A TRAIN CROSSES A BRIDGE ON THE AKITA NAIRIKU LINE
Lake Towada is surrounded by exceptionally beautiful foliage in spring and autumn. To see this beautiful unspoiled scenery, take the Akita Nairiku Line through the mountains on a journey into the past.
Near Ishinomaki are remote islands including Kinkasan, one of the three sacred sites of nothern Japan, where the roaming deer are considered messengers of the gods. Another is Tashirojima, colloquially called ‘cat island’ because of the many cats living there.
Genbikei Gorge, a National Monument
The dynamic scenery created by river erosion, such as the scenic and natural monument Genbikei Gorge, offers a wealth of attractions for the traveller.
In winter, there is an ‘Ice Fall Tour’ where the frozen waterfalls are lit up, and various ‘water activities’ are available on Lake Towada.
Lake Towada broke down, and the Oirase Gorge was created. There are 14 waterfalls in the mountain stream that continues for 14km, and about 300 kinds of moss inhabit the area.
Cooked rice from the fertile Odate Basin is pounded and formed into tubes. The tubes are placed on an Akita cedar skewer and cooked next to a charcoal fire. One traditional way to eat kiritampo is to brush it with a miso paste made with soybeans and rice. Hotpot made with kiritampo is also very popular. The meat of high-quality Hinai Jidori chickens and locally grown vegetables are added to a broth made with Hinai Jidori chicken bones for a hot, hearty meal.
Hoya (ascidians) zoni is a traditional home-cooked dish enjoyed around the Ishinomaki area. It’s a unique zoni made with dashi stock of dried hoya, locally sourced seafood and vegetables. Lately, it has become more than just a home-cooked dish and some local restaurants have started serving them as well. Note: Zoni, a Japanese soup with vegetables and fish, is a ceremonial dish prepared in various ways depending on the region. It is often cooked and served at home on New Year’s Day.
HINAI JIDORI CHICKEN OYAKODON
The Hinai Jidori chicken is a crossbreed between the Hinai chicken and the Rhode Island Red and is designated as a natural monument. Hinai Jidori chickens are raised for more than three times longer than ordinary broilers and are one of the three most important chickens in Japan. This Oyako-don(Chicken and Egg over rice) is made using this Hinai Jidori.
Kinka saba is a brand of Japanese chub mackerel fished off the coast of Kinkasan, Ishinomaki. The best season for Kinka saba is between fall and winter. Though it’s high in fat, the aftertaste is pure umami. The kinka saba don’t swim away from the coast of Kinkasan, where they can feed off on quality plankton.