Murakami (村上市 Murakami-shi) is a city in northern Niigata (prefecture)
Murakami is easily accessed by train via the JR Uetsu Line through Niigata City. There is usually one train per hour running to Murakami. Two options are available: a local train at a cost of ¥1,110 (about 71 minutes) or the Limited Express Inaho at ¥1,610 for a reserved seat (about 46 minutes).
If you are just visiting Murakami in a day trip, or you plan to take the train to other cities with the intention of returning to Murakami in the same day, it is highly recommended that you buy an Echigo All Day Pass for ¥1,500. This pass gets you unlimited access to all trains running throughout the area (except Limited Express trains). However, don't forget to take your ticket as you exit the turnstil, unlike single use tickets, All Day Passes will cycle back to you.
Murakami is accessible by car by going North on National Route 7 from Niigata, Shibata, or Nakajo. From National Route 7 you can also take Coastal Route 113. It eventually turns into Coastal Route 345 which takes you right into Murakami. If you follow the road signs, you should be fine since it is practically a straight shot.
The trip is about 1.5 to 2 hours long no matter which route you take. However, National Route 7 has more traffic lights, and since more people use it, it tends to become heavy with traffic. The Coastal Route is only one lane, but there are not many traffic lights, and any "slow traffic" that you encounter can be passed in pass zones.
There are buses in Murakami, but they are not actually useful for sightseeing. The schedule the buses run on is infrequent, and the places they run to are more geared for the use of the locals. The main bus pick up is right outside of Murakami Station, where you can also pick up a bus schedule. There are a few places that the buses can get you to, and it is fairly inexpensive (about ¥300).
Right outside the train station are two taxi services, Murakami Taxi and Senami Taxi. It can be expensive to use a taxi to get around Murakami, as the rate is about ¥300/km, but if you are desperate for a ride, it is the best and quickest option.
There is also a car rental place near the train station.
Walking is a reasonable way to get around within downtown Murakami.
The best way to get around Murakami is by Bicycle. There is a rental shop next to the View Plaza that will rent out bicycles.
- One of the most prominent attractions in Murakami is the Murakami Castle remains. The locals call it Oshiroyama (お城山). Situated at the top of Mt. Gagyuzan (135m) are the ruins of the old Murakami Castle. There are many trails leading up to the top, ranging from easy to moderately difficult. From the top there is a fantastic panoramic view of Murakami city. In the spring cherry blossoms add to the beauty. From July to August the bugs are out in full force, so this may not be the best time to visit. In the winter, January to early March, the ruins are covered in snow, but the main path is still accessible.
- Iyoboya Museum, located near the Mimote River, this museum offers more information about salmon than and fishing than one could hope for. Murakami has been famous for salmon since the Heian period (11th Century CE), and this museum and salmon park explores that history. Visiting from autumn to winter is the best time because you might get to see the salmon laying their eggs in the Mimote River.
- After the Murakami Festival, Oshagiri (おしゃぎり) floats are put on display in the Oshagiri Museum. Members of the community make these highly detailed floats, which can be seen in the museum along with other historical artifacts.
- Murakami Regional Folk Museum
- Murakami Tsuishu Craft Museum
- The Wakabayashi Residence is a restored Samurai residence. It is located right next to the Oshagiri Museum. It was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1977, and is a beautiful restoration of an 1800s style residence.
- Ruins of Iwagasaki is a recreation of Yayoi period residences (300 BCE to 300 CE). On site there is a museum with interactive activities that "recreate" the feeling of living during this period. Not only is there an interactive play, but there is also an athletics field. This site is closed during the winter.
- Maizuru Park
- Jouenji Temple
- Koutokuji Temple
- Shojouji Temple
- Kannonji Temple
- Haguro Shrine
- Iwafune Shrine
- Taki Shrine
- Murakami Marina
- Iwafune Port
- Senami Onsen
- Relax in the Senami Onsen
- Murakami Tea
- Murakami Sake (Shimeharizuru, Taiyozakari)
go to Senami Hot spring at sea side.
|Routes through Murakami|
|Akita ← Tsuruoka ←||N S||→ Shibata → Niigata|
|END ←||N S||→ Shibata → Niigata|
|Niigata ← Shibata ←||S E||→ Nagai → Shiroishi → Soma|
|END ←||N S||→ Gosen → Kamo → Sanjo|