At a Glance
Nestled among the rolling foothills of the Zao stratovolcao, there is the small, picturesque town of Murata. Once the premier spot for safflower production in the Edo Period, the surviving storehouses and associated houses are now designated special cultural sites by the Japanese government.
Today the town is better known for its race circuit, which is one of the largest in the country. It's home to Super Formula (Japan's domestic version of F1), part of the Motorcross World Championship, and a few other major motorsports! Aside from that, the area is known for its beauty and agriculture - it's not uncommon for other towns in the prefecture to serve Murata made yoghurt!
Places to Eat
Places to See
Things to Do
Daizu - 麺屋だいず
A ramen restaurant run by the family of one of some of the students in Murata. Famous for its "three colour ramen"; featuring black garlic, spicy red chili, and white miso broths mixed together in one.
Ramensen - らーめんせん屋 村田店
Another ramen restaurant in Murata, well known for its spicy miso.
Gen - 蕎麦・玄
Soba restaurant boasting pure buckwheat noodles, none of the 80/20 mix common elsewhere in the country! The portion sizes are also massive, despite the low cost. Worth a look if you want the traditional soba experience!
Fuji - 和風レストラン
The standard teishoku style restaurant. Reasonable prices, reasonable quality.
Shiroyama - レストラン城山
Another teishoku restaurant, this time with a much more Showa Era feeling to it than Fuji. The zunda soba is delicious!
Marukin - 丸金食堂
A teishoku restaurant popular among the factory workers in town. Good prices and large portions. Try the fried chicken!
Kenchanchi - けんちゃんち
A small soba restaurant located a ways from Murata central. Handmade noodles, a friendly owner, and all the trappings of a nice place to stop in.
Senjyuan - 千寿庵
Perhaps the most popular soba restaurant out of those here on the page. Located in an old house, it has the air of stepping back in time - complete with pure, handmade soba noodles. Be warned though - they do sell out fast, so arrive early!
Isshou - 和風レストランー祥
A traditional Japanese restaurant located in Murata. They have quite cheap lunches, starting usually around 550yen and going up from there. Worth a looksee!
Located in one of the many former storehouses in central Murata, it's quite the place to visit. Combining both past and present in harmony, "retrofuturism" comes to mind when you enter. The desserts and foods on offer are all quite nice, and it's a good place to come to - though it can get full with tourists.
Cafe Kuroudo - Cafe蔵人
Another former storehouse-become-cafe, Kuroudo is known for its siphon coffee. They offer combination sets of coffee and a dessert at a reasonable price.
123 - 壱弐参
A former top chef from Ginza started this cafe up when they moved away from the city. Quite the character, the owner is more than willing to strike up a conversation with you, and also cooks up some amazing foods. All the dishes are seasonally inspired with locally made or sourced ingredients. Each day is an adventure when you visit!
Zou Information Centre - 蔵の観光案内所
Located in central Murata, this is the place to go in order to learn about the history of the safflower industry, and also about the storehouses and their uses.
Murata Past-to-Present Museum - 村田町歴史みらい館
Showcasing even more of the history of the town, the Murata museum contains quite the odd assortment of goods. In March they have large displays of Hina dolls, all for free! They also display what are said to be remains of oni inside.
Folktale Village - 民話の里ふるさと苑
Said to be the location where a farmer encountered an oni, and then one night the oni regained its arm and flew off. Unfortunately the site doesn't explain it well, but the Murata Museum offers pamphlets which do.