The town of Murakami will show you the real Japan without any heavy make-up.
The dramatic sunset into the sea is well-known.
Owner of SAKE (Japanese rice wine) shop in Murakami city in Niigata. You must meet him in your life, since he is an amazingly friendly, warm, interesting, and kind person who always makes you happier than usual. Are you depressed? Meet him! Did you experience anything unlucky?
Talk to him and sing a song with him. Yes, he is not just the owner of the SAKE shop. He is a singer, guitarist, and an artist of calligraphy and illustration with his distinctive style. Everyone calls him “Tacchan!” when they are lonely, need someone to talk to, and would like some sake of course! Tacchan always welcomes you with his warm universal big and happy heart wide open. It is worth visiting Murakami just to meet this guy. It will give you faith in humans again. Are you a tea master? OK, meet him. You’ll see how limited your mind was. Tacchan is amazing!
These three brothers are traditional salmon fishermen. The written record of their continued family profession dates back around 400 years, but it must be older. They use two wooden boats to scoop salmon with a small net held from both sides. They must work together in a team just like one person, and they do.
The fishing season is from October to the end of November. Sometimes, they have a lucky year with a lot of salmon, but other times it is the opposite. Still, they have kept doing it for a long time. The eldest brother, Ichiro is in his 80s. He is an energetic guy who loves 'shochu', distilled liquor. At the end of every fishing season, he mentions that he will not do it the next year. Then at the beginning of the next season, he declares that he will catch eight salmon on the first day!
They not only catch the salmon, but they also cook it and preserve it well. 'Kawani' is the tasty 'miso' flavored simmered salmon. Salmon is cut in round slices, then cooked in a big pot at the river side. It really is tasty.
There are enough varieties of dishes with salmon for two volumes of cooking book. Kimiko, Ichiro’s daughter, is an excellent cook of these salmon dishes. She might serve you 'yakitsuke', grilled and seasoned with sweetened soy sauce. Not only is it delicious, but it also lasts a long time. Another famous dish is the dried salmon, salted and hung under a lattice for a long time, until it has become like beef jerky. It is called 'sakabitashi'. If you have slices of this and sake, you are in heaven!
If you plan to visit Japan in autumn, add Murakami, Japan seaside town to your destinations. You can visit this family to join a big salmon party with them. It is super fun!
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