A city of ramen, sake, crafts, and traditional Japanese storehouses converted into shops

Kitakata, located in Fukushima Prefecture, is a city that is blessed with an abundance of water and rice. This combination has given rise to two of its most famous attractions – ramen and sake. With over 100 ramen shops and excellent local breweries, Kitakata has become a haven for food and drink enthusiasts.

One of the most interesting aspects of Kitakata is its traditional Japanese storehouses, known as kura. These storehouses, many of which are over 100 years old, have been converted into shops, inns, breweries, and specialty stores. They are a testament to the city’s rich history and culture.

To get to Kitakata, you can take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Koriyama, and then transfer to the JR Banetsu-saisen rapid service train. The journey is convenient and comfortable, allowing you to enjoy the scenic views along the way.

Once you arrive in Kitakata, getting around town is easy. The town’s main attractions, including the kura and ramen shops, are all within walking distance of the train station. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle for the day and explore the city at your own pace. Another option is to take the Kitakata Circuit Bus, which takes you to all the major shopping and sightseeing spots in the city.

One of the highlights of Kitakata is the city center, where you can find a concentration of kura. These traditional storehouses have been beautifully preserved and repurposed into various establishments. Walking around the city center feels like stepping back in time, as you admire the architectural beauty of these buildings.

For food lovers, Kitakata offers a unique culinary experience with its famous ramen. The city is known for its thick, flat, curly noodles served in a rich pork and niboshi broth. Each ramen shop has its own interpretation of the dish, making it a delight to explore and taste different variations. The locals even eat ramen for breakfast, a testament to the city’s love for this iconic dish.

In addition to ramen, Kitakata is also renowned for its sake. With its rich rice production and quality, the region has become a hub for sake breweries. Many of these breweries offer tours and sake-tasting opportunities, allowing visitors to learn about the brewing process and sample different varieties of sake. Some breweries require booking in advance, so it’s worth checking their availability before visiting.

Aside from food and drink, Kitakata is also known for its arts and crafts. The city has a long history of producing lacquerware and woodwork using paulownia wood. Visitors can participate in workshops to try their hand at traditional crafts and foods, such as stencil dyeing, toasted rice crackers, and kinako nejiri, a traditional candy.

To fully immerse yourself in the culture and history of Kitakata, a visit to Kitakata Kura no Sato is a must. This museum showcases culturally and historically important buildings from the Edo and Meiji eras, including residences of prominent merchant families. It provides a deeper understanding of the city’s heritage and traditions.

In conclusion, Kitakata is a city that offers a unique blend of culinary delights, cultural experiences, and historical richness. From its famous ramen and sake to its beautifully preserved storehouses and traditional crafts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a history buff, or an art lover, Kitakata is a destination that will leave a lasting impression. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to discover the wonders of this charming city.

Address And Maps Location:

Kitakata-shi, Fukushima-ken

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