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The transition from cherry blossom season to shinryoku season, known as "fresh green," marks a notable shift in Japan's natural beauty. Among the many regions in Japan renowned for their scenic landscapes, Tohoku stands out as a top destination, offering an abundance of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and rejuvenating hot springs called onsens.


As May unfolds, the weather remains cool and refreshing, providing the perfect atmosphere for nature's vibrant display. Spring brings forth a colorful array of azaleas and wisteria vines, while the arrival of June unveils deep blue and purple hydrangeas. These stunning hues create a striking contrast against the brilliant greenery that blankets the surroundings, captivating visitors with its beauty.

During my time in Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi prefecture in the Tohoku region, I was fortunate to experience this natural splendor firsthand. I resided just steps away from the revered temple grounds of Zuiho-ji and Zuihoden, which serve as the mausoleum complex of Date Masamune. Every day, I immersed myself in the serene ambiance of these areas, relishing in the morning air and the soft glow of spring sunlight filtering through the trees. While each season possesses its unique allure, May and June hold a particular charm that is hard to resist. Additionally, the soothing sounds of the nearby Hirose River provided a melodic backdrop to my explorations. Adjacent to the river, there is a picturesque pathway enticing visitors to embark on leisurely bike rides, walks, or picnics.


Despite not being a prominent tourist destination, Sendai offers an exceptional experience for those seeking to delve into the hidden gems of Japan. Spending a couple of nights in this city unveils an array of captivating sights and remarkable culinary delights. During spring, the local cuisine comes alive with the flavors of sansai, edible wild plants, and takenoko, tender bamboo shoots. These are just a couple of specialties amongst the many culinary delights of Sendai. 


Among my most cherished memories during my time in Sendai was a day trip to Yamadera, a mountain temple located in Yamagata Prefecture. The temple grounds, perched high up on a steep mountainside, afforded breathtaking panoramic views of the valley below. Following a rewarding hike, we indulged in a soba lunch which is one of Yamagata’s most beloved culinary treats. On our return train journey to Sendai, we made a stop at Sakunami onsen, specifically at the renowned Ichinobo hotel. Here, we immersed ourselves in the tranquil outdoor onsen, soothing our senses in the therapeutic hot spring waters while gazing upon the scenic mountain stream and the lush fresh greenery. This adventure is just one example of the numerous day trips available to visitors, promising an enchanting journey through the region's wonders.

The vivid foliage of shinryoku season acts as a balm for the soul after enduring a long, dark winter. I treasure the memories I made during my time in Japan and am now creating new ones here in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Currently, my workbench is filled with a plethora of jewelry pieces waiting to be adorned with layers of colors, inspired by the lushness of nature's spring rebirth.



JUN 10, 2023






東北地方、宮城県仙台市で暮らした期間、この素晴らしい自然を直接体験出来たことは本当に幸運でした。私の家は伊達政宗の霊廟 瑞鳳殿と伊達家ゆかりの瑞鳳寺のすぐそばにあり、





仙台から少し足を延ばした山形県 山寺への日帰り旅も、仙台在住の間の印象深い大事な思い出です。約1,000段の階段をのぼった先、急峻な山肌の高所に建つ寺院で待っていたのは、眼下に広がる谷合の、息をのむパノラマのような眺めでした。大満足のハイキングの後には、愛すべき山形名物、美味しい蕎麦ランチを楽しみました。