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Japan [Tōhoku]

Turn Tohoku's farming and fishing villages into destinations!

"Fooding Tourism(Culinary Tourism)" travel to satisfy your intellectual and gastronomic curiosity

Journal / Japan (English)Nov. 9, 2017

We have made continuous efforts to collect information from all over Japan, focusing on food and gastronomic culture. Through this background, we are convinced that the essence of the charm of Japan and Tohoku among others is in ordinary “farming and fishing villages” rather than typical sightseeing destinations.
In fact, farming and fishing villages in Tohoku possess a unique food culture matching the Japanese landscape in its original state, handed down in harmony with the climate and natural features of the region.
However, since these villages are not typically sightseeing destinations, it is very hard for many tourists to access the true charm by visiting without sufficient preparation.

The answer is here!
Entitled “*Fooding Tourism”, we have cultivated travel plans designed to facilitate the discovery of food culture in farming and fishing villages. This tour will be sold by our partner travel agencies from October 2017.

*The term “fooding” of Fooding Tourism is a contraction of the words “food” and “feeling”.

Here is a summary of Tohoku tours organized by The Cuisine Press. Our partner travel agencies are;
JTB corp.(JAPANiCAN.com)/the Art of Travel/ VELTRA/My Tokyo Guide/ BOJ,Inc.(BEAUTY OF JAPAN)/ Dewa Shonai Area Design,Inc.


Aomori Prefecture

1.Hachinohe Tour

・Who needs Tsukiji? Experience fresh-off-the boat seafood at the hidden gem fish market of Hachinohe.
・Enjoy a sake brewery and morning market, as well as the beautiful lawn on an ocean-side national park.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Hachinohe Station


After shopping at Aomori Prefecture’s Gyosai Market, which is run by Hachinohe City, make your own delicious breakfast by adding rice and miso soup to seafood that you will be able to purchase yourself. For lunch, interact with the farmers of Nanbu futo negi, a traditional vegetable, at Nanbu Town. After touring a local sake brewery, visit the national park on the Tanesashi coast. On a beautiful natural lawn, enjoy a dinner featuring country dishes at a guest house by the beach.
(This tour is sold by Beauty of Japan.)




2.Discovering Japan’s culinary legacies: Hachinohe, Aomori

・Hachinohe, a cornucopia of natural food from mountain and sea!
・Customize your ideal tour plan from Hachinohe attractions.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Hachinohe Station


Discover and celebrate the legacy of Hachinohe’s local cuisine through its markets, farms, sake breweries and eateries. Choose one- or two-day programs that allow you time to appreciate breathtaking ocean views from the Tanesashi coast and feast on the highest quality natural ingredients. Meet our locally based collaborators who are dedicated in sharing their heritage with our guests. Rather than a program, guests can create a custom plan according to the activities they wish to try.
(This tour is sold by the Art of Travel.)




3.Hachinohe with Back Alley Bar Tour and Fresh Seafood Breakfast at Morning Market

・Hachinohe, the San Sebastian of Japan, an exciting night life!
・Bar hop like the locals.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Hachinohe Station


Aomori Prefecture Hachinohe city is one of the leading port town in the northern part of Japan. Enjoy the local atmosphere of the city with this tour by going on a backstreet bar tour of the city and enjoying a delicious fish breakfast at the morning market. Though this area isn't consider a popular tour spot in Japan, however the charm of this tour is that you can enjoy the local life and feel the warmness from the local people.
(This tour is sold by Beauty of Japan.)



Learn more about Aomori: wonderful people, food, and natural scenery you can encounter in Aomori
Creating new value from Aomori's culinary past.
http://r-tsushin.com/en/journal/japan/hachinohe_food_tourism.html



4.Aomori Farming and Home Cooking Experience with a Local Farmer near Hachinohe

・Hachinohe is blessed not only with a bounty from the sea, but from the mountains as well!
・Enjoy local life in Hachinohe. Experience local farming and cook traditional homemade dishes with people of the village.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Hachinohe Station


Experience the traditional lifestyle of Nanbu and enjoy the hospitality of a local farmer on a day trip from Hachinohe. Learn to cook delicious local dishes for lunch and sample the best of Aomori!
(This tour is sold by Veltra.)




5.Countryside Cooking & Farm Craft Experience Tour in Nanbu, Aomori

・Enjoy Nanbu Town in the Hachinohe countryside.
・Experience cooking local cuisine and try your hand at Tohoku handicrafts!
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Hachinohe Station


Visit a farmhouse and enjoy cooking and tasting a countryside cuisine dish that has been cherished in the town of Nanbu, Aomori Prefecture, since long ago. Also experience preparing the firewood used for cooking! This tour offers customers the chance to experience the way of life in the region. Try your hand at a farm craft experience! (Straw sandal-making, basket-making, etc. *Not selectable) The finished product may be taken home as a souvenir!
(This tour is sold by JAPANiCAN.com)





Fukushima Prefecture
6.Tasting Aizu’s traditional dishes

*The image is for illustration purposes.

・Eating soba with an onion instead of chopsticks!?
・Savor local cuisine at a traditional folk house in Aizu.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Koriyama Station


This is a special opportunity to experience traditional life and savor the local specialties of the Aizu people. Dine at an elegant restaurant set within a charming historic structure built 150 to 200 years ago. It is close to many famous spots of the old samurai city of Aizu. Enjoy Aizu dishes not found anywhere else in Japan, such as negisoba (soba with green onion). To eat it, a long stick of green onion is used in place of chopsticks. Diners will also enjoy wappameshi (rice steamed in a wooden utensil known as a magewappa), topped with mountain vegetables, salmon fillet and more.
Explanation is available in multiple languages.
(This tour is sold by JAPANiCAN.com)





Iwate Prefecture
7.Scenic Winter Kotatsu Boat Ride & World Heritage Site Visit

*The image is for illustration purposes.

・Iwate in winter is brimming with hidden charm.
・Experience a kotatsu boat-ride, World Heritage site Chūson-ji Temple, and local specialty MOCHI in a variety of flavors.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Ichinoseki Station


Experience the tranquility and mysterious winter views of Iwate Prefecture’s Geibikei Gorge from the warmth of a motor-less kotatsu* boat, carried downstream by the current and steered by the pole of its helmsman. You’ll have an opportunity to take a taxi tour and visit the beautiful Buddhist temples and gardens in the world heritage site of Hiraizumi, which is normally hard to access without transportation. Ichinoseki City is famous for offering more than 300 varieties of mochi (rice cake) throughout the year, and you’ll have a chance to enjoy kaho-mochi for lunch. Legend says that the lucky person who finds a small piece of twig inside one of nine different kinds of mochi can be kaho (happy).
Voice guides (in English, Chinese, Korean, French, German and Spanish) are available at Hiraizumi.)

*A kotatsu is a special table with a heater installed underneath that is covered by a futon blanket to keep one’s legs warm.

(This tour is sold by JAPANiCAN.com)




8.Experience home-style cooking and traditional handicrafts while staying at a farmer's home!

*The image is for illustration purposes.

・Tono is blessed with both traditional and original Japanese landscape.
・Why not experience local life by staying at a rustic farmhouse in Tono?
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Shin Hanamaki Station


Iwate Prefecture’s Tono City calls itself the “timeless rural heart of Japan” and for good reason. Enclosed by mountains and filled with nature, Tono is a place where traditional ways of living, religion and culture are still part of everyday life. See all of this firsthand by staying overnight at a local farmer's home, and learn about Tono’s legends and folk stories of specters and mythological creatures. Enjoy home-style dishes made using local and seasonal ingredients, and try your hand at creating local arts and crafts.

*Outward transportation from JR Tono Station and one tourist attraction to accommodation.

(This tour is sold by JAPANiCAN.com)



Learn more about Iwate: wonderful people, food, and natural scenery you can encounter in Iwate
Iwate's enduring food traditions
http://r-tsushin.com/en/journal/japan/iwate_food_tourism.html


9.Make and Eat Your Own Mochi

・Iwate's winter season is tremendously exciting!
・Get to know more about local sake and specialty dish MOCHI.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Ichinoseki Station


On this tour, guests will have a chance to make their own mochi, a traditional rice cake produced by pounding glutinous mochi rice with a heavy wooden mallet. After pounding your mochi, you’ll head over to the scenic restaurant Sekinoichi, located in an old sake warehouse, where you can taste local sake and river fish, as well as mochi. After lunch, you'll move to Geibikei where you’ll get a chance to try traditional sweets as well as an exciting cruise down the river.
(This tour is sold by Beauty of Japan. )




10.Mochi Rice Cake Pounding and Local Cooking Experience in Ichinoseki

・Iwate's winter season is tremendously exciting!
・Get to know more about specialty dish MOCHI.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Ichinoseki Station

Ichinoseki is famous for its delicious mochi rice cakes, which are an essential part of the local culture. Try your hand at pounding fresh mochi and cooking up tasty dishes for a real taste of Iwate!
(This tour is sold by Veltra. )



Learn more about Iwate: wonderful people, food, and natural scenery you can encounter in Iwate
Iwate's enduring food traditions
http://r-tsushin.com/en/journal/japan/iwate_food_tourism.html



Miyagi Prefecture
11.Dining with the devils at Namahage restaurant

・Sendai, a beautiful city in the forest.
・You can also meet the Akita's "Namahage", or devils.
・The nearest Tohoku Shinkansen line station: Sendai Station


This package allows you to experience the unique cuisine and traditions of Akita Prefecture at a restaurant in Miyagi Prefecture’s Sendai City. The interior resembles that of an old folk house. First, enjoy local Akita sake paired with food served in traditional wooden craftwork called magewappa. Next, be thrilled as you watch the intense namahage show. Namahage are demon-like beings portrayed by men wearing masks and straw garments who visit homes in Akita to cleanse them of evil and admonish lazy or naughty kids.

*A kotatsu is a special table with a heater installed underneath that is covered by a futon blanket to keep one’s legs warm.

(This tour is sold by JAPANiCAN.com)





Yamagata Prefecture
12.Experience the life of a mountain monk for a day

・Where mountains are gods: Tsuruoka, the land of mountain-worship.
・Winter is the perfect season for the "YAMABUSHI" (mountain priest) experience.
・The nearest Yamagata Shinkansen line station: Shinjo Station


Go beyond simply viewing Japan’s religious buildings; venture out on a one-day tour as a yamabushi (mountain priest). This unforgettable opportunity allows you to experience Japanese religion and cuisine with yamabushi, who practice in the mountains, as your guide. Wear the traditional white garments of yamabushi and head into the forest. You will visit a five-story pagoda designated as a national treasure, worship at a mountain-top temple, and savor a shojin-ryori (Buddhist vegan cuisine) meal at a temple guest house.
(This tour is sold by JAPANiCAN.com)




13.Dewa Sanzan hiking tour

・Tsuruoka: It’s not just wintertime that’s wonderful.
・Don't miss the best season for hiking, from spring to autumn.
・The nearest Yamagata Shinkansen line station: Shinjo Station


Experience the serenity and beauty of nature as you hike through select areas of the Three Mountains of Dewa, or Dewa Sanzan. This area has been a base for the mountain-worshipping religion of Shugendo since its beginnings in the eighth century. Pilgrims typically hike the three mountains as a spiritual journey; legend has it that visitors will be reborn after completion. Enjoy a shojin-ryori (Buddhist vegan cuisine) meal — made from ingredients such as fresh mountain vegetables and mushrooms — at a hidden hot spring inn.
(This tour is sold by My Tokyo Guide. )




14.Encounter the food culture of Tsuruoka, the only city in Japan named a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

*The image is for illustration purposes.

・Shonai Region, a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy
・Enjoy the bounty of the sea and mountains produced by the diverse geography
・The nearest Yamagata Shinkansen line station: Shinjo Station


In December 2014, Tsuruoka became the first Japanese city to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Tsuruoka boasts more than 50 kinds of traditional vegetables. This tour first takes you to a farm restaurant, where you can learn how organic farming is practiced, and on to organic farms and expansive rice fields from which you might catch a beautiful sunset. Then, enjoy local dishes made from delicious ingredients, grown locally with care. After the tour concludes, it’s possible to stay overnight at an authentic Japanese farm residence.
(This tour is sold by Dewa Shonai Area Design,Inc.)




15.Yamabushi guide walk and authentic food culture of Tsuruoka

・Tsuruoka, the land of mountain-worship
・Tours guided by actual YAMABUSHI (mountain priests).
・The nearest Yamagata Shinkansen line station: Shinjo Station


Climb to the top of Mount Haguro, one of the three sacred Mountains of Dewa, wearing traditional white garments with yamabushi (mountain priests) as your guide. You’ll also visit a greenhouse of old-time varieties of vegetables, notable because they are unlike the selectively bred vegetables found in most supermarkets today. Afterwards, enjoy a lunch prepared with 10 to 20 types of vegetables and experience their traditional taste. The Tsuruoka Food Guide will give you a tour of food production sites unique to Tsuruoka.
(This tour is sold by Dewa Shonai Area Design during April to October.)
Reference: https://www.facebook.com/yamabushido/




16.Tsuruoka Food Culture Market "FOODEVER"

・Shonai Region is blessed with a superb natural environment that includes the sea, mountains and high quality food ingredients.
・Enjoy the Gastronomy Market FOODEVER and get to know more about the gastro town of Shonai.
・The nearest Yamagata Shinkansen line station: Shinjo Station


Tsuruoka is Japan's only city certified by UNESCO as a Creative City of Gastronomy. This package offers a guided tour through "FOODEVER," an advanced food complex facility established to provide information about Tsuruoka's rich food culture. Visitors can enjoy Tsuruoka's cuisine through the facility’s restaurants as well as its select seasonal ingredients, and taste local sake at the sake bar. Souvenirs can be found here, too.
(This tour will be sold by My Tokyo Guide soon.)
Reference: https://www.facebook.com/foodever.tsuruoka/
http://tsuruokamarukajiri.info/293
https://www.mytokyoguide.com/



17.Rediscover yourself among the three Mountains of Dewa

*The image is for illustration purposes.

・Shonai Region: A search for the soul at this sacred spot.
・Customize your ideal tour plan from a multitude of attractions, including the Three Mountains of Dewa, or Dewa Sanzan, located in Shonai.
・The nearest Yamagata Shinkansen line station: Shinjo Station


Take a spiritual and cultural journey to the remote area of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture. Those seeking a deeper understanding of Japan’s sacred mountains and the ways of its ascetic monks are welcome to join experiences made available by our local collaborators: mountain priests known as yamabushi. Guests will also enjoy local shojin-ryori (Buddhist vegan cuisine) as well as the opportunity to visit some of the region’s most unique temples and shrines in a spectacular mountain setting. Rather than a program, guests can create a custom plan according to the activities they wish to try.
(This tour is sold by the Art of Travel.)



Learn more about Yamagata: wonderful people, food, and natural scenery you can encounter in Yamagata
Mountains and the sea: Heart and soul of the Shonai Region in Yamagata
http://r-tsushin.com/en/journal/japan/tsuruoka_food_tourism.html



photographs by Luuvu Hoang, Hide Urabe









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