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Fruitful trip to Niigata & Nagano



Sado Island (Sadogashima) is the largest island in the Sea of Japan. It is famous for its historical sites and agricultural heritage. Besides its old streets, traditional culture and ancient landscapes, I also experienced a tarai-bune (also called tub-turned boat) ride at Sado Island. I first saw tarai-bune in the famous Ghibli anime, Spirited Away, and finally I get to experience it in real life! Awesome!

Speaking of food in Niigata, you’re not going to miss the delicious rice here! Due to the combination of great natural resources, weather and craftsmen, Niigata is able to produce its tastiest rice (Koshihikari) and sake to become highly popular brand in the global market. I was surprised to know that I am able to taste and compare different types of rice and sake at once in Niigata prefecture and it was amazing to eat together with fresh local seafood!


Besides, there’s this sake specialist store in Niigata offering approximately 100 types of sake from Niigata’s 90 breweries, and it is the renowned Ponshukan Sake Museum. I love this place because you can pay ¥500 at the door to receive a sake cup and five tasting coins to taste variety of premium sake. There is also a ranking board listing out the most popular sake among customers for your reference! If you don’t know which sake to start first, I suggest you to start from the top of the list.

Here comes my favourite spot among the whole trip, Lake Suwa! It is the largest lake in Nagano Prefecture and best spot to view spectacular scenery throughout all seasons! You can see people enjoy walking, cycling and lake activities include fishing, pleasure cruises, duck tours (amphibious bus tours) while the lake provides a relaxing backdrop. The Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival is also another attraction point at Lake Suwa during summer!




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