A Seasonal Tradition on Summer Nights: Hiburi Fishing in Maze
Region： Maze, Gero
During the short period from late August to early September, a traditional fish-catching method is practiced on the Maze River, a limpid stream running through the Maze area of Gero City. When darkness falls at the end of a long summer day, fishermen surprise sweetfish, or ayu, with torches, fires and sounds to drive them out of their resting places so they can be caught by nets. This fishing technique is known as hiburi-ryo. After an interruption due to various changes, the hiburi fishing technique, which used to be one of the seasonal traditions in the Maze area, was resuscitated by local residents in 2012.
Leisurely Boat Ride Down the River through the Geibikei Gorge, One of Japan’s Best 100 Landscapes
Geibikei Gorge, located in Iwate, Tohoku region, is surrounded by soaring cliffs around 100 meters high. The beauty of Geibikei’s scenery changes each season, and many tourists visit the area throughout the year. Why not relax here amid the impressive landscape, which is designated as one of the best 100 landscapes of Japan?
Trip to Savor Mochi, a Traditional Good-Luck Food from the Edo Period: Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi
Rice cake, or mochi, is an ancient but still popular Japanese food made of steamed sticky rice pounded in a large mortar into gruel. Sometimes, mochi forms a privileged relationship with local tradition. The Ichinoseki-Hiraizumi area in the Tohoku district is one such example. Here are some of the attractive features of rice cake dishes that are worth trying when you visit this area.
Mochitsuki and Mochi Honzen Experiences to Immerse Yourself in Mochi Gastronomy
Thump, thump, thump… This is the sound of steamed sticky rice pounded in a large mortar with a wooden mallet. With this pleasant sound, the rice rapidly turns into rice cakes, or mochi. It is fun to watch this visually-entertaining traditional Japanese practice of mochitsuki, but you can also experience it in the Ichinoseki-Hiraizumi area of the Tohoku district. Dubbed the “leading mochi producer in Japan” due to its wide variety of rice cake dishes, the area boasts a Rice Cake Gastronomy that dates back to the Edo period. Here, you can savor a broad range of rice cake dishes, as presented in the traditional mochi honzen, or a full-course ritual meal. Here is how you can obtain first-hand experience in Rice Cake Gastronomy typical of the Ichinoseki-Hiraizumi area.
World-Famous Gastronomy of Tsuruoka: Savoring Local Dishes with Local Ingredients
In December 2014, the city of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture was designated by UNESCO as the first Creative City of Gastronomy in Japan. Besides being one of the largest granaries in the country, Tsuruoka is blessed with a wide variety of seafood as it is located on the Japan Sea coast. This area continues to delight the palates of food connoisseurs across the globe. The rich ingredients available here lend themselves to various preparations including local, as well as Italian dishes with distinctive features. The following is a brief outline of Tsuruoka, a gastronomical paradise drawing worldwide acclaim.
Savor Buckwheat-Rice Porridge, the Local Cuisine of Nishi-Awa, and Learn the History behind it
If it is your first visit here, you will surely be amazed by the spectacular views of lush mountains with local houses and agricultural fields nestled peacefully on the steep mountainsides. This is Nishi-Awa, which is often called “the hidden place of Japan.” Let us explain the distinctive local cuisine of Nishi-Awa, buckwheat (soba in Japanese) rice porridge, which originated in this mountain village. This local specialty is considered to be closely connected with a historically significant event in Japan.
Drive around Farming Villages in the Tokachi Plain for the Beautiful Landscape of Farms like a Patchwork Quilt
Clear air in a perfect blue sky, lush fields, and straight roads that seem to go on forever. All of them give a sense of openness to the landscape of Tokachi. Tokachi is the largest farming area in Hokkaido, accounting for about 12% of the total agricultural land in Japan. This vast, open land of Tokachi offers a wide variety of wonderful experiences, especially for those who love nature and driving.
Experience the Nature and History of the Nishiawa Area at the Thrilling Kazura Bridges
This is a bridge that is sure to scare you. A squeaking sound follows each of your footsteps, making you feel weak at the knees and sweat with fear. This thrilling experience awaits you at kazura bridges in Nishiawa, Tokushima Prefecture. Woven with kazura, or vine species, the bridge arouses your curiosity not only with its dramatic appearance, but also because of its close ties with local history.
The Finest Ayu Cuisine, using Fish from One of the Most Beautiful Clear Streams in Japan
Region： Maze, Gero
Have you ever heard of sweetfish, or ayu in Japanese, which is a very popular Japanese dish? Sweetfish is a delicious fish that you must try when visiting Japan, though there are few places remaining where you can eat it. Wild sweetfish is precious as it can thrive only in clean, clear streams. The Maze region in Gero is one such place where you can taste top-quality wild sweetfish. Would you like to enjoy rich Japanese food culture in Maze?
Guided Picnic Tour at a Farm! Harvest Seasonal Local Vegetables of Tokachi and Taste Them Outside in the Fields
"Itadakimasu!" This is a very common phrase to say in Japan before starting to eat, to express one’s appreciation for the foods received. However, it is unusual to say “Itadakimasu” in the middle of a farming field. The “Tokachi Farm Picnic” tour offers you such an extraordinary experience. Would you like to pick your own vegetables and eat them fresh while still outside?
Scenic Mountain Villages spread over a Height of 400 meters – an Ethereal World like the “Peach Blossom Spring”
Have you ever heard of "Peach Blossom Spring”? It refers to a peaceful and fertile land filled with blossoming peach trees like utopia, described in the Chinese fable "Peach Blossom Spring". Are there such places in Japan too? One such place can be found in Nishi-Awa in Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan. Let’s take a look at the ethereal world of Nishi-Awa where you can enjoy unique views of mountain villages spread over a height of some 400 meters.
Enjoy the luxury experience of raclette cheese made with moor hot-spring water poured over Tokachi-grown ingredients
In Hokkaido, located at the northernmost tip of Japan, there is a unique local cheese made with hot-spring water. The name of the cheese is Tokachi Raclette Cheese Moor Wash, which is washed-rind cheese. Once you scrape off the bubbling, melted top layer of the raclette cheese onto fresh potatoes and other local vegetables, a delicious and luxury gourmet experience will amaze you! Let us explain the raclette cheese, which you must try when vising the Tokachi area.