Tsuruoka Station in Yamagata Prefecture

In October, my husband’s father celebrated his eightieth birthday. He was born in 1937.  He’s a farmer–not 100% retired yet–and still has quite a lot of energy!

My husband, son and I travelled from Fukushima to the west coast of Yamagata Prefecture.  My husband’s parents live in Sakata City, but my husband wanted to take them to an onsen hotel (hot spring hotel) in the nearby city of Tsuruoka.

The view from the Tsuruoka City train station.

My husband’s hometown of Sakata means “Sake Field.” 酒田

酒=sake (spirits, alcohol)

田=ta (rice field)

Tsuruoka means “Crane Hill.” 鶴岡

鶴= Tsuru (crane)

岡= Oka (hill)

I just love these names!

The souvenir shop across from the train station. Local specialties.

I asked the saleswoman for THE local specialty of Tsuruoka. I was directed to these soybean manju.

Customers can help themselves to one to see how they taste, and then decide whether to buy boxes for friends and family back home.  I bought some for my two Japanese classes.

The soybean mixture inside is sweetened, and it is scrumptious.   I like this sweet soybean better than sweet red bean personally.  Really yummers!

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