Me and the family i was staying with in Japan (Helpex .net program ) - decided to have a day out and the same time small market for crepes , crispy fried corn , blueberry drinks , home made Jams and flour . So we arrived in this little town not far from Yamagata , Its looked very similar to any other town i seen in Japan. There market was already set up .Older Japanese ladies trying to bargain for better prices and younger ladies not giving better prices .Made me smile .Many different stands already selling stuff . They do this market every 2 weeks .So its a family day out !
We got to our market area , there were freshly made light brown tables waiting for us , really freshly made tables , you could still smell wood and feel sandy texture on the table ,it was so soft and smooth ..
We started setting up , and half way i was useless , because had no idea where / what goes , then i decided to go explore . Things to find in this market and around it :
1 . Crafts area to make them yourself for free
2.Silk factory building museum and n Vip tour .
3. Actual market place
4. Competition - scarecrow .
5. Hippie clill -out
6. Live Japanese music
Activity number 1 : Crafts area was ...
Last day In Murayama . In morning was planned helping with picking Aubergine , but i slept in , so no Aubergine picking for me , then at 8:30 am there was an opening for the day at Murayam festival .
Started with dance .
Around 10 am i was back at home and decided to skip middle of the programs and go straight for the end . Around 14 dancing groups going around the few blocks and dancing ...
Today in Murayama startinf tradition festival (This year celbrating 20 years ) . THis festival is mostly with dancing . There are dancers from different locations .
Traditional hometown dancing is : TOKUNAI BAYASHI dance . This dance comes with long history . A man called Tonukai Mogami . He was born in Murayama , but went to explore Hokkaido ! He went to Hokkaido 9 times and did reseach about the place . He received applause about his research . Then in one of the local events Hokkaido people visited Murayama and presented treir dance . Murayama people loved this dance and decided to pursue this as a tradition and gave it a famous reseachers name .
Now this dance in known by everyone . Every
Hitchhiking in Japan solo female traveller experience and Sakata living mummies + Maiko & Geisha house !
(Which i forgot in the temple in sakata later on ) .
From there i had to walk a bit as it was a corner , i held sign in my right arm pointing to drivers but walked straight so drivers could see only my back . I wasnt really hitching at that stage , just walking around the corner , i was surprised when a white car pulled over . Inside was male in his late 20ties looking bit punk and listening to some rock like music , car was expensive , and he looked super chilled , i decided to jump in . This man spoko nothing in English .. I mean zero , nul , none , nada ... So we spoke by writing . I would draw my answer and he would understand and draw his ! I fould out that he is not married , no children or gielfriend . He is 29 hears old , works something with roofs and his car is year 2012 and spends only 2 L of fuel on 100 km ,its Toyota . The reason i know about car is that it had battery + fuel . I always wondered about it .
He typed in his GPS a temple i was going to and brought me straight there . I thanked him and left , It was a little bit akward with language barier, but it worked !
From there i explored Sakata (More in next post )
Then at 3PM i decided to hicthhike back . Did not want to stay in the dark . From sakata to good hitch hiking spot is a long distance , maybe like 3-5 km , i tried everywhere , but too much traffic .
First car i got was not going to shinjo , just half was . I was a housewife with 1year old baby . Her car was amazing , with sliding doors and tv inside (she was watching Japanese Michael Jackson (Thats what she calls him)
She gave cookies and drove me half way , from there i tried for a bit , but no luck , after a while a car stopped very far from me , i thought that its not for me, then i see girl walking my direction and waving ! They were family .Mom and 2 daughters (Looks like having 2 daugthers in Japan is common ) .
They said they can drive me to Shinjo , but after longer talking turns out the were going ot Murayama . Exactly where i need to go ! I was on for the ride .
But this hitch was different , They visited grandmas house like 20 away from Shinjo and took me with them , so funny and then drove me to the doorstep ! Amazing . It was so funny , they drove in forest , more and more and more and i already thought , could the serial killer be an adorable family with 2 daughter .. Then i see village in maintains .. Guess NOT - is my answer !
Mom was a dentist and daughters was a writer and bank work !
So i had a great time hitch hiking ! 4 cars and ~200 km . Day trip to Sakata . Next 3 holy mountains !
So recently i have been visiting many places , but one that stayed in my mind is Local So To Zen ( Buddhism ) and its temple in Beautiful Murayama - Yamagata prefecture in Japan .
Area was incredible .. In front rice fields , on right huge trees (Pine trees ) on other side burial and small temple and behind a forest .. Wow .. Walking from distance it looks impressive !Temples itself were closed ( Or i could not find an entrance , that`s what local said to me after ) .I did not see inside , but outside was impressive enough. No one .. No tourist most important (just one -me ) .Peace and silence . This is the kind of place where you can practise Zen .
After this visit to temple i decided to ask around questions about Buddhism , so here is what i found out ...
Making Kikagori in Japanese village in Murayama - Near Yamagata !