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

Tendō, Yamagata → Tomiyama, Yamagata

Map of Yamagata prefecture with author’s route from Tendō to Tomiyama highlighted. 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS ⇝


An advertisement for a bakery describing itself as The Essence of Northern Europe. 📍 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. 📍 Murayama, Yamagata

Snow Country may be a mesmerizing novel, but a perennial weather report for Tōhoku it isn’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 → Day 90, July 11

Prev. ← 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.