an overnight stay at an auberge in Hachmantai Vol.1
This council, using the 2018 agricultural, mountain and fishing district promotion grant (a farm stay promotion measure), have implemented farm stay monitor tours geared toward inbound tourism, with the goal of branding food and agricultural products through activity programs. About 20 people participated in the tours including specialists, foreign monitors, council members, and normal tourists.
We started with a tour of the Washinoo sake brewery, located at the foot of Mt. Iwate, and benefiting from the blessings of the rich natural environment. We then visited a mushroom cultivating facility that uses geothermal heat. After this, the owner of Washinoo gave a fascinating lecture followed by a tasting on the process of tamawari, or blending water with sake. This was done by blending pure water filtered down to the base of Mt. Iwate at the Kanazawa Spring with the genshu sake.
Then at dinner we feasted on delicious local food from Hachimantai, and the next day we enjoyed a snowshoe hike in the mountains.
Through this 2-day overnight tour we verified the importance of giving foreign tourists an understanding of the blessings of the mountains and farmland in Hachimantai.
The editor-in-chief of the expat magazine, Tokyo Weekender came in person. The 3/27 web edition of the Tokyo Weekender will feature her article about the appeal of Hachimantai.
With that, here is a description of the tour itself.
-Travel Experience in Northern Japan for 1 night and 2 days traveling by bus-
“An in-depth experience of Washinoo sake, tour of the brewery and an overnight stay at an auberge in Hachmantai.”
- Held from February 22(Sat) – 23(Sun) 2019
2/22/2019 (Fri) – Day 1
Departed from Morioka Station (Chartered bus)
Tour of Washinoo brewery
After touring the brewery and learning about the process of making sake, we observed a special exhibition of various exquisite vessels for drinking sake, and how they affect the flavor. Then ate handmade soba noodles and tasted Washinoo “amazake” in the main building.
Sawaguchi Liquor Store
At this liquor store that specializes in Washinoo, We ate a special Hachimantai Salmon bento lunch, and tasted 3 varieties of Washinoo sake.
Geofarm Hachimantai Tour
Toured this ecologically sustainable Geofarm that works together with Washinoo, located in a stunningly beautiful area that houses dozens of horses at the base of Mt. Iwate. It was also the site of a JR East Japan commercial called, “Go to Tohoku. Forming bonds.”
Kanazawa Spring and Trout Breeding Facility Tour
Selected as one of the 100 best waters in Japan. The roar of the spring water gushing upward surrounded by snow was a highlight. You can buy trout raised at the Kanazawa Spring at the next-door Iwate Surface Aquaculture Fishery Cooperative.
Arrived at Hachimantai Mountain Hotel (Check-in)
Washinoo Tamawari Activity
In this activity we learned about the art of “Tamawari” – mixing the pure underground water from Mt. Iwate with the fresh Washinoo genshu sake to create various flavors of sake under the tutelage of the owner of Washinoo.
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sake, hors d’oeuvres, and beautiful sake cups – Dinner
We enjoyed a multiple-course feast made from the fresh vegetables, meat, and fish of Hachimantai while listening to explanations and pairing suggestions of sake with dishes from the owner of Washinoo.
2/23/2019 (Sat) – Day 2
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Snowshoe tour through the Iwate Prefectural Citizen’s Forest (Special optional tour)