We journey the JR Hakushin and Uetsu Main Lines of Niigata and Yamagata Prefectures in search of traditional food culture in one of Japan's major rice-producing regions. At Niigata Station we sample sake from the dizzying array on offer. We visit an old brewery that has converted one building into a tourist attraction. One sightseeing train—so popular it's always fully booked—offers spectacular views of the Sea of Japan. Along the way we try exquisite salmon dishes and other culinary delights.
A one-stop shop where you can sample all the sake produced in Niigata
The sightseeing train cruises along the coastline
A traditional food culture that has developed over 1,000 years
These bright red vegetables are only cultivated in the mountains of Yamagata