3-Day/2-Night Trip

Winter

Day.1

Train Suite Shiki-shima departs from Ueno Station.

Station staff see you off as your train departs.
  • [Lunch] onboard the train

Lunch prepared by chef Kazunori Otowa of Otowa Restaurant (Utsunomiya)

  • Chef Kazunori Otowa serves powerful French cuisine that is firmly rooted in Utsunomiya, using local ingredients and showcasing the distinctive flavors produced by the climate and topography of this terroir.
  • Savor the Terroir of Tochigi with French Cuisine

    For me the most important thing is to express the ingredients and natural features of the region.
    When I was training at "Alain Chapel" in the village Mionnay on the outskirts of Lyon, I was struck at how much pride the local people took in their hometown.
    That's when I decided I wanted to open a restaurant in my own hometown of Utsunomiya.
    Using ingredients such as Rainbow trout, Tochigi beef and local vegetables, I’ve built up my own expression of the region.
    It’s been 35 years since I put down roots in Utsunomiya.
    To culminate this time, I want to set a table on Train Suite Shiki-shima that expresses the region of Tochigi, and am generating ideas to that end.
  • Kazunori Otowa
    Hajime Otowa
    So Otowa Otowa Restaurant
    Tochigi

Arrive at Kitakami Station.

  • [Stopover for sightseeing]
    Tono

Many folktales have been handed down through the generations in Tono, including stories about kappa (water sprites that resemble humanoid turtles) and zashiki-warashi (mischievous childlike sprites that bring good fortune to the homes they haunt). Dances of prayer and exorcism performed by Shugendo monks in the surrounding mountains live on in the form of kagura (ancient Shinto music and dance), which is still passed down via the preservation groups that exist in each of the town’s districts. Kagura has been treasured and passed down through the ages by the dwellers of mountain villages. Experience a stirring performance at close hand in Tonoza, a theater located in the grounds of Tono Monogatari-no-Yakata Museum.

  • Hirosaki / Nishimeya Trip

    [Dinner] outside the train

    • [Dinner] outside the train

    Shunsai Wada

    • Japanese cuisine that is a visual and flavorsome delight, created from seasonal ingredients utilizing traditional Japanese techniques.
      * This dinner is for passengers who selected the Hirosaki and Nishimeya excursion on Day 2.


      Daichi Wada Shunsai Wada
      Tono, Iwate
  • Goshogawara / Hirosaki Trip

    [Dinner] outside the train

    • [Dinner] outside the train

    Hitsujimaru Michi

    • This restaurant is famous for its ‘Genghis Khan’ (mutton barbecue), a Tono specialty. Enjoy an extravagant range of ingredients sourced primarily from the Iwate region.
      * This dinner is for passengers who selected the Goshogawara and Hirosaki excursion on Day 2.


      Hitsujimaru Michi
      Tono, Iwate

Depart Tōno Station.

  • [Overnight] on Train Suite Shiki-shima

Cocktail Hour

Enjoy a drink at Lounge Komorebi in Car 5.
Relax with a drink while watching the evening scenery from the train window.
Lounge Komorebi in Car 5 is open to guests at all times apart from during meal service. [For the foreseeable future, Lounge Komorebi will be closed from 24:00 to 05:00 as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).]

Day.2

  • [Breakfast] onboard the train

Breakfast prepared by chef Hirotatsu Shinohara of Ryotei Komaryu (Morioka)

  • Breakfast featuring seasonal foods and local ceramics from Iwate Prefecture

    You'll be served a traditional breakfast from a restaurant with a history of over 60 years, dating back to its opening by Komaryu, one of the first Morioka geigi performers.
    Both the ingredients and the ceramic dishes are from Iwate Prefecture so that Train Suite Shiki-shima passengers can enjoy the unique hospitality of Morioka, Iwate. The ozen dishes, rice bowl and soup bowl are made with Johoji lacquer, and the ceramic dishes are made from Kokuji-yaki ceramics.
    Your breakfast will also include seasonal seafood from the Sanriku coast and Kiniro no Kaze (Golden Breeze) rice, an Iwate luxury rice that made a very recent debut in 2017.
    Your meal will pack a variety of features of Iwate dining culture into a short time.
  • Hirotatsu Shinohara Ryotei Komaryu
    Morioka, Iwate

Arrive at Aomori Station.

  • Hirosaki / Nishimeya Trip

    • [Stopover for sightseeing]
      Hirosaki / Nishimeya Trip

    Hirosaki apples

    • Aomori Prefecture boasts the highest apple production in Japan, and Hirosaki is Japan’s top apple producer. In this area with its views of Mount Iwaki and expanses of apple orchards, we will explore the history of Aomori and its apples, tracing the roots of its apple farming and looking at the entire process, from production to harvest, and identifying its distinctive features.
      There will be a special guided tour of the Kawahigashi Apple Center, which boasts the finest integrated fruit sorting facilities in Japan. The apples that have been nurtured by farmers over the course of a year are brought here to be sorted, boxed and shipped for delivery.


    Lunch prepared by Ken Harata of Trattoria LIPAGIO

    • Enjoy Italian cuisine in Hirosaki that brings out the very best in ingredients such as Aomori-grown vegetables.

    • Ken Harata Trattoria LIPAGIO
      Hirosaki, Aomori

    BUNACO workshop

    • BUNACO is branded woodware unique to Aomori Prefecture that is created by coiling thin strips of beechwood. Each item is carefully crafted by hand and has a delightful natural feel to it. Observe the artisans at work in an atelier housed in a former elementary school in Nishimeya and try your hand at creating your very own BUNACO woodware.


  • Goshogawara / Hirosaki Trip

    • [Stopover for sightseeing]
      Goshogawara / Hirosaki Trip

    Shayokan - Osamu Dazai Memorial Hall

    • This spacious Meiji Era residence was the childhood home of the great novelist Osamu Dazai. He was the sixth son of one of Aomori’s biggest landowners, and we can gain a sense of his literary roots when we visit this house where he passed his early childhood.


    Board Tsugaru Railway Potbelly Stove Train

    • The fabled “stove trains” of the Tsugaru winter have old-fashioned potbelly stoves installed in the carriages. Relax and enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of this journey on a rural line.


    Lunch prepared by Hitoshi Narumi of Oryouri Narumi

    • Savor exquisitely presented seasonal tea ceremony style dishes that are a delight to the eyes and the palate, served in a restored Edo Era storehouse.

    • Hitoshi Narumi Oryouri Narumi,
      Hirosaki, Aomori

    Tsugaru handicraft workshop in the Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art (Tsugaru kogin-zashi, Wanimokko)

    • The Yoshino-cho brick warehouse has been put to various uses over the years; for example, it was once a cider factory. Some of its bricks were left in their original state and used in the Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art, opened in 2020. It is in this building that you can enjoy a Tsugaru handicraft workshop. You can choose between a Tsugaru kogin-zashi (decorative reinforcement stitching) workshop held by Hirosaki Kogin Laboratory, and a workshop held by an artisan from Wanimokko, an atelier that creates handmade wooden items from Aomori’s plentiful supply of timber. (You will be asked to make your choice prior to departure.)

      The Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art

      Tsugaru kogin-zashi

      Wanimokko

Depart Hirosaki Station.

  • [Dinner] onboard the train - [Overnight] on Train Suite Shiki-shima

Dinner prepared by Train Suite Shiki-shima executive chef Shigeru Sato

  • The dinner menu is arranged by executive chef Shigeru Sato.
    The onboard meal is a special experience and truly something to look forward to.
  • Succeeding cuisine and numerous considerations on Train Suite Shiki-shima, which have been built up by the supervisors, Nakamura and Iwasaki, I will create meals of imaginative narrativity, with great attention to the ingredients and a culture unique to each area.
    I am from Akita in northeastern Japan, which means that I have such a commitment, and always do my very best to highlight the most attractive points of each area through my cuisine.
    I am very much looking forward to welcoming the guests to Train Suite Shiki-shima.
  • Shigeru SatoExecutive chef of Train Suite Shiki-shima

Cocktail Hour

Enjoy a drink at Lounge Komorebi in Car 5.
Relax with a drink while watching the evening scenery from the train window. Lounge Komorebi in Car 5 is open to guests at all times apart from during meal service. [For the foreseeable future, Lounge Komorebi will be closed from 24:00 to 05:00 as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).]

Day.3

  • [Breakfast] onboard the train

Breakfast prepared by Train Suite Shiki-shima executive chef Shigeru Sato

  • A breakfast worthy of the final day of your trip, prepared by Train Suite Shiki-shima executive chef Shigeru Sato. Relax and enjoy this special morning.

Arrive at Matsushima Station.

  • [Stopover for sightseeing]
    Matsushima

Zuiganji Temple

  • Completed in 1609 after five years of work at the behest of Date Masamune, Zuiganji is also the family temple of the Date clan. The refined Momoyama style and imposing construction give a real sense of the Ōshu ruler’s majesty. There are still buildings in the temple grounds that date back to that time, including the Hondo (Main Hall), built in the shoin-zukuri style and with a tiled, gabled roof. This building has been designated a National Treasure of Japan.

Matsushima Bay cruise

  • Matsushima is one of the famed Three Scenic Views of Japan. The bay is dotted with around 260 islands, large and small, offering an unparalleled series of scenic vistas. An exclusive cruise boat has been chartered especially for Train Suite Shiki-shima passengers to tour the bay in the clear morning air. The changing seasons always create scenes of beauty in Matsushima, but the winter scenery is particularly exquisite.

Depart Matsushima Station.

  • [Lunch] onboard the train

Lunch of Sushi prepared by Miyagi Sushi Masters

  • One of the leading fishing harbors in Japan, freshly caught fish are plentiful in Shiogama. Chefs from three sushi restaurants in Shiogama Sushi Kaido (Sushi Shirahata, Kameki-Sushi, and Sushitetsu) will board the train in succession to make sushi for you.
  • Delectable seasonal fish by Shiogama Port

    Shiogama in Miyagi Prefecture is a harbor town where fresh seafood such as inshore tuna is landed at Shiogama Port.It is also famous for its large number of excellent sushi restaurants.The chefs of three of those sushi restaurants will work in turn on Train Suite Shiki-shima, serving sushi expertly made in a traditional style that brings out the full flavor of the ingredients.

    Sushi Shirahata (pictured left):
    Also renowned for its seasonal sides.
    Taste the four seasons of Shiogama.

    Kamekizushi (pictured center):
    A long-standing 90-year-old restaurant.
    With generations of experience, their skills are undeniable.

    Sushi Tetsu (pictured right):
    With colorful sushi and sides artfully arranged on your plate, your meal will please your taste buds and your eyes alike.

  • [Left]
    Sushi Shirahata
    Kunitomo Shirahata

    [Center]
    Kameki Sushi
    Masahiro Hoshi

    [Right]
    Sushitetsu
    Taizo Shirahata Shiogama Sushi Kaido
    Shiogama, Miyagi

Arrive at Ueno Station.

Farewell party will be held in “Prologue Shiki-shima” after arrival at Ueno Station.
Enjoy the company of the train crew and your fellow travelers one final time, while reflecting on a wonderful time spent aboard Train Suite Shiki-shima.
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Train Suite Shiki-shima