May ~ Oct

~ URATO LOCALHOOD STORY ~ Chapter Sabusawa: Origin of Sake

Follow the story of Urakasumi Junmai Ginjo 'Sabusawa' from rice-field to table!


Follow the story of Urakasumi Sake Brewery’s Junmai Ginjo ‘Sabusawa’. 

The story begins in Shiogama City, where you will learn about the history of sake itself at 1200 year old Shiogama Shrine, and discover the deep connections between the sake brewery and local community as you visit the brewery itself and meet with the kurabito! 

With this background fresh in your mind, journey to the stunning Urato Islands in Matsushima Bay, where you will spend two days living like a local, side by side with the farmers who produce the sake rice! Experience what it is like to live on a rural island in Japan – both it’s blessings and hardships –  and lend your own time and two hands to support the farmers and local community!Be rewarded with warm hospitality, new experiences and new connections with the locals, who will make you feel right at home! 

Finish the journey back on the mainland, and ‘Kampai’ with a glass of ‘Sabusawa’ paired with a meal of fresh local produce  as you recall the faces of the ‘storytellers’ you’ve met along the journey of sake, from rice-field to table! 


What’s Included

・Ferry fare between Marine Gate Shiogama and the Urato Islands
・Activity guide fee
・Meals (1 BF, 2 L, 2 D)
・Experience fee
・Local souvenir
*3% of tour cost will be donated towards environmental conservation activities on the Urato Islands*

Not included

・Transport to/from meet/end point
・Any extra meals/drinks
・Anything not included in the above included list.



Day One

Meet your guide at JR Hon-Shiogama Station. 

Visit the 1200 year old Shiogama Shrine and participate in a ‘Seishiki Sanpai’ blessing ceremony. Learn about origin of sake, the relationship between sake & Shinto religion, as well as relationship between Shiogama Shrine and Urakasumi Sake Brewery.

Visit Urakasumi Sake Brewery: 

Take a short brewery tour, learning not just about the sake making process but the history and story of the brewery, including their support for Shiogama community (including Urato Islands).

Jump aboard the Urato Islands Ferry bound for Hojima. 

Along the way, the ferry will stop at Katsurashima Island, Nonoshima Island, Ishihama Wharf and Sabusawa Island. Take in views of the local aquaculture – oysters, nori and wakame – as you pass through Matsushima Bay, and enjoy the scenes of island life as you watch locals and visitors ‘hop’ between the islands.

Arrive at Sabusawa island, where your guide, Togawa-san, will be waiting for you with a brilliant white smile beaming from his sun-tanned face! 

Before exploring the island, sit down to some ‘shima-meshi’ (island food) prepared by Togawa-san’s wife Eiko-san! 

Return to ‘Togawa-ya’, the cosy minshuku (guesthouse) run by Togawa-san and his wife, Eiko-san. Tuck-in to a delcious meal featuring fresh ingredients from the land and sea of Urato Islands. Be blown away by the generous hospitality as Eiko-san tells you it’s ‘nothing much’ ! 

Spend the afternoon exploring the island with Togawa-san, discovering hidden spots that only a local would know as you learn about the fascinating history and culture of the Urato Islands. 

Drop-by Togawa-san’s field to pick some fresh veggies to eat with dinner!  

Settle in for the evening and enjoy the quiet of island life. Embrace the serenity of ‘island time’ and watch the sun go down over Matsushima Bay. 

Day Two

Awaken to another beautiful day on the islands! Fuelled-up on a breakfast on more island blessings, it’s time to show your gratitude and get to work on the farm!

There are few young hands on the islands to support the local agricultural and fisheries industries. Use your visit to make a difference by providing support to the Togawa’s with your time and your own two hands. 

Depending on the time of your visit, activities can include rice-planting (May), rice-harvesting (Oct) or other farmwork. Experience for yourself the hardwork and passion that goes into producing each grain of rice, the origin of Urakasumi’s ‘Sabusawa’ Junmai Ginjo.

Take a break at one of Togawa-san’s favourite scenic spots, Maehama Beach, with a simple lunch of onigiri rice-balls made from the same sasanishiki rice! 

After cleaning up and saying goodbye to the Togawa’s, return to the mainland and celebrate your hardwork with a delicious pairing dinner at Chez Nous, featuring local ingredients paired with several varieties of Urakasumi sake (including Junmai Ginjo ‘Sabusawa’).

Tour ends back at JR Hon-Shiogama Station (5 mins walk from Chez Nous).


Shiogama Marine Gate
One night, Two days
2 - 8 persons
From 28200 JPY
Sign-up Deadline
Reservation accepted one month prior to tour date
Cancellation Policy
• Cancelled more than 21 days prior to departure: Zero fees.
• Cancelled between 20 and 8 days prior to departure: 20% of the Tour
• Cancelled between 7 days and 48 hours prior to departure: 30% of the
Tour Price.
• Cancelled between 48 and 24 hours prior to departure :40% of the Tour
• Cancelled within 24 hours of departure: 50% of the Tour Price.
• Cancelled on the day of departure: 100% of the Tour Price.
• *No refunds will be given after the tour has commenced.*
If the minimum number of participants is not met the event will be cancelled.


Basic Plan

Price From 28200 JPY

Are you looking for a ‘deeper’ kind of travel?

At Tohoku ‘Local Secret’ Tours we can also suggest custom-made itineraries to meet your travel needs!
You want to experience what’s unique to Tohoku. You want to visit the places where the locals go; the places not listed in guidebooks! You want to meet and interact with local people. You want to take your time exploring Tohoku so you need a guide, or perhaps an English-speaking driver...
...whatever you need for your Tohoku travel, we have it covered!
Feel free to contact us with any inquiries. We will respond within two business days after receiving your message.

Book now!

From 28200 JPY

Book now!