Enjoy an Authentic Countryside Experience (Tozawa/Shonai/Mikawa version)

Itinerary

2
nights
3
days

On this three day course, you’ll visit Tozawa, Shonai, and Mikawa in Yamagata Prefecture. In the village of Tozawa, you’ll enjoy boat rides on the Mogami River, hand make your own soba noodles, and even stay at a local farm house. In Shonai, you’ll visit a historic soy sauce shop and try delicious food at the Classe. In Mikawa, you’ll stay in the rural “Denden no Yado” inn located in the plains of Shonai. You’ll also stop by the Mikawa Cultural Exchange Hall (Atoku-Sensei no Kan), the location of the Academy Award winning movie, “Departures”. Indulge yourself in nature, food, history, and hot springs in this authentic Japanese countryside experience.

Day One

JR Tokyo Station →JR Shinjo Station→JR Furukuchi Station (Tozawa)→Soba Making Experience→Mogami River boat ride→Tozawa no Botamochi→Stay at farm house

Day Two

JR Furukuchi Station (Tozawa)→JR Amarume Station (Shonai) →Rental Cycle (Or on foot/taxi)→Hanabusa Shoyu→Classe→Amarume Station→Tsuruoka Station→Mikawa (bus)→Ooimochiya→Denden no Yado (Mikawa)

Day Three

Atoku Sensei no Kan (Mikawa) →(Via bus) JR Tsuruoka Station→FOODEVER→JR Niigata Station→JR Tokyo Station

Day One

In the Mogami District of Tozawa in Yamagata Prefecture, change trains at Shinjo Station and get off at Furukuchi Station on the JR Rikusai Line.

01

Soba Making Experience

Tozawa Domain Funabansho, where the soba making facility and boat ride departure area is located, is a five minute walk from Furukuchi Station. Trying out soba making before taking the boat ride. Beginners need not worry, as you will be guided throughout the experience, from kneading to cutting the noodles. There’s nothing like eating soba noodles made with your own two hands.

Access: 5 minute walk from Furukuchi Station
Address: 86-1 Furukuchi Tozawa-mura, Mogami-gun, Yamagata-ken 999-6401
Cost: 2,000 yen per person (at least 2 people per group)
Reserve up to 3 days in advance

URL Click here for details

02

Mogami River Boat Ride

The ravine that runs between Furukawa and Kiyokawa is called the “Mogami Gorge”. Listen to sailor songs while slowly floating along the Mogami Gorge’s beautiful natural scenery. There are even female sailors. The boat runs all year, making it possible to enjoy the boat ride in different ways each season.

Departure and Destination:
Furukuchi Port (Tozawa Domain Funabansho) to Kusanagi Port (Kawanoeki, Mogami Gorge Kusanagi)
Address:
86-1 Furukuchi Tozawa-mura, Mogami-gun, Yamagata-ken 999-6401
The boat ride runs on an approximately 12km route along the Mogami River and lasts approximately one hour.
Operation time:
April–November: 8:20-17:10
December–March: 9:00-16:30
Operates every day of the year

03

Tozawa no Botamochi

“Tozawa no Botamochi” is a specialty shop selling botamochi made with local Tozawa village rice. They sell red bean paste, soy flour, and sesame varieties of the sweet mochi treat. You can take out, or even eat inside the shop.

Address: 374 Furukuchi Tozawa-mura, Mogami-gun, Yamagata-ken 999-6401
Business hours: 8:30-17:30
Closed: Mondays

Depending on the season, you can also enjoy mountain plant gathering, trekking, rice reaping, vegetable picking, and snow shoveling, all adding to this great experience.

Tozawa Country Life Farm Experience info Click here for details

04

Experience Country Life on a Farm

If you’re staying overnight in Tozawa village, we recommend this farm life experience. You can experience the feeling of returning to your aunt and uncle’s house in the country, rather than just renting a private room in someone’s house. Another bonus of this experience is that you can enjoy local dishes made with fresh ingredients.

Day Two

Start at JR Furukuchi Station and take the Rikusai Line to JR Amarume Station. We recommend renting a bicycle for free in front of Amarume Station on a sunny day and riding around the town.

01

Hanabusa Shoyu

This soy sauce brewery was founded in 1823 and makes and sells soy sauce, miso, and the local food shoyunomi. They also sell over the counter versions of their products which are perfect as Shonai souvenirs. You can also take tours of their warehouse and view their impressive garden.

Address: Machi-161 Amarume Shonai-machi, Higashitagawa-gun, Yamagata-ken 999-7781
Access: 15 minute walk from JR Amarume Station
Tours require reservations
URL: Click here for details

For lunch, the restaurant Yaku-Checchiano, established under the direction of Masayuki Okuda, chef of Al-Che-cciano, is a top recommendation. Here you can enjoy a menu filled with dishes using Shonai-produced vegetables, pork, and beef.

02

Shonai Machi Shinsangyo Zokan Classe

Classe is a base for sightseeing housed in a rice granary in front of JR Amarume Train Station.

03

Ooimochiya

Ooimochiya is a mochi shop long loved by residents of the area. They sell all sorts of mochi, including kusa mochi, tochimochi, daifuku mochi, and red bean mochi.

You can also try different soups with mochi in it, such as oshiruko, and the sweet zenzai in the confectionary shop. Try the fluffy, soft mochi in oshiruko and other options as a set!

Address: Yokoyama-220 Yokoyama Mikawa-machi, Higashitagawa-gun, Yamagata-ken 997-1301
Business hours: 9:00-17:00 (Confectionary shop 11:00-15:00
Closed: Mondays

Take a breather from your travels in the relaxing atmosphere of the lodge’s rooms and the soothing water of the hot springs. We recommend the one night, two meal plan which includes dinner within the lodge.

URL Click here for details

04

Denden no Yado

Denden no Yado is a lodging facility with separate buildings for each guest facing a garden. Along with the facilities lodging guest-only bath facility, guests can also use the “Nanohana Onsen Denden” hot spring that’s connected to the building for free.

Day Three

01

Mikawa Cultural Exchange Hall Atoku Sensei no Kan

“Atoku Sensei no Kan” was completed in 1928 and has a romantic Taisho era architecture style. It’s also the film location of the Academy Award winning movie “Departures”. The garden on the grounds is beautiful in spring when several varieties of flowers bloom at once.

Open January 4th-December 28th 9:00-17:00
Closed every Monday
Entrance to the residence and garden are free

URL Click here for details

At FOODEVER, you can enjoy Tsuruoka’s best food for lunch in the various restaurants and food courts. You can also find souvenirs here.

02

FOODEVER

Tsuruoka is Japan’s only recognized UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

If you're renting a car, we recommend the courses below.

Day One
JR Tokyo Station→JR Shinjo Station (rent a car here)→Soba making experience→Mogami River boat ride→Tozawa Botamochi→Stay at farm

Day Two
Tozawa→Hanabusa Shoyu (Shonai)→Classe→Ooimochiya→Overnight stay at Denden no Yado (Mikawa)

Day Three
Atoku Sensei no Kan →Vegetable Home Cooking Naa →Tsuruoka Station (return rental car here)→FOODEVER→Niigata→JR Tokyo Station

If you plan to rent a car, we recommend going to Vegetable Home Cooking Naa in Tsuruoka for lunch on the third day.

01

Vegetable Home Cooking Naa

This restaurant is a remodeled farm that was built over 120 years ago. Here you can enjoy a menu filled with fresh vegetables from the owner’s own garden, as well as Shonai’s fish and meat.

The white and brown rice served here is organically grown.

Area map