creepy things) so I had to chiong to the station and was just in time for the train. I don’t know if that was a good start but I shall take it as it is since I caught the train.
The very first photo I took after stepping out of the dorms! It’s still so early!!
Anyway this time I am going to try sth havoc and go to Tohoku without using the Shinkansen. I don’t know how it will be like but I guess it will be like a night bus just that it’s in the day and I have abit more leg space (cause I can stretch it out). Maybe abit less comfortable too cause the seats aren’t the comfy type. Anyway, start of my first long train ride (3h) and I am going to have a short nap to make up for last night.
Anyway I am writing this using iPhone note and I realized it’s quite convenient cause I get to add the photos I took right into the note.
Omg. I just realized it’s Monday morning and the train I am on now goes to Tokyo=rush hour!!!! I must admit it feels shiok when you see people around you all squashed together and you are sitting comfortably. Heehee. Some more the person beside me is this slender lady so I have like super a lot of personal space. Perks of living in the inaka cause you get to take the train earlier.
Ok. I’m back. The trains in Tohoku area are all very short, only 4 cars. But the interesting thing is that they all have toilet lol. Actually I’m not sure if normal trains in Tokyo have toilet in the train anot.
Anyway I am finally reaching my destination and I really cannot believe how long it took for me to get here. Super super bored and I am already v tired. No wonder people spend money to take the shinkansen lol. Taking trains like that make me feel young but actually my butt hurts from sitting.
↑ Oops. Awkward start for the blog post but I wrote those stuff above when I was heading to my first stop. Hahaha. I was really talking to myself cause there was no one to talk too, so please forgive me for the excessive use of ‘lol’ and other singlish. Anyway, it really took me super long to reach my destination, which was Yamadera in Yamagata prefecture but it wasn’t that tiring cause I got to sit in all the trains I took.
First building I saw when I got out of the Yamadera station. The very common old fashioned Japanese building in their sightseeing places.
The next must-have in a sightseeing spot.
Some AA dude was driving this bright red car and he was taking pictures of his car against the scenery. Hahaha. Travelling along makes me very sensitive of my surroundings and I tend to observe people around me more (sounds a bit stalkerish hahaha).
Finally reached the entrance to the famous Yamadera and I am ready to climb the 1000 plus steps towards the top of the yama. It was a really hot day that day but as the budding national geographic camera woman I am (sorry already crapping at the start of the post), I thought I had to brave through the storm and the SUN.
This is 根本中堂 and it is apparently a 重要文化財. Took a close up of it for fun. Actually I thought it will just look like a rather normal structure without the cloths. According to the guide, it is Japan’s oldest beech wood structure (but I don’t know what’s beech oops).
I thought the direction signs looked pretty cool but upon a closer look I realized it’s the shop’s menu. Hahaha. Cool.
Even the 便利店 also need to be old fashioned to fit in.
Actually I keep seeing temples and stuff but I still don’t know what’s the difference. All I know is that I prefer those that look wooden-y. For example, I like the one in the third pic more than the first one.
Finally reached the entrance to climb the mountain. Paid 300 yen for the entrance fee and started the long and arduous journey up the mountain (actually I doubt it can be really called a mountain cause 1000 steps is actually quite little hahahha. But it is a lot for the skinny and unfit me).
I wonder why the split roads in life cannot be as easy to choose as this one. Hahaha.
Anyway here alot of the rock statues wearing the red clothes. (I am v sorry but everytime I see this I get reminded of what the girls in the qing lou wear for their underwear. I think I watch too much 古装 already.)
Some huge stone but luckily it’s not blocking the road.
Actually it wasn’t that bad cause I was under the canopy.
I entertained myself by taking lots of random photos along the way. It is really interesting how those statues are all around the mountain randomly like they are placed by different people at different time.
I thought this was a toilet cause it has that aura to it but turned out it was just a storeroom.
Finally reaching some building after climbing for about 15mins. The yellow leaves made it look autumn-y but don’t let it fool you cause it was really freaking hot.
I kind of like the hole in the rock cause it’s like a natural shelter. Ok, I don’t know if it’s natural or not cause you know now even plastic surgery looks natural.
I wonder if there’s some kind of meaning to stacking up rocks like that. There should be but I’m too lazy to find out about it. (I am not that interested in religious stuff.)
This is the Niomon gate and apparently the two statues in the gate are some Nio guardians who will prevent those with wicked hearts from passing through. I got through it without any problem as expected hahahaha.
Stairs, stairs and still stairs.
I spy the famous small structure located near the cliff. Eggcited!
Here it is!!! Not a good picture of it cause it was against the light. It is called the Nokyodo Hall. I don’t think you can do anything in the hall cause it’s really super small and maybe can fit 3 people?
It’s really cool how the building at really built on the rocks in the mountain!
This is the Godaido Hall and it’s an observation deck where you can see the valley very clearly! I really like it alot cause it’s built on a cliff!
Hahaha. Took a photo of myself using self-timer. Tried acting like I was thinking about something but all I can see is just a poser hahahha.
My nth attempt. ;/ No wonder I always take super long to edit my photos.
I thought this mushroom statue looked a bit out of place. (Maybe not a bit but I thought it was really cute. A bit too short to be an enoki so maybe it’s a simeji.)
A must-have bright red post box.
I stalked this old lady cause I thought she was super pro climbing up. I even told her Otsukaresama after she reached the top. See I so friendly hahahha.
Finally reached the Okunoin Hall which is right at the top of the mountain. I think I probably took 45mins to 1hour to get there cause of all the photo taking.
I like how they tied the omikuji at the top.
Do you see him?
So cute! And super out of place for both the setting and the season. I wonder why he hasn’t melted yet.
Walking back down and retaking photos cause the sun was setting and it was getting easier to take photos.
Back at the foot of the mountain! The walk down was 100000000X faster man!
Wanted to get back to the station and catch the train only to realize that the next train was one hour later. This is the real inaka…
This is the Kofuku no Kane (bell of good fortune). As the foreigner I am, I rang it hahahha. I was quite loud but it was ok cause no one was around me.
Took a photo of the mountain I climbed. It looks really different from the outside cause the rocks/stones are hidden by the trees.
The colour of the money box is v interesting! I don’t really see this colour around cause it feels abit angmoh.
The post office in Yamadera. Looks too modern for its surroundings. I went in to enjoy abit of aircon heeheehee. #truebluesingaporean #noairconnolife
Please use your 火眼金睛 to find the tera in the yama.
Went to the Yamadera basho memorial museum (which is at the other side of the station) although it was already closed cause I had too much free time. Took random photos of the buildings over there and I was quite amazed by the yellow-ness of the building.
Very yellow right!!!
I was very fascinated by the roof then (don’t ask me why I took so many photos cause I don’t know. It was just on the spur of the moment).
Use your 火眼金睛 again. I am quite proud of myself for climbing so high then. Hahaha.
Back at the station!!!
I think they spent quite a lot of effort decorating the resting area in the station. Hahaha.
I quite like this green travelling monster. Hahaha.
Wow, a map of the place on the sign of the station name. Quite useful but too bad I only look around the station after finishing my sightseeing lol. I think most people are like that.
My train came!!! And I slowly travelled towards my hotel for that night.
Reflection of the sunset. I think I was quite bored on the train.
Reached this random station where I had to wait 45mins for the next train so I decided to get myself a snack at the convenience store. But the convenience store wasn’t that convenient cause I had to walk 10-15mins to get there.
My first time seeing this kind of machine. I think it’s for stations without station masters.
View from the overpass in the station. I think pictures turn out nice no matter how you take them when you are in the inaka.
Inaka toilet. Looks like some robot from some sci-fi movie.
This might be my favourite shot of the day! Hahaha. Even more than the pictures I took at Yamadera.
Spamming photos of the sunset cause it’s もったいない not to take them when the sky is so beautiful.
What is this for?!? I only see this in those ancient china shows when those people need to sleep in some abandoned building.
Anyway, it was already quite late when I got back to the hotel. Spent most of my time on the train during this trip but I guess it was just nice cause my toe is still painful from my injury back then (when I kicked the stairs while walking up).
My room for the first night and I came back to this hotel 5 day later. They gave my the exact same room lol. That’s all for day 1 and I shall move on to edit photos I took on day 2!