Yamagata (山形) is a bustling inaka (rural) capital that makes a comfortable base for exploring the mountain trails around Yamadera and as a stopover en route to Zaō Onsen and Ginzan Onsen, tucked away in the surrounding countryside. When night falls, there is plenty of action to be found in the entertainment district near the train station. Hirashimizu is a respectable pottery district nearby.
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