An up and coming prefecture in the Tohoku region to visit amongst Singaporeans, this destination is all about nature. Simply breathing in the fresh air here will revitalise you! While there are plenty of places to visit in Yamagata, these are a few of the most memorable ones.

Mt. Haguro (羽黒山) is one of the Three Mountains of Dewa in the ancient province of Dewa (modern-day Yamagata Prefecture and Akita Prefecture).

Standing at 414 metres, this is the lowest of the three and the only one which is accessible throughout the year. You will need to climb 2,466 stone steps to reach its summit, passing by 600-year-old cedar trees and the famous Gojū-tō (五重塔, five-storey pagoda) along the way.

Venturing deep into the mysterious mountains of Yamagata, nature-lovers will enjoy the crisp, cool air and lush greenery.

Another must-go is Ginzan Onsen (銀山温泉), where you can rent traditional costumes popular during the Taisho era and stroll along the atmospheric streets and river.

Be sure to visit the place in winter, as the beautiful snowfall provides a magnificent scene for all to enjoy.

At night, rest and relax at Kuhe Hotel (九兵衛旅館 山形), a grand, secluded Japanese ryokan that comes with hot spring services.

After a nice soak, feast upon an exquisite dinner made using locally grown produce. The luxurious meal was so good that it made my heart sing with glee!

If you like hands-on experiences, try fruit-picking at Takahashi Fruitland in Kaminoyama City.

Sign up for the hour-long grapes picking session and be prepared to eat as many big, juicy grapes as you can!

While roaming around the city area, keep an eye out for creative smoothies from baby green, a brand made with only the freshest local ingredients.

Taste the refreshing goodness and don’t forget to take a cute Instagram snap of the drinks before you gulp them down!

(This feature first appeared on WAttention Singapore magazine, Sep/Oct 2018 Vol. 46) 

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