February 27, 2006
Welcome to Yamagata
When I arrived in Japan on November 13, 2005, I took a train from the airport in Narita to Tokyo, then another train to Yamagata City, and was finally greeted with the scene shown on the right. Having passed through Tokyo's endless sprawl of lights, Yamagata certainly seemed quite modest in comparison, but with a population around 250,000 people, it's no hole in the wall either. It's the largest city in Yamagata prefecture, surrounded by mountains (yama-gata
means "mountain shape"), and not without its beauty.
I've been living in Yamagata City for a little over 3 months, during which Japan experienced an unusually cold winter with a record-setting amount of snow. Was that my fault? Probably. Gomen-ne (sorry). It caused its share of problems, but it also made for some great winter scenery. I'm going to move to Sakata (another city northwest of here) in a couple days, so I thought I'd share some of the photos I've taken here over the past few months -- a mix of winter scenes and cityscapes.