Yamagata City.

P1310134A while back the cat had to go do some singing at a obscure little town in Yamagata (the name of which I have since forgotten. While she did that, I went for a little drive to the capital of that prefecture to see what there was to see.

The outskirts were like any city in Japan’s outskirts. the same shops. the same wide roads and the same route 17 vibe that we are used to in Gunma. The giant yellow intersection was a nice surprise as was the name of a jeans shop outside the CBD, but in general nothing special.
Like all cities though, the real personality of the place comes out in the CBD. And as with all capitals in Japan, they do tend to have a very tangible vibe (for lack of a better word) that gives you an idea what the place and the people are like.

If I had to draw comparisons, Maebashi would be a good one, but It is not the same. If nothing else the people talk VERY differently. I had a hard time wrapping my years around the local dialect. Once you go deeper though it feels quite different (that’s what she said?).
What was disturbing however is how dead it was in the CBD. There were quite a few cars in the outskirts and on the roads out in the countryside, but the CBD definitely didn’t feel like a Sunday afternoon at the beginning of summer. It was a case of the glass slipper being too big in some ways. Even down toward the station, it seemed like the infrastructure was set up for many more people than there were using it. That said with the exception of Morioka, and Sendai most of the cities I have seen in North East Japan feels like that in some way or another.
In the end though. I did enjoy going to somewhere new. I am not sure I will go back… The countryside and smaller towns were quite a bit more entertaining. Incidentally, with Yamagata checked, I only have Akita and Aomori to go before I have all of Tohoku done Open-mouthed smile

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