Striving to preserve its historical past together with their most beloved produce, soy sauce, Yuasa town is a place like no other. Unlike any other museum you might visit, Yuasa has turned their whole town in a walk-through museum, with buildings on the street conserved in their original state. Be sure to look all around you when you visit here, since many buildings have exhibition cases attached to their outer walls, displaying old items that would’ve been used in ancient Japan. You can also enter some of these houses, the most notable being an old bath house. You can experience the authentic public bath style here.
The old bath house also connects to a smaller house, which has an array of objects, from an old television to a display of Japanese currency throughout the past centuries. Of course, you can’t leave Yuasa without visiting the main attraction - the Soy Sauce Museum. This museum is also a functioning manufacturing company, which produces a limited amount of soy sauce per year. Because of this limited amount, the soy sauce is said to be one of the tastiest and best quality food products in the market.
Make sure to explore the gift shop as well, where you can taste test all the different varieties of soy sauce and purchase some very unique gifts to take home. Before you continue your journey, why not take a break in the museum cafe? This cafe, like the rest of the town, has its own unique charm - soy sauce ice cream! Although the two flavors may not sound like a good combination, it’s actually an incredibly tasty dessert. Similar to salted caramel, the soy sauce ice cream has a perfect balance between sweet and salty. Don’t believe me? Just try for yourself! For more information about Yuasa town, check out their official website here. (English)
Down at the southernmost tip of Honshu Island, you can find the small coastal town of Kushimoto. Boasting clear bright skies which project a deep blue onto the sea water, you'll come face to face with the iconic line of standing stones breaking up out of the water. The Hashigui-iwa rock formation is a must see when you’re in Kushimoto. These naturally formed standing rocks create a trail to a small island where a shrine has been built. The rocks are supposedly a ‘bridge’ between the small island and the mainland, with the name ‘hashi’ meaning bridge. When the tide is out you can walk from the harbor over to the shrine which is a great way to explore the many rock pools and see if you can spot some of the sea creatures which live there.
There is also a great observation tower in Cape Shionomisaki offers you a 360-degree view of both mountains and sea. The observation tower houses a restaurant, souvenir shop and a small exhibition about the history of the area. If you feel peckish while in the area, make a point of trying out some of the local specialties. Seafood is of course high on the list of things to try, with Shionomisaki being famous for bonito fish dishes. For more information about Kushimoto, check out their official website here. (English)
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Irish photographer based in Kichijoji, Tokyo, since Feb. 2018. Just writing about my daily adventures and crazy discoveries in Japan. You'll usually find me behind the counter working in my local soba shop or curled up in a cafe with a nice coffee as I work on my latest article.