These Walking Dreams: Day 89 (July 10, 2017)

Tendล, Yamagata โ†’ Tomiyama, Yamagata

Map of Yamagata prefecture with authorโ€™s route from Tendล to Tomiyama highlighted. ๐Ÿ—บ Open map in GaiaGPS โ‡


An advertisement for a bakery describing itself as The Essence of Northern Europe. ๐Ÿ“ Higashine, Yamagata


Cherry branches with fruit and leaves in a vase.

A building with a sign saying American Dream in red cursive letters, and another saying Watanabe in block capitals.

Closeup of a bowl of noodles with ice cubes in the broth. ๐Ÿ“ Murayama, Yamagata

Snow Country may be a mesmerizing novel, but a perennial weather report for Tลhoku it isnโ€™t, and my memories of Shimamura and Komako shivering in their unheated rooms withered in the heat, which filled the Yamagata Basin like molten iron. It was a terrifying, Mesopotamian heat, and I skipped from convenience store to convenience store like a bug under a magnifying glass until the city thinned out and I walked into a ramen restaurant, dizzy and half-blind, where I was served that rarest of dishes in Japan, noodles in a broth of ice cubes. I sat and breathed, a racing car on a cool-down lap, and I walked back into the furnace of the afternoon.

Next โ†’ Day 90, July 11

Prev. โ† Day 88, July 9


These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.