Itinerary Guide: How to Spend a Relaxing Day at the Beautiful Port Town of Sakoshi

Don't forget to take lots of photos!


Many old towns in Japan are home to several beautiful tourist spots that are still unknown to many. The route going to Sakoshi, for example, is dotted with cultural properties, museums, pastry shops, and shops selling
eki ben (bento boxes sold in train stations), all of which are worth visiting.


Before heading to the port town, you can take a detour at
Himeji Station, which is 60 minutes away from the JR Osaka Station, to get yourself a tasty Makunouchi eki-ben (the most typical Japanese bento box). After which, you can head over to the charming port town of Sakoshi, which has been recently recognized as a Japanese heritage site. If you're up for a quiet adventure, you can also stroll around Sakoshi Bay and the streets of Setonaikai (Seto Inland Sea), then visit popular shops within the area for their souvenirs.


How to get to Sakoshi: It is about 60 minutes away from JR Osaka Station via Sanyo Line's new express trains headed to Himeji or Banshu-ako. Upon riding the train, make sure you get off at Himeji Station. Afterwards, you'll have to take Ako Line's new express or local trains heading to Banshu-ako for 30 minutes to arrive at the Sakoshi Station. 


The train fare costs ¥1,940.


In this article, we rounded up the best spots to visit if you ever find yourself within the area. Check out our one-day itinerary below!


10:00 AM - Grab an eki-ben from Maneki Shokuhin at JR Himeji station


Maneki Shokuhin
JR Himeji Station Platforms 7 & 8, 188 Ekimae Town, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture
Contact: +81-79-224-0255 (Head Office)
Open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
To next spot: 60 Minutes by train and by foot


Maneki Shokuhin
was established in 1888 and is famous for serving delicious bento boxes. Their most popular dish, Makunouchi eki-ben, was sold for the first time in Japan about the same time as the opening of the Sanyo Railway. You can choose from different toppings such as octopus, conger eel, and Tamba beef to go with your eki-ben. The shop also serves a yellow-colored noodle dish called eki-soba.


Umai! Tako-meshi (¥1,000)


Umai! Tako-meshi
is a popular octopus rice box that's made using an old-fashioned recipe. The soft and spicy-sweet flavor of the octopus paired with the rice is quite exceptional. The lunch box is also garnished with simmered vegetables, Asari clams, and many more.


Anago-meshi (¥1,000)


Anago-meshi
is a conger eel rice box that consists of simmered anago and rice cooked in secret broth. Its addicting sweet and spicy taste makes the lunch box the shop's best-selling dish.

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Maneki Shokuhin is located at a train station.


Eki-ben are made for take-out so you can enjoy it by the Sakoshi Bay.


You'll find that it tastes even better with the view of the sea right in front of you.


We suggest that you also try the shop's specialty
eki-soba.


Tempura Eki-soba (¥360)


12:30 PM - Former Sakoshiura Hall


Former Sakoshiura Hall
1334 Sakoshi, Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture
Contact: +81791-48-7755
Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except on Tuesdays. If the national holiday falls on a Tuesday, it is closed on the following day.
To next spot: 5 minutes by foot


The tangible cultural properties located in Ako were publicly opened in 1832. The
Former Sakoshiura Hall was once a tea house of the Ako domain and was also a place where village assemblies were held. On the second floor, you'll find an observation room, which was specially made for the feudal lord Kankairo and which offers a panoramic view of Sakoshi Bay.


The rooms inside face the garden and functions as a resting space for people strolling around Sakoshi.


Sakoshi Bay is surrounded with several tile-roofed houses.


You can also opt to ride a rickshaw, which goes around the area and take souvenir photos of the sights.


1:15 PM - Sakoshi Machinami Hall


Sakoshi Machinami Hall
1446-2 Sakoshi, Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture
Contact: +81791-48-7770
Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except on Tuesdays. If the national holiday falls on a Tuesday, it is closed on the following day.
To next spot: 2 minutes by foot


The former Okuto Bank Sakoshi Branch of the Taisho era was later renovated into a museum and tourist information center called the
Sakoshi Machinami Hall. Inside, you'll find a large safe that was used in the past as well as exhibits featuring the history of Sakoshi and other sightseeing and historic spots.


In addition to this, the hall sells special products of Sakoshi as souvenirs.


The exhibits in the hall are very informative.


The building stands at the center of Sakoshi's main street called Daido (big wide street).


1:30 PM - Visit the Okuto Brewery.
Okuto Brewery
1419-1 Sakoshi, Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture
Contact: +81791-48-8005
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except on Sundays and Japanese holidays.


The
Okuto Brewery was established in 1601 and is considered the second largest historical liquor store in Hyogo. Within the facility, you'll find a local history museum that exhibits sake brewing tools and cargo vessel materials. You can also enjoy tasting  Ako's finest Chushingura sake, which was named after a famous historical case that happened in Ako around the beginning of 18th century.

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The brewery's building has beautiful white walls with black-colored sliding boards.


You can enter the brewery for free and learn more about the sake-making process and history.


Check out the amazing scale model of a ship carrying goods to Kyoto.


Left: Junmai Ginjo 47 Cattle Set (¥2,268/720ml); Right: Nama Moto Junmai Omachi (¥1,426/720ml)


2:00 PM - Get your sweet tooth fix at Pasticceria Salita.


Pasticceria Salita
2083 Sakoshi, Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture
Contact: +81791-48-8658
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except on Tuesdays.


Ako's famous Italian shop,
SAKURAGUMI, produced an Italian dolce store called Pasticceria Salita. They renovated an old house that was built 70 years ago and only recently opened the shop in July 2015. The store sells various Neapolitan and Ako pastries such as the Aragosta, a traditional Neapolitan pastry, and Angela, which is an original confection made by Chef Nishikawa.


The shop's spring season limited Aragosta Hazelnut (¥486) is a pie crust filled with fresh custard cream.


The Angela Cassis (¥518) makes use of the same crust as the Aragosta and is filled with marshmallow cream.


The Aragosk Matcha (¥194) is a rusk made with Aragosta. It is available in other flavors such as plain and strawberry.


The Ako's Salted Caramel (¥486) soft serve ice cream has a slightly salty yet refreshing taste.


The interiors of Pasticceria Salita.


Other classical and seasonal limited-edition varieties of Aragosta and Angela are also offered at the shop.


The stone pavement matches the retro-style streets of Sakoshi.


Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker™ (11 June 2018)


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