Yamagata, Japan Oct. 04 Wed 7:39PM
It’s said that over 500 years ago, a wandering monk saw a crane healing its wounds in a hot spring near the base of Mt. Zao, and that ever since then, a tradition slowly began of people coming to the Kaminoyama Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture to bathe in its waters and heal their wounds. Even if your only wound is a tired heart, or if you don’t even have any wounds at all, the town of Kaminoyama itself, in addition to its hot springs, offers lots of attraction for a visitor.
Some of the ryokan here are rated as among the best in the whole nation, and visitors can choose from many hot springs, foot baths, and exquisite lodgings, many of which date back to the Edo period.
But these aren’t the only historical spot in town, as the Kaminoyama Castle, on a hill at the center or town, stands as a reminder of the towns feudal past. A small samurai district still remains around the castle.
Also of note is the Harusamean, where the monk Takuan preached Zen Buddhism during his three years of exile there, and also invented the extremely popular variety of Japanese pickles that bears his name.