A major summer festival in the Tohoku region, the Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri is held annually during Aug. 5-7. For three evenings, a flower hat (hanagasa) dance parade is held along a 1.2-km parade route near JR Yamagata Station. I revisited this festival, held since 1963, on Aug. 7, 2009. Also see my YouTube video here.
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A short walk from Yamagata Station's west side (nishi-guchi) is Kajo Park, the site of Yamagata Castle. Besides stone walls, moats, and reconstructed gates and turret, the park has museums (Kyodokan City Museum and Yamagata Prefectural Museum) and sports facilities. I revisited the park in Aug. 2009.
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Mountain temple perched on a steep cliff. Also known as Risshaku temple, it belongs to the Tendai Sect as a branch temple of Enryakuji on Mt. Hiei in Shiga Prefecture. Near Yamadera Station on the JR Senzan Line, about 20 min. from Yamagata Station.
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