Tatsuno City: See and Taste the Changing of the Seasons

A popular spot for its seasonal scenery like autumn maple-leaves and cherry blossoms, Tatsuno also attracts visitors year-round for its famous local sōmen noodles and soy sauce. I recommend going during one of the seasons for nature sightseeing around Tatsuno Castle and Tatsuno Park, then stopping by for some slender sōmen noodles and a tour of the old soy sauce factory.SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSCParts of the town near the present-day soy-sauce factory have a strange smell which one will likely notice. Visiting the old factory museum (Usukuchi Tatsuno Shoyu Shiryokan), one can get a hands-on view of how Japan began factory production as early as the Edo Period (1603-1868). Vats for soy-sauce production and specialized tools are placed near explanations and images that also give a glimpse into a typical factory worker’s life.SONY DSCSONY DSCA small shrine in the center of the building indicates the importance of religion and a sense that workers’ safety depended at least partially on prayer. This stands in sharp contrast with the purely secular signs that Japan and many other countries use these days that list “x accident-free days”.SONY DSCTatsuno’s main appeal is its nature and accompanying natural resources. One of the reasons that the city’s soy sauce factory was created there was said to be its very pure water.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI recommend stopping by the sōmen restaurant Sukune Jaya, which sells some local dishes at a fair price and has knowledgeable staff. There, one can try room-temperature or warm noodles – perhaps taking the season into account as Tatsuno City’s atmosphere seems to encourage.SONY DSCHow to Get There:From Sannomiya Station, Kobe City: Take the JR Line to Himeji, tranfer to the Kishin Line bound for  Harima, and get off at Hon-Tatsuno Station (1,280 Yen, ~1.5 hours)


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