Due to the continued global spread of the COVID19 virus and the associated impact upon public health and safely in Japan, reservations for all tours and experience programs will be SUSPENDED until May 2020, or until the situation improves and relevant restrictions upon travel are lifted.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Tohoku as soon as possible. In the meantime, please stay safe and well!
~ Inoutbound Sendai Matsushima Inc.
3 to 4 hours
Everyday (except Sun)
Why so salty?
With a name like Shiogama 塩釜 (‘Shio’ (塩）= salt, ‘kama’ (釜）＝ cauldron/pot) it is no surprise that this small town in coastal Miyagi has a rather special relationship with salt. Whilst these days Shiogama is known for its local sake and delicious, plentiful seafood (it boasts the most sushi restaurants per capita in Japan), historically the town has also been known for its production of ‘moshio’ or ‘seaweed salt’.
Embark on a salty sojourn as you follow the story of salt making in Shiogama. Start the journey by discovering the ancient ties between salt and the Shinto religion. Visit a shrine with sacred salt cauldrons that house the Shinto god ‘Shiotsuchi-Oji’, who is said to have taught the local people how to obtain salt from sea-water, before making a prayer at the famous Shinto shrine.
Next, let your taste-buds do the traveling as you pair the umami-filled seaweed salt with local sake and Shiogama’s most well known local produce – fresh seafood!
Put the soy-sauce away and discover a new flavour sensations at one of the town’s most well-loved sushi restaurants and sake breweries.
Finish on a sweet note at Yabe-en tea house where a tea master will brew your favourite traditional green-tea blend with a modern twist!
Meet your guide in front of the ticket gates at Hon-Shiogama Station.
Begin the walking tour! Your guide will introduce you to the history of Shiogama as you walk through the town area.
Arrive at the mysterious ‘Okama-jinja’ shrine which houses ‘Shiotsuchioji’ , the deity of salt making, as well as four ancient salt pots (between 800 – 1000 years old) with mysterious future-predicting powers. The salt cauldrons have been named one of the ‘Three Great Miracles’ of Japan, for reasons that you’ll have to join the tour to find out… 😉
Next head to the famous Shiogama Shrine, the most important Shinto shrine in the entire Tohoku region.
Learn about the purifying role that salt plays in the Shinto religion and its various ceremonies before making a prayer to the salt deity and receiving your own amulet of lucky salt!
Call-in to local sake specialty store ‘Kumakyu’ for a tasting session and sake appreciation workshop!
Learn about what to look for when choosing between varieties of sake, and even try pairing sake with local ‘moshio’ seaweed salt produced in Shiogama!
There’s no such thing as too much sake!
Put your newfound sake appreciation skills to the test by tasting three different varieties of seasonal sake at local brewery ‘Urakasumi’.
After all that drinking, you’ll be ready for some lunch!
Head to one of the many local sushi restaurants for a feed of fresh seafood paired with (yep!) more local sake and (yep!) more local salt!
Put away the soy-sauce and try seasoning your favourite pieces of sushi with a pinch of local ‘moshio’ salt for a new flavour sensation.
Round off your salty exploration with a soothing cup of freshly brewed green tea at local tea shop, Yabe-en.
But this isn’t your average cup of tea!
Part teapot, part cocktail shaker…watch in awe as the tea master prepares your favourite blend with flare (literally) – a modern take on a traditional drink!
Pair with a delicious local sweet made with – you guessed it – moshio salt!
Tour ends back at Hon-Shiogama Station.