Kirakira Uetsu Tourism Area Food Tour
〜An Indulgent Journey of Food and Drinks〜

On this three day course, you’ll experience the best dining options in Murakami, Sakata, and Tsuruoka. You can enjoy the area’s best food even without a car by taking the Uetsu Main Line. There are tons of salmon sushi and dishes, ramen, pickled side dishes, wine tours, and restaurants run by famous chefs to be found.

Itinerary

2
nights
3
days

Day One

JR Tokyo Station →Through Niigata→Murakami Station (Niigata Prefecture)→Taiyo Sake Brewery→Sennen Sake Kikkawa→Sennen Sake Izutsuya→Kokonoen→Senami Hot Spring

Day Two

JR Murakami Station→JR Sakata Station (Yamagata Prefecture)→Holland Senbei Factory→Ramen→Sanno Club→ Sankyo Soko→Sushi→Overnight stay at hotel within Sakata

Day Three

Sakata Station→Uzen-Oyama Station→Tsukemono Honcho→Dewanoyukishuzo Museum→Uzen-Oyama Station→Tsuruoka Station→FOODEVER→To Tokyo via Niigata

Day One

01

Taiyo Sake Brewery

While you’ll want to try Niigata Prefecture’s famous rice, you’ll also want to enjoy the prefecture’s local sake. At Taiyo Sake Brewery, where Murakami’s local Taiyozakari sake is made, you can take a tour of the brewery and try samples of their sake. At the Nagomigura exhibition hall, you can learn about the history of Murakami sake brewing by viewing sake brewing tools, cups, and more.

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Access 20 minute walk from Murakami Station

02

Sennen Sake Kikkawa

Murakami is the location of the first successful natural incubation egg rearing, and is known as the salmon town. Sennen Sake Kikkawa is a long-standing shop famous for its salt-cured salmon and other salmon products. The highlight of the 130-year-old merchant building is the 1,000 salted salmon hanging from the ceiling.

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Hours: 9:00-18:00 (9:00-12:00 on December 31st only)

03

Sennen Sake Izutsuya

For lunch, we recommend Murakami’s first salmon cuisine specialty restaurant, “Izutsuya”. It’s a nationally designated tangible cultural property, and is also known as being the inn that Matsuo Basho stayed at for two nights on his “Oku no Hosomichi” journey.

You can choose from seven course (1,950 yen), 10 course (2,900 yen) 13 course (3900 yen), 18 course (4,900 yen), and 21 course menus that let you grill the salmon at your own table. The Iwafune koshihikari rice served fresh from a earthenware pot is also delicious. *Prices don’t include tax.

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Hours: 9:00-16:00 (Meals are from 11:00-16:00)

04

Kokonoen

The northernmost area of Murakami is where you can find Murakamicha. The tea has a well-rounded tartness and just the right amount of sweetness. In the specialty shop Kokonoen, you can purchase Murakamicha and also see a typical merchant-style building structure.

Hours: 8:30-17:30

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05

Senami Hot Spring

Senami Hot Spring is known for its attractive sunset location and Yosano Akiko’s tanka poems about the area.

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Day Two

01

Holland Senbei Factory

The light and crispy texture is what makes Holland Senbei so popular. At the Holland Senbei Factory, you can witness the senbei-making process through glass windows.

In addition, there is a gift shop where you can buy original goods, and a cafe where you can enjoy various sweets and drinks. We recommend the senbei baking and seasoning activities as memories for your trip.

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Factory tours: 9:00-16:00 (admissions close at 15:40)
Cost: General: 300 yen, Junior high students: 200 yen, Elementary students and below: free, Seniors (65 and up): free
Closed: Every Tuesday
Baking activity: 400 yen
Seasoning activity: 600 yen

02

Ramen

Yamagata Prefecture is the country’s number one consumer of ramen. Enjoy a bowl of superb ramen in one of the many ramen shops among the bustling streets of Sakata city for lunch. We highly recommend the dried sardine ramen at the Chinese Ramen restaurant, “Kumo no Ito”.

You can choose from thick or thin noodles and between thick or thin broth. The ramen’s homemade noodles and juicy chashu pork pieces are amazing. The thick broth also includes savory pork fat.
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03

Sanno Club

At Sanno Club, one of the top sightseeing spots of Sakata, you can see exhibitions about the Kitamaebune period that made the area thrive, one of Japan’s biggest Kasafuku ornament exhibitions, and more.

We also recommend doing the Kasafuku ornament making experience (reservations required).

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Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: December-February: Tuesdays (the following day if a national holiday falls on a Tuesday), New Year’s (December 29th-January 3rd), open every day from March-November

04

Sankyo Soko

Tourists from all over visit Sankyo Soko, which is also known as the location of the NHK serialized morning drama, “Oshin”.

05

Sushi

The port city of Sakata takes pride in its big catches of fresh fish and seafood throughout the whole year. The sushi restaurant “Koise” is popular among locals and tourists alike for its sushi and a la carte menu featuring seasonal local fish.

Enjoy the most amazing sushi you’ll ever have made by the restaurant’s experienced and skilled sushi chefs.

Address: 1-chome-3-25 Aioicho, Sakata, Yamagata 998-0032

Day Three

01

Tsukemono Honcho

Tsukemono Honcho was established in 1908 and has kept and continued its traditional pickled tsukemono techniques since. Here you can find tsukemono sampling, shops, and even tours. The tours are free but require reservations.

Shonai-esque pickled tsukemono vegetables are a top choice as souvenirs for your trip.
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02

Dewanoyukishuzo Museum

Oyama is a town with a long sake brewing history. The Dewanoyukishuzo Museum includes old documents, sake-brewing tools, and other rare artifacts that showcase Oyama’s sake history. There are also tour and sake tasting areas.

Address: 2 Chome-2-8 Oyama, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-1124
Hours: 8:45-16:30
Closed: January 1-3
Entrance fee: 100 yen

03

FOODEVER

Tsuruoka is in Japan’s only designated UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. FOODEVER, located in Tsuruoka Station, is where you can enjoy the city’s food and dining culture even more.

Area map