Discover Murakami, Niigata with Ocean Flavours

Various salmon dishes (grilled with salt, pickled in sake lees or smoked)
Various salmon dishes (grilled with salt, pickled in sake lees or smoked)


Autumn is full of activities in Tohoku! It is the time of year when locals are busy preserving food for the long, harsh winter ahead, and visitors are welcome to have a taste during this culinary tradition. Tsuruoka city’s Yura, the biggest fishing port in Yamagata Prefecture, has developed many ways to preserve its great salmon catches, one of which is covering the fish in distillers’ grains and miso paste. Besides eating it raw and with sushi, you can also grill it with salt, marinate it in soy sauce or boil it in sweet Japanese sauce.



Salmon hanging from the eaves to expose them to the cold sea breeze (Murakami, Niigata ken)
Salmon hanging from the eaves to expose them to the cold sea breeze (Murakami, Niigata ken)





An experienced cook busy salting (Murakami, Niigata ken)
An experienced cook busy salting (Murakami, Niigata ken)





Niigata’s Murakami city has enjoyed fame for its salmon cuisine since the Edo period (1603-1867). It is customary to hang salt-preserved salmon from the eaves of houses in early December. Gusts of cold winter wind dry off the moisture in the salted salmon, giving it a rich, sophisticated texture. The sight of thousands of salmon hanging from traditional Japanese houses in winter is as fascinating as it can get!

View of the Sea of Japan during autumn from Oga Peninsula
View of the Sea of Japan during autumn from Oga Peninsula


Japanese sandfish is also a common winter treat. The fish also referred to as “God fish” on the Oga Peninsula, swims to Akita Prefecture for spawning in December. Salt-preserved Japanese sandfish(Hatahata) is an important source of protein during winter. People in Akita grill it with salt, cook it in a hot pot and eat it with seaweed paper. Trying this treat is a must when you visit Tohoku!

Murakami: 1-hr ride from Niigata Station (JR Jôetsu Shinkansen) until Murakami Station (JR Uetsu Line)



Fish market in Sakata
Fish market in Sakata





Sailfin sandfish dish
Sailfin sandfish dish





HOT ENTRIES

Take A Day Trip Back In Time At Kawagoe
Kawagoe city makes for a pleasant day trip back in time - after all, it is known to the locals as...
Japan`s World Heritage Sites: Monuments of Ancient Kyoto
Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto: A treasury of temples and shrines With so many gems gathere...
Japan`s World Heritage Sites: Kumano Pilgrimage Route
The World's Most Picturesque Pilgrimage If you take just one pilgrimage - or perhaps just a long...

CATEGORY RANKING

Spicy Ramen Walker: Shibuya
WAttention Tokyo’s editor Tor Ching Li went to three popular ramen restaurants and demanded the s...
Yamagata Adventure (3) – Summer Sweets Hunting
Tendo-City is not only famous for its delicious cherries and Shogi (Japanese chess) production, b...
ICHIRAN New Branch Opened in Asakusa
The best ramen with the best company Fukuoka based ramen shop ICHIRAN, a favorite of many ...