Cheap train to the north with Basho

Aug 23, 2014

Cheap train to the north with Basho

by Davey Young

On July 19, the Yamagata Shinkansen debuted a luxury ashiya (foot bath) service. A ticket from Tokyo to Yamagata City, in Tohoku Prefecture, costs around ¥11,000, but 15 minutes in the foot bath car is extra. If Matsuo Basho, Japan’s most well-known poet, were ...

Planned demolition bonds mark end of era

Jan 16, 2014

Planned demolition bonds mark end of era

by Chikako Mogi

After educating children since 1956, Kiyokawa Elementary School stands abandoned, its walls and roof crumbling because there are no longer enough pupils to fill it and the town can’t afford to demolish the building. The school, in Shonai, Yamagata Prefecture, is one of thousands ...

Stairway to heavenly Haguro

Nov 9, 2013

Stairway to heavenly Haguro

by Chris Bamforth

Some of the more interesting spots in Japan are the ones that are not really on the way to anywhere else at all. A sense of remoteness and being firmly off the beaten track lends them a particularly beguiling character. In the northeastern neck ...

Jun 29, 2013

Anti-Korean group's plea to use public facility nixed

Yamagata Prefecture has turned down a request from anti-Korean activists to use a public building for a meeting. The prefectural government said it “made the decision from a comprehensive standpoint based on administrative requirements for the facility and (the group) was not turned down ...