Trace the Saba Kaido (mackerel road) and learn about the culture of Wakasa

6 Mar 2023

The KANSAI Guide

Saba Kaido is the general name for the roads connecting Wakasa and Kyoto, and food and culture, including mackerel, once passed through these roads.
Today, the area still retains many cultural heritage sites that connect the sea and the capital.
Here is a model plan for a trip starting from Wakasa.

Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum

Booths with various themes, such as the roots of sushi, which is loved around the world, and the secrets of the deliciousness of Japanese food, are on display.
At the "Wakasa Workshop," visitors can try their hand at traditional crafts such as sharpening Wakasa lacquered chopsticks and making Wakasa washi paper.

Ms. Noriko Nakata, director of Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum, told us about Miketsukuni

I believe that Miketsukuni is an expression of "pride and gratitude" toward the natural blessings of Wakasa-Obama and our predecessors who have brought these blessings to the present day.
Obama City, which has been a Miketsukuni both materially and spiritually for more than 1,000 years, is now working hard to give shape to this "pride and gratitude" in various ways through its "food town development" efforts.

Myotsuji Temple

This ancient temple is said to have been founded by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro.
The main hall and three-storied pagoda, both built in the Kamakura period (1185-1333), are designated as national treasures.
It is also registered as a Japan Heritage site as one of the cultural heritage sites of the Wakasa region that connects the capital and the sea.


Goshoen, a mansion built by Furukawaya Kadayu, a merchant of the Kitamae Ship, to entertain guests, has been renovated into a place for relaxation and recreation.
Designated as a tangible cultural property by the prefecture, the building has a share space, a library, and a café.
Wakasa lacquered chopsticks are also available for sale.

La Verita

La Verita offers creative Italian cuisine using fresh ingredients from Wakasa and homemade cheese.
The restaurant does not have a fixed menu, but only offers courses, as they want to use the best ingredients available on the day of purchase.
Enjoy the taste of quality ingredients.


An old private house inn located in Kumagawa-juku, one of the inn towns on the Saba Kaido (mackerel road).
The inn offers a variety of hands-on programs, such as "Satoyama Kamado Gohan (rice cooked in a kamado)," where you cook rice in a kamado and make miso soup.
Relax and unwind at the inn where time passes leisurely.

Saba Kaido Hanaore

Saba sushi is made with mackerel from the seas around Japan and finished with beach salt, just as it was carried along the mackerel road in ancient times, making it thick and full of flavor.
Taste the traditional Kyoto flavor created to enjoy the delicious mackerel brought to Kyoto from Wakasa.

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto, not far from Demachibashi Bridge, the starting point of the Saba Kaido.
Mackerel is offered as a sacred food at the annual Aoi Matsuri held in May.
Visit the shrine while thinking about the history of the Saba Kaido Road.

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