In Fukushima Prefecture’s famous onsen town Iizaka, the oldest and most popular of their many public hot springs is Sabako-Yu. Japan’s most famous poet, Matsuo Basho is said to have bathed in it in 1689, and to this day, the spring is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Once known as Japan’s oldest wooden public bath, in 1993, it was refurbished using traditional cypress-wood construction. With a source spring of 51°C, the baths are so hot that you may feel as though you’re being cooked!
Month: 8月 2015
Keiji Mashimo (1914-1993) was a painter born in Yamagata prefecture who lived until the age of 79. With a painting career spanning 60 years, his works focused almost exclusively on Yamagata’s famed Mogami River. Unfazed by even harsh winter weather or heavy snowfall, he refused to do his painting work anywhere but on the banks of the Mogami River, and it was not unusual for him to paint similar scenes numerous times.
According to Mashimo, “The air and the light are always different, so a landscape is never the same. In this world, there is no such thing as a landscape that remains unchanged.” Flowing over 200 km from its headwaters to the Sea of Japan, the Mogami River is entirely contained within the borders of Yamagata prefecture, and Mashimo traveled from its upper to lower reaches in every season to document the many faces of this beloved river. (Takashi Nakamura )
GO-JYU-NO-TO (Five-Storied Pagoda)
It is traditionally said that this five-storied pagoda was built by Taira no Masakado, a famed military commander , between the years 931 and 937. A classic text says that Fujiwara no Ujiie, a court noble, rebuilt the pagoda in 1372. It is a 29 meter high, 5 storied, plain wood building roofed with shingles. It is designated as a national treasure.
Honma Museum of Art
This museum opened in 1947 to promote regional culture. The museum is housed in Si-enkaku, a former villa of the Homma family that was built in 1813, with the garden Kkubu-en , which is an nationally designated scenic spot. There is also an annex completed in 1968. (From the guidebook of “Museums in Yamagata” )
The 16 Buddhas
The History of the 16 Buddhas
The 16 Buddhas are carved into the cliffs which run for several hundred meters against the rough waves of the Sea of japan. They were sculpted by Ishikawa Kankai, the 21st priest of the Zen Buddhist Kaizen-ji Temple, between the years of 1864 and 1868. We give thanks for his hard work and devotion in skillfully carving this divine monument of 22 statues into the cliff face.
Having had the idea to carve the statues, the Priest went to Sakata seeking donations to fund the work. When enough money had been raised, he supervised local masons in carving one statue, and continued in this way until the project was complete.
The statues are all busts and are arranged around the figures of Shaka, Monju and Fugen. They were carved to fit in with the shape of the rocks and even complement of the natural beauty of the area. The 16 Buddhas monument reaffirms the faith of all those who come here and is a testimony to the benevolence of the priest who created it.
Fukura, Yuza Town.
Situated in the north-eastern part of Yamagata Prefecture, Shinjo is a town of 40,000 people known for its tremendous snowfall. During the winter, when the town is transformed into a mountain of snow piled deeper than two meters, the people of Shinjo spend their days shoveling and ploughing. When the harsh winter subsides and spring comes to Shinjo, the citizens celebrate the changing seasons with an event called the Kadoyaki Festival, where they eat Pacific Herring (which they call Kado in their local dialect). In summer, they parade grand festival floats around town to celebrate their Shinjo Festival, which started 260 years ago. In fall, they hold a festival to fly traditional kites. Shinjo Station is the terminal station for the Yamagata Shinkansen, which connects Tokyo and Yamagata, letting more people than ever to bask in the welcoming glow of these festivals. Visitors will delight in seeing the magnificent festival floats or the beautifully decorated kites.