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Obama, starting point of the Sabakaido (Mackerel Highway)

Region:

Once a part of Miketsu Province, Obama was obligated to send salt and marine products to the imperial court in Kyoto. The starting point of the “Mackerel Highway,” Obama thus played a key role in developing the culinary traditions of Kyoto. To this day, those culinary traditions are maintained as part of a culture of gratitude for the blessings of nature.

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Regional foods: Pickled mackerel

Pickled mackerel, known as saba no heshiko, is made by fermenting fresh mackerel in salt and rice bran for close to a year. This traditional method of preservation was used after an especially successful catch to store the excess mackerel before it spoiled. With eight times as much glutamic acid as fresh mackerel, pickled mackerel has a unique savory flavor filled with umami. You may find yourself so addicted to this delectable pickle, you ask for second and third helpings of rice to accompany it in the Japanese style!

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Regional foods: Mackerel Sushi

There are many ways to prepare the abundant seafood of Wakasa Bay to best bring out its natural flavors. Mackerel narezushi made with pickled mackerel is said to have been the forerunner of modern sushi such as mackerel sushi, a standard dish that no festival in Obama or Kyoto would be complete without. Wakasa Obama kodai sasazuke is prepared by pickling small sea bream fillets with salt and vinegar in a small cedar cask. Another specialty of the area is Wakasa grilled tilefish, a highly sought-after fish with tender meat and soft scales.

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Scenery: Sotomo Arch

The Sotomo Caves and Cliffs boast six kilometers of unusual rock formations, rock tunnels, and scenic cliffs around Wakasa Bay. This picturesque spot was chosen by American news channel CNN as one of the most beautiful places in Japan. The rice terraces of Tagarasu create a rustic scene surrounded by the sea and mountains. At every turn, the coastline offers new panoramas of natural beauty.

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Activities: Fisherman Experience

Harvest wakame seaweed, catch octopuses with a trap net, or go fishing for sea bream and clean and eat it yourself. You can also learn how to make your own set of chopsticks or participate in a local cooking workshop. There are lots of things to do and learn that will give you a new appreciation for life in a fishing village and the blessings of Wakasa Bay.

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Sightseeing route: Wakasahime Jinja Shrine

Sometimes called “Nara by the Sea,” Obama has many shrines and temples on par with National Treasures. In parts of Sancho-machi, where Kyoto culture still runs deep, you can enjoy entertainment with geisha, or “geiko” as they are called in Kyoto. The Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum has various exhibits about Japanese food culture and a cooking workshop in the on-site kitchen which comes highly recommended.

Inquiries

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Name WAKASA OBAMA TOURISM ASSOCIATION
URL http://www.wakasa-obama.jp/