Niigata's Murakami City: Enjoy Fun Events, Sightseeing, and Local Cuisine!

[About 3 hours from Tokyo] Let's go see the "dolls" in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture!!

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Murakami City is the northernmost city in Niigata Prefecture, and can be reached from Tokyo in about 3 hours (by Joetsu Shinkansen + Limited Express Inaho). Murakami City holds an event called ``Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour'' from March 1st to April 3rd every year. Approximately 4,000 his...

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What is “Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour”?

A popular spring event in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, is the Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour. The exhibition will be held in the old town town where many machiya (traditional wooden houses and shops in Murakami) still remain, and the ``dolls'' cherished by the people living in the machiya will be exhibited and open to the public free of charge. Not only can you admire the precious dolls, but you can also tour the inside of the machiya, which is part of the daily life culture, and enjoy a heartwarming interaction with the local residents as you stroll through Murakami's historic alleys.
The ``Dolls'' collection includes a collection of hina dolls and hanging dolls from the early Edo period to the present day, brave warrior dolls, simple clay dolls, and mascot dolls from famous sweets manufacturers. It's fun to look for your favorite doll.

25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour

25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour Poster<br>
25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour Poster

Event period March 1, 2024 (Friday) to April 3, 2024 (Wednesday) *Holidays vary depending on participating stores
Time 9:00-17:00 *Publication hours vary depending on participating stores
Venue: Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, Old Town Town area *Mainly around JR Murakami Station to Murakami City Hall
Fee: Free tour
Sponsored by Murakami Machiya Merchants Association
Note: This event is made possible through the generosity of participating stores. Please visit with good manners.

25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour Participating Stores<br> *Click to view in PDF<br>

25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour Participating Stores *Click to view in PDF

Contact Murakami Ekimae Tourist Information Center “Murakami Travel Guide”
TEL 0254-53-2258 (9:00-17:00)

25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour

Recommended participating stores


This is the oldest Murakami tea manufacturing and sales store in Murakami City. The Hina dolls that the Takinami family, the owners of Kokonoen, have cherished for generations, as well as the daimyo procession (see the photo at the top) that was given to them by the feudal lords of the Murakami clan are spectacular. The samurai dolls lined up all had different facial expressions, showing that they were extremely luxurious dolls even at the time.
The attached cafe, Machiya Cafe Kuheian, offers matcha tea and Japanese sweets (for a fee).



Masujin, which used to run a sake brewery, is decorated with warrior dolls with fierce expressions and elaborately made palace dolls. You can also see old sake brewing tools (such as returnable sake bottles and sake tanks), so be sure to check them out as well.

Masujin (Murakami City Tourism Association introduction page)

Millennium Salmon Kikkawa

This store manufactures and sells processed salmon products, one of Murakami's specialties. In addition to Hina dolls and Samurai dolls, one of the highlights is the display of clay dolls and local toys from all over Japan that are collected by collector relatives.

Millennium Salmon Kikkawa

Taiyo Sake Brewery Nagomigura

This is an exhibition space for Taiyo Sake Brewery, one of the two sake breweries in Murakami City, which produces Taiyo Sake. You can also see hina dolls and clay dolls from various eras, as well as ancient sake brewing tools.
There is also a sake tasting server (for a fee) in the building, where you can sample Taiyo Shuzo's standard and limited edition sake.

Taiyo Shuzo

Tasting server experience

Sake-Doraku Kudo

On display at Sake-Doraku Kudo, a liquor store that sells local sake from Niigata and Murakami, is a doll called Peko-chan, the mascot character of Western confectionery maker Fujiya. The owner, Tatsuro Kudo, is a famous man from Murakami City. It's interesting to talk about not only local sake, but also hobbies such as sightseeing, music, and photography.

Sake-Doraku Kudo

Other events during the period

During the "25th Castle Town Murakami Machiya Doll Tour" (March 1st to April 3rd), there will be other events that can be enjoyed along with this event. Please enjoy it with us!!

40th Hina doll exhibition handed down in the castle town of Murakami (3/1-4/7)
Hina dolls owned by the Naito family, the lords of the Murakami clan, will be on display at the Oshagiri Hall.

Kimono walking event “Castle town in kimono” (3/16-4/3)
Would you like to walk around Murakami in kimono, a town where kimonos look good? Kimono rental and dressing plans (charges apply) are also available.

18th Tsuishu Festival (3/20-25)
You can purchase Murakami Wood Carving Tsuishu, which is popular as a souvenir, at 10% off the listed price.
*Discounts are not applicable to some products.

[March] Jurinji Enmado Antique Market (3/24)
Old folk utensils, old cloth, tableware, and jewelry are lined up on Echigo Murakami Machiya Street. Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime encounter.

How to get to Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture

If you go by plane

There are direct flights to Niigata Airport from major airports in Japan.
●Tokyo (Narita Airport) → Niigata Airport…about 65 minutes (suspended from the end of October to the end of March every year, please use the Shinkansen during this time)
●Osaka (Itami/Kansai International) → Niigata Airport…about 65 minutes ●Nagoya (Komaki/Chubu International) → Niigata Airport…about 60-65 minutes

Please use the limousine bus (approximately 25 minutes) from Niigata Airport to JR Niigata Station.
There is also a ``Sena Onsen Direct Liner'' (reservation required) that connects Niigata Airport to Murakami/Sena Onsen.

If you go by train

Please use the Shinkansen from major cities in Japan to Niigata Prefecture (Niigata City).
●Tokyo Station → (Joetsu Shinkansen) → Niigata Station…about 2 hours ●Shin-Osaka Station → (Tokaido Shinkansen) → Tokyo Station → (Joetsu Shinkansen) → Niigata Prefecture…about 4 hours 30 minutes

Please use the Uetsu Main Line from Niigata City to Murakami City.
●Niigata Station → (Uetsu Main Line) → Murakami Station … Approximately 1 hour, Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes

How to get around Murakami City

It is approximately 2km from Murakami Station to the Kyu-choninmachi area, where the old townscape remains, and it is a good distance for a stroll, taking about 20 minutes on foot. There are also other means of transportation such as taxis, circulation buses, and rental bicycles.

Souvenirs from Murakami City

Processed salmon products are especially popular as souvenirs from Murakami City. In addition, sake such as ``Shiteharitsuru'' and ``Taiyomori'' are also produced. Murakami tea is less astringent and is recommended for those who are not used to drinking green tea. In terms of crafts, Murakami wood carving Tsuishu chopsticks and accessories are affordable and popular among women.

Murakami City specialty products (food)

Murakami City special products (crafts)

Murakami City's climate and clothing

Murakami City, located in the northern part of Japan, starts snowing around mid-December and experiences cold days until late March.
There are some cold days in spring and autumn, so it's a good idea to bring a jacket or stole.

Written by

Murakami City, located at the northern tip of Niigata Prefecture, has a townscape full of historical atmosphere centered around the ruins of Murakami Castle, as well as the scenic beauty of the Sasagawa Nagare, which boasts a splendid seascape, mountains, rivers, and countryside that bring bountiful blessings, and Senami facing the Sea of ​​Japan. You can spend quality time relaxing in the hot springs while watching the sunset. There are many delicious dishes that can only be tasted in Murakami, such as salmon dishes such as ``salted salmon'', Murakami beef, and Koshihikari rice from Iwafune. We will introduce you to the charms of Murakami, a city of history, tradition, rich nature, and gourmet food.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

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