Obanazawa city located in Yamagata perfecture, about 2 hours driving from Sendai. The city was famous for hot spring, snow, and water melon.
The first place I visit was Basho-Seifu History Museum. Basho is a famous Japanese Poetry, the first time I know him was when I visited Tagajo Ayame Matsuri (see the post here). If you were a Japanese history enthusiast you will be happy looking his original working displayed there. Unfortunately all in Japanese so I can not understand it so much >_< I also experience making a stamp painting there using a stone, black ink, and papers.
Since it was already past 12 I had a lunch at Farmhouse Restaurant ‘Kura’. The owners of this restaurant is a very nice ‘obaa-chan’ (おばちゃん, old lady). They plant, harvest, fished, and cook the food them self. The soba there was so good. I especially love the pickled zucchini served there. And they also provide moslem friendly menu, they will use no alcohol and use halal certified soyu if you reserved and request by phone call before coming. I am not fluent in Japanese but they talk to me so warmly. It is not only about the good food but also the atmosphere that make you feels like home.
After enjoying my lunch I go to a watermelon sorting factory. Okay this is a not usual place to visit on your vacation. But it is really worth every single second of it! I am always a huge fans of a factories so this was quite a treat for me. Japan watermelon especially from Obanazawa is really exceptional, super sweet and tasty. Somehow I always imagining how can a watermelon in Japan so expensive (around 3000 JPY for a big round watermelon). But after seeing the technologies they used, no wonder it could come to that price. The total workers of that factory was only around 50 and they sorting up to 45,000 watermelons a day. See the 15 sec video I made at the factory here. I did not imagine visiting a watermelon sorting factory can be this fun 😀
Before going to where we would spend the night we went to kokeshi making studio. Kokeshi (こけし) is a japanese handmade wooden doll originated from Tohoku area since late edo period. You can try to paint and design your own kokeshi and take it home with 1000 JPY. The colors used for painting kokeshi is only black, red, green, and yellow. Looks how cute the kokeshi we made 😉 And the master also show us the kokeshi batteries he designed him self. What a cute batteries!
Find more about the places I visited on link belows:
P.S. pssstt.. I am staying at Ginzan Onsen, which one of the best hot spring area in Japan. Be prepare for my next post 😉