Castle➡Senami hot spring➡Salmon fishing(autumn)

Murakami will show you the real Japan without any heavy make-ups.

The dramatic sunset into the sea is well known.


Mr. Tatsuro Kudo “Tacchan”


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 have 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 he is lonely, need someone to talk, would like some sake of course. Tacchan always welcome you with his warm universal big and happy heart wide open. It is worth to visit Murakami for just meeting this guy. It gives you to believe in humans again. Are you a tea master? OK, meet him. You’ll see how limited your mind was. Tacchan is amazing.


Otaki family Salmon fishermen in Murakami, Niigata


Three brothers are traditional salmon fishermen. Written record dates back around 400 years, but it must be older. They use two wooden boats to scoop salmon by a small net from both sides. They must work just like one person in a team, and they do. The fishing season is from October to the end of November. Sometimes, they have lucky year with a lot of salmon, some other time is the opposite. Still they keep doing it for a long time. More than 70 years. The eldest brother, Ichiro is in his 80s. He is an energetic guy who loves Shochu, distilled liquor. At the end of the fishing season, he mentions that he would not do it next year. Then at the beginning of the next season, he declares that he will catch eight! salmon on the first day. Not only catching salmon, they 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 varieties of dishes with salmon various enough for two volumes of cooking book. Kimiko, Ichiro’s daughter is an excellent cook of these salmon dishes as the salmon fisherman’s family. Kimiko might serve you Yakitsuke, grilled and seasoned by sweetened soy sauce. Not only it is delicious, but it lasts long. Another famous dish is the dried salmon, salted and hang under the lattice for a long time, until it has become like a beef jerky. It is named as Sakabitashi. If you have slices of this and Sake, you are in heaven. 

When you plan to visit Japan in autumn, add Murakami, Japan seaside town as your destination. You will visit this family to join a big salmon party with them. It is super fun.