Silversea Luxury Cruises To Sakata


Say the word Sakata and you would be forgiven for thinking immediately of the lovable dog of the same name. But in fact, visitors to Sakata will be treated not to a friendly furry face, rather to a beautiful city located on the northern tip of the island, around 500 km north of Tokyo. Lucky visitors will arrive in time for the superb sakura (cherry blossom), and surely there can be no sight more lovely than the elegant dip of the cherry trees alongside ancient Samurai residences. View more

Akita is also home to a 2km tunnel of blossoming trees that run along the banks of the Hinokinai River, which is said to “bring a grown man to his knees and weep at its beauty”. If to you, Japan is synonymous with peace and serenity, then a trip to one of the onsens is a superb bucket list experience. Buses and taxis are easily available in the centre of town that will take you to Mizusawa, Oyu and Oyasukyo hot springs, some of the loveliest onsens in the country. Some of the superb sights in Akita are: Senshu Park, on the former site of Kubota Castle, the elegant red-brick folk Museum (housing works by block printer Katsuhira Tokushi (1907-1971) and metalwork by Sekiya Shiro (1907-1994) and the Old Kaneko Family Home. The Akita Museum of Art opened in 2012 and is home to the largest canvas painting in the world, Events of Atika, by Foujita (1886-1968). The painting measures a staggering 3.65 x 20.5 m (12 x 67 ft). The Museum also has many works by European masters such as Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt and Picasso.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

cruises visiting Sakata

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  • Departure
    Apr 19 2021
  • Duration
    14 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Muse
From US$ 10,350
access_alarm with 10% Early booking bonus
airplanemode_active FREE ECONOMY CLASS AIR
exclusive offer
  • Departure
    Apr 08 2022
  • Duration
    14 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Muse
From US$ 8,370
access_alarm with 10% Early booking bonus
airplanemode_active FREE ECONOMY CLASS AIR
Fares shown are per guest

Excursions in Sakata

Culinary Traditions & Tasting

Hanabusa Soy Sauce Storehouses

Start your journey of discovering and tasting local food and beverages with a 35 min drive to the Hanabusa Soy sauce storehouses. Shinzaemon Sato is the 7th generation owner of this soy sauce brewery that has continued to safeguard tradition and manufacturing methods for almost 200 years. The soy sauce "fruit" (soybeans, rice, wheat fermented with raw soy sauce) is delicious. Currently, Hanabusa's soy sauce-based fermented beans, "Shoyu no mi" is known nationwide.

Enjoy the guided tour around the old brewery warehouse where the original taste, tradition and manufacturing methods are being carefully preserved until today. Learn about the ancient methods of fermenting the soybeans to produce soy sauce. In 1908, Kikunae Ikeda, a professor of the Tokyo Imperial University, proposed that there's a 5th taste: umami. Umami can be described as a savory, brothy taste with a long-lasting sensation on the tongue. Shoyu was given as the prime example of the umami taste.

Yamato Sakura Shuzo & Traditional Japanese Food Tasting

After the unique experience of understanding the process of soy sauce we will take a 5 min walk from the Hanabusa Soy sauce storehouses to Yamato Sakura Shuzo, a local sake brewery that continues to produce Japanese sake since the late 19th century. This tour will introduce the world of Japanese Sake, its production method and ways to drink and enjoy it. The Sake made here is unique with the perfect complexity, depth and smooth aftertaste. Sake is one of Japan's most iconic drinks. It is widely considered as one of the country's most prized tourism resources. Sake is a product of premium quality water and climate unique to Japan. Various kinds of sake are made across the country, maximizing the benefits of each area's climate. After sake, join local experts as they teach you how to prepare some simple but popular traditional Japanese food.

Afteran educated, fun filled few hours, enjoy the 35 min scenic drive back through Sakata to the pier.

Holy Haguro Mountain

Tsuruoka - the ancient province of Dewa

Discover the sacred temples and ancient Cedar trees of Mount Haguro on this full day adventure. Start the day with a 70 minute drive through the historic port of Sakata en-route to Haguro Mountain, one of the Three Mountains of Dewa in the city of Tsuruoka, the ancient province of Dewa. As the lowest of the three mountains standing at 414m, it is the only one that is accessible throughout the year. Upon arrival enjoy the visit to the Ideha Bunka Museum. This museum is a fully equipped facility where visitors can learn and experience through the Shugendo, a Japanese mountain Asceticism - Shamanism kind of worship incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts, as well as the culture of the nearby three holy mountains. Enjoy the remarkably hi-tech exhibitions that contain examples of Yamabushi clothes and food items as well as holograms of various rituals.

Haguro Mountain

From the museum the adventure continues with a guided short walk into the mountain of Haguro. The entrance to the secret territory of Mt. Haguro is called Zuishinmon. Upon entering the gate and navigating over the red bridge crossing over the Harai River, the impressive five-storied pagoda appears. This designated National Treasure, constructed from 931 to 937, is a five-tiered architectural marvel and attribute to Taira no Masskado, a Samurai during the Heian period of Japan. Admire its graceful exterior and look for the 1000 year old Japanese cedar tree called Jijisugi, a symbol of longevity in the natural world. The pagoda is guarded by a row of massive cedar trees and the trees are the guided way to the top of the mountain which is an official Natural Monument of Japan.

Sanjin Gosaiden Shrine

Re-boarding the coach, the 20 min drive to the Sanjin Gosaiden Shrine which is located on the top of Mt. Haguro dedicated to the deities of the three mountains. The main building that was constructed in 1818 features the thickest thatched roof in Japan, over two meters thick and a wooden construction that has buildings from the middle ages.

Constructed in 1818 with thatched roofs, wooden construction that has buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the priests' quarters, known as Mt. Haguro Sanroo Saikan. These quarters were constructed during the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism back in the Meiji Period. Haguro-san's main shrine holds the deities from all thee Dewa Sanzan shrines making it the most important of the three. The Dewa Sanzan Historial Museum also contains art and artifacts. Enjoy a traditional Shojin-ryori lunch - a vegetarian meal originally derived from the dietary philosophy of Buddhist monks with the breathtaking view of Mt. Chokai in the distance.

Okoshi and Shonai

Re-board the coach for a 45 min scenic drive to the town of Shonai. The building was constructed as a one story wooden building supported by lots of beams that add a characteristic style to this area. The big earthen walls, the high beams and the white roof tiles made it possible to maintain a low temperature in the room. When the facility was repaired and turned into a rice granary, its huge and white tiled roof became a landmark of the city, and a new base for the "6th Sector Industrialization Members", since it is an expression of how agriculture, commerce, manufacturing and tourism sectors collaborate with each other. Observe a group of dedicated local housewives making a traditional sweet called Okoshi - a puffed rice cookie mixed with sugar and syrup in a crispy texture. After the demonstration entice your taste buds by trying Okoshi , the popular Japanese treat. From here a the scenic 35 min drive takes you back back to the pier

Introduction to Sakata

Sankyo-Soko Storehouse

Embark the coach for a 15 min drive through the historic port of Sakata. It served as a major trading port during the Edo Period. Sakata is well-known for its scrumptious rice which is found nowhere else in the world. With the profitable business of trading in rice and local products from northern Hokkaido to the south, the city rapidly grew with large warehouse facilities and luxurious merchant residences being built. Along the beautiful line of zekova trees that provide shade and are the symbol of prosperity, the Sankyo-Soko Stores were constructed in 1893 and are comprised of 12 storehouses. This facility was only used for storing rice, and 9 of the storehouses are still in use today while the rest have been renovated. Enjoy the numerous exhibitions inside the museum.

Homma Family Museum

Re-board the coach for a 5 min drive to the main residence of the Homma Family, one of Japans richest merchant households.

Built in unique samurai architectural style, Seienkaku was mainly used as the villa of the Homma Family, but it also served as a lodging when the feudal lord, Sakai came to inspect his territory. After the Edo period ended, it was used as a guesthouse for the Imperial Family, royalty and government officials until 1945. The museum was built in 1968 and was the first private art museum in Japan. The picturesque garden where you might see Mt. Chokai will delight the eye in any season. You can also savor bitter matcha tea with an artistic sweet wagashi confection. Surrounded by the scenic atmosphere with the ten thousand Pine trees planted along the coastline to protect the homes from the strong winds and sand, Matsuoka contributed with his own fortune for the well-being of the towns people. During a visit to his residence one can witness the fortune and influence of Sakata's legend and heroism.

Kaikoji Temple

Re-board the coach for a 10 min drive to the Kaikoji Temple where you will see two mummy-like Temple you will see two mummy-like Living Buddhas enshrined and still praying for people's salvation. The monks who became Living Buddha mummified themselves by praying for over a thousand days until their bodies reached their limits. The transformation rarely succeeded and only twenty Japanese Living Buddha are in existence.and it is believed to still be praying for people's salvation. They believed that only their sins would be carried away and ready to welcome spiritual awakening.

Local School Visit Experience

Local Japanese school

Board the coach for a short 15 min transfer to awaken your senses to explore, learn and interact at a local school of Sakata City.

This unique opportunity to engage with the school children and take part of some classes where you can compare the differences between the school community in your own home town. The enthusiasm of the kids to interact with different cultures will touch you.

Exploring the school facilities, notice the impeccable cleanliness of the school which is a huge part due to the collective work of the students themselves.

The students of the school will then educate you by demonstrating and teaching each individual how to make a Yamagata traditional headdress that is used for the Hanagasa Festival which is one of the biggest festivals in Yamagata Prefecture. This festival draws over 1,000,000 people over three days. On the first day, prayers for the festival deity "Zao Gongen" as well as the prayer parade Hanagasa Daiko Hozon Kai begin in front of the Yamagata City Hall. With lavishly decorated fload and nearly 10, 000 dancers in bright costumes dance gloriously through Yamagata City's main street yelling the call "Yassho, makasho" with good energy.

These handmade flower hats are the emblem of the Hanagasa dance and features artificial safflowers the symbol of the prefecture. After crafting, the students will then teach you ow to dance Hanagasa-Ondo wearing the headdress. Explore, learn, interact! These are the main goals of this enriching experience of getting to know the young members of the community up close and personal.

After the dance is completed you will be transferred back to the pier.

Sakata Hand Craft Work Experience

Rice Cracker Factory

Yamagata Prefecture is well known by its high-quality rice, a product of its clean water resources. A 20 min transfer takes you to the Rice Cracker Factory. Be amazed by experiencing firsthand the manufacturing process of this traditional Japanese snack. The factory uses 100% Yamagata Rice as they are able to control the quality of the rice. At the end of the tour there will be a guided chance to hand-make your own rice cracker which involves grilling the base wafers of rice that expand to over twice their size when heated. Customise your own hand-made cracker with soy sauce of various flavors to enjoy.

Sanno Cub

Re-board the coach for a 15 min drive to the Sanno Club, originally a high-class restaurant named Uhachi-ro. The restaurant was designed in 1894 by Yasutaro Sato, one of Sakata's most famous architects who also worked on the buildings for Somaro, the hexagonal lighthouse in Hiyoriyama park and the Jokigen Sake Brewery buildings. Uhachi-ro ran from 1895 to 1941 when it was forced to close due to the war. The restaurant reopened as the Sanno Club where it ran for over 50 years. The restaurant then closed down again but was donated in 1999 to the Sakata City. It reopened its doors in 2008 to share the unique history and culture of the port town.

The Sanno Club is famous for its Kasafuku ornaments, small everyday objects that are sewn and hung from stark red umbrellas. On the first floor there is a souvenir shop where the Kasafuku ornaments can be purchased already made along with other local crafts. There is also a tearoom and exhibitions all about the Kitamaebune ship which will intrigue the history enthusiasts.

Tradition & Modern Art of Sakata

Ken Domon Museum of Photography

Boarding the coach at the port of Sakata which once was the major port city that serviced domestic trade with the rest of Japan during the Edo Period hundreds of years ago. Driving along the port city that prospered thanks to its perfect position where the massive Mogami River flows into the ocean to the Ken Domon Museum of Photography. This is the first and only photography museum in the world dedicated to an individual. Born in 1909 in Sakata City a country infatuated by photography, Kan Domon was a highly influential photojournalist whose works focusing on both famous and ordinary people, and cultural assets such as Buddhist temples and statues, magnificently illustrate post-war Japan that brought him accolades easily placing him amongst the best photographers this world has ever seen. Committed to passing on to future generations the legacy of Japanese rich traditions and culture he donated all 70 000 of his photographers to his hometown, the port of Sakata. The museum was built not only as a place to exhibit his magnificent work but also as a piece of art itself, for being a singular building with an exquisite design in harmony with the surrounding natural environment. The museum building was designed by noted architect Yoshio Taniguchi and won the 9th Isoya Yoshida Award in 1984.The modern building that houses the collection is surrounded by sculptures and manicured gardens set against a lush natural forest.

The Homma Museum of Art

At your next stop, The Homma Museum of Art, you will be delighted not only by the exhibits, but also by the exquisite ambiance. The Homma family was one of Japans richest merchant households in Sakata, known for their contribution to the well-being of the townspeople. With the noble aim of caring about his fellow townspeople, Kodo, the head of the fourth generation of the wealthy Homma family, had the ingenious idea of constructing and maintaining a villa with a beautiful garden, work that served to employ dockworkers that lost their jobs during the winter. Enjoy a relaxing time sipping Matcha, a traditional powdered green tea (or coffee if preferred) accompanied by locally produced sweets while enjoying verdant views of a traditional Japanese garden.

The result was the construction of Seienkaku in 1813, which not only served as a villa for the Homma Family, but also as a lodging residence for a feudal lord during the Edo Period, as a guesthouse for the Imperial Family, writers and artists, and government officials until the 2nd World War. In 1947 the villa became The Homma Museum of Art, the first private museum in the post-war Japan, exhibiting a wide range of art, including gifts received by the Homma Family from other high-ranking Clans and important personalities.

Besides the original villa building called Seienkaku and the surrounding garden Kakubuen, the facility nowadays includel a New Wing, where regular exhibitions are held. The enchanting natural landscape of the gardens changing with each season, and the scenic views of Mt. Chokai through the garden, make it possible to enjoy the exquisite balance between art, nature and history. Thanks to these characteristics, the museum was included in the Michelin Green Guide Japan 2009

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.