3 days/2 nights based in Tsukioka Onsen [Base! Tohoku]

Area Map 青森県 岩手県 宮城県 秋田県 山形県 福島県 新潟県

Tsukioka Onsen is famous for its rare emerald green sulfur spring water.

Many stores offer sake and other food tasting and food shopping while strolling around the hot spring resort area.

You can also try your hand at some unique experiences such as barbecuing salmon and making tumblers out of copper.

START
Day1

Salmon Salting Experience

Creating a depth of flavour just with autumn salmon, salt, and the power of nature!

Salmon Salting Experience
Murakami City has a long history with salmon, so much so that it is said that the city has more than 100 different ways to cook and prepare the fish. Among these methods is salted salmon, the ultimate natural food that is created simply from autumn salmon and salt. Salt is massaged thoroughly and evenly all over the fish and it is then matured through exposure to the low temperature and high humidity of the winter season, creating a delicious dish with super-concentrated umami flavours.So where can you take up the challenge of salting your own salmon? The answer is at the “Echigo-Murakami Sannomaruryu Sake-shiobiki Dojo,” at Iyoboya Kaikan. Every year, from the end of November to mid-December salmon salting events are held, which are extremely popular. Every year the master salters patiently and carefully show people how to salt a salmon.The actual salting experience takes two hours and afterwards you can take home the salmon that you have salted in a Styrofoam box. It is ready for eating after the salt has been washed away and it has been dried. There’s no doubting that your own personally salted salmon will have a unique and wonderful flavour.

Shibata Castle Ruins Park

Travel back in time in this park famous for its cherry blossoms in the hometown of one of the forty-seven Ronin

Shibata Castle Ruins Park
Shibata Castle Ruins Park is located on the site of the historic Shibata Castle. It has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 castles. The main gate and Ninomaru Sumi Yagura (one of the castle towers) have been designated important cultural properties, and the surrounding moats can be viewed in their original form. The three-storied castle keep has a unique T-shaped roof decorated with three Shachihoko (a tiger-headed carp from Japanese folklore) – unique in all of Japan. The three-storied castle keep belongs to the Japanese Self Defence Forces however a look at the exterior is still well worth the visit. The Namako wall, a traditional Japanese style often seen on the castles in snowy areas, is a must-see.
When the cherry blossoms start to bloom, the castle is illuminated with traditional paper lanterns. Come and enjoy the night view of the castle’s cherry blossoms and lanterns reflecting on the water of the surrounding moat.
The park is a popular place of recreation and relaxation for locals. Visitors can enjoy seasonal beauty throughout the year from springtime cherry blossoms to summer’s lotus flowers blooming on the water, autumnal leaves and snowy winter scenery.

Tsukioka Onsen

A popular hot spring for women promoting beautiful skin

Tsukioka Onsen
Tsukioka Onsen is famed for its rich sulphuric water with one of the highest sulphur contents of any Onsen in Japan. With exceptionally beautiful emerald green water this hot spring is particularly popular with women as the water is known to promote beautiful skin. The mild alkaline water is smooth on the skin leaving it soft and moist.
During an evening stroll around this hot spring town you will notice the scent of sulphur in the air and may catch a glimpse of a Kimono-clad Geisha dashing under the light of the street lamps. Enjoy a stay at one of the town’s traditional Ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) to really soak up the historic atmosphere.
The town’s charming streets are lined with a variety of traditional shops. Sample a cup of the local Sake, look in on the traditional sweets shops or even try your hand at baking and decorating your own rice crackers. The town also offers unique experiences such as soaking your hands in a special hot spring hand bath, tasting the sulphuric hot spring water or pouring it over the local matchmaking statue to wish for luck in love. Make the most of your Onsen experience with the Yumeguri Tegata Onsen Pass!
Day2

No. 1 Tadami River Bridge Scenic Spot

Magnificent views of the Tadami River and JR Tadami Line in every season

No. 1 Tadami River Bridge Scenic Spot
The JR Tadami Line is a local line that connects Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture to Koide in Niigata Prefecture, a distance of about 135 kilometers, and is known throughout Japan for its beautiful scenery. The mountain scenery, whose colors change with the seasons, and the man-made bridge are a beautiful combination, and the No. 1 Tadami River Bridge is particularly famous.A 15-minute walk up the promenade right next to Michi no Eki Ozekaido Mishima Juku, a roadside station, will take you to the scenic spot. From the scenic spot, you can overlook the No. 1 Tadami River Bridge and see fog on the Tadami river in summer, a view surrounded by autumn leaves in fall, and a snowy landscape in winter. In recent years, it has become a popular attraction among international tourists.

Hyoko Lake

The lake famed for its impressive flock of swans elegantly flying overhead

Hyoko Lake
Known as the lake of swans, Hyoko Lake has been designated a national natural treasure.
Flocks of swans reside here from early October to late March. Between 5,000 and 6,000 swans are here at their peak in late November. Tundra swans, Whooper swans and Mute swans can be seen and visitors can buy designated food for feeding each variety.
Early mornings and evenings are the best time to see the swans. There is also a viewing shed by the lake to keep visitors warm even on colder days.
The lake is surrounded with light pink cherry blossoms in spring while the surrounding grounds are covered with bright yellow Forsythias in bloom. Some swans live here year-round and visitors can see these along with ducks swimming elegantly together with cherry blossoms in the background.

Niigata Local Sake PREMIUM SAKE Kura

Niigata Local Sake PREMIUM SAKE Kura
Niigata Prefecture is a "sake powerhouse" with the largest number of sake breweries in Japan. At Kura, you can enjoy carefully selected sake from all of these breweries.
You can freely choose your favorite brand and compare three cups of sake for 600 yen including tax. It is hard to decide which one to choose, but you can refer to the "sweet" or "dry" taste guidelines attached to each sake, or you can choose the label that you like best.
When you try the sake, you will be surprised to find that each sake is a confident product of the respective brewery. They are so delicious that you may end up drinking too much. If you find your favorite sake, you can purchase it on the spot.

Tsukioka Onsen

A popular hot spring for women promoting beautiful skin

Tsukioka Onsen
Tsukioka Onsen is famed for its rich sulphuric water with one of the highest sulphur contents of any Onsen in Japan. With exceptionally beautiful emerald green water this hot spring is particularly popular with women as the water is known to promote beautiful skin. The mild alkaline water is smooth on the skin leaving it soft and moist.
During an evening stroll around this hot spring town you will notice the scent of sulphur in the air and may catch a glimpse of a Kimono-clad Geisha dashing under the light of the street lamps. Enjoy a stay at one of the town’s traditional Ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) to really soak up the historic atmosphere.
The town’s charming streets are lined with a variety of traditional shops. Sample a cup of the local Sake, look in on the traditional sweets shops or even try your hand at baking and decorating your own rice crackers. The town also offers unique experiences such as soaking your hands in a special hot spring hand bath, tasting the sulphuric hot spring water or pouring it over the local matchmaking statue to wish for luck in love. Make the most of your Onsen experience with the Yumeguri Tegata Onsen Pass!
Day3

Create hammered patterns on a copper beer cup

Come and enjoy metal crafts in Tsubame, a city with a 400-year history in metalworking. Get hands-on craftsmanship experience! Find perfect gifts to bring back from your trip.

Create hammered patterns on a copper beer cup
Tsuiki (hammered) copperware, one of Tsubame City’s traditional metalworking products, is made by hammering a single copper plate with a hammer and raising the edges. At the Tsubame Industrial Materials Museum, you can learn about the copperware production process, and also try creating hammered patterns, one of the steps of making tsuiki copperware.Make your own original beer cup or sake cup by hammering the surface with a hammer to create a hammered pattern. The hammered pattern makes the inside of the beer cup uneven, which leads to better foam and creamy beer! A full range of other hands-on activities are also available.

Yahiko Shrine

The most famous sacred site in Niigata

Yahiko Shrine
With a history stretching back 2,400 years, the Yahiko Shrine has been worshipped since ancient times. During the New Year celebrations a quarter of a million visitors come here to pray for good fortune and health for the coming year.
A 10-minute walk from JR Yahiko station takes you to the grove of Yahiko Shrine. As the shrine is popular for its sacred energy and exhilarating scenery, an early morning visit is recommended to fully appreciate its spiritual energy.
There is a unique stone known as a fortune-teller on site. Lift the stone while making a wish and if you feel the stone is light, your wish will come true. If the stone feels heavy however, your wish may not come true. Try it out on your visit for a unique experience!
A further 10-minute walk from the main shrine takes you to the base station of the Yahikoyama Ropeway. Take the ropeway up to the top station to visit Okusha – part of the shrine complex – from which a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside can be enjoyed.

Mount Yahiko

A sacred mountain as high as the Tokyo Skytree, suitable for hikers of all abilities

Mount Yahiko
Mount Yahiko rises 634 metres above the ground – as high as the Tokyo Skytree – and is a popular location for hikers of all levels. The walking trail starts 15 minutes’ walk from Yahiko station and it takes about 90 minutes to walk to the top of the mountain. The top is also accessible by the Yahikoyama Ropeway or by car via the Yahikoyama Skyline. The mountain trails are well maintained and an easy walk even for children. The mountain ropeway is also available if you would prefer to climb one-way.
At Yahiko Sancho Park located at the top of Mount Yahiko visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the Echigo Plains and the Sea of Japan from the restaurant or the Panorama Tower featuring a 360° rotating observation room. The night view from here has been selected as one of the 100 most beautiful night views in Japan, the view of the Echigo Plains under the starry night sky is spectacular!
The Okusha of Yahiko Shrine located atop Mount Yahiko has been used to worship Mount Yahiko since ancient times. Breathe the fresh air at this shrine and feel its sacred energy.
GOAL
  • Salmon Salting Experience
  • Shibata Castle Ruins Park
  • Tsukioka Onsen
  • No. 1 Tadami River Bridge Scenic Spot
  • Hyoko Lake
  • Niigata Local Sake PREMIUM SAKE Kura
  • Tsukioka Onsen
  • Create hammered patterns on a copper beer cup
  • Yahiko Shrine
  • Mount Yahiko

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