Vegetarian's Japan Guide

What to Do at Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility

If you are interested in visiting Japanese architecture constructed from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century, visit the Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility (千厩酒のくら交流施設) in Ichinoseki City. Many buildings completed around that time incorporated Western elements into the existing Japanese design. The community facility renovated from a former sake brewery and the former Sato family residence is the base for tourism and cultural exchange.

Walking in the community facility will give you an understanding of what the Japanese referred to as the Taishō Roman (大正ロマン). From the Japanese-style tatami mat-covered room and the traditional garden to the Italian-style building, Senmaya Sake no Kura’s 25 buildings are the epitome of the dramatic changes to the townscape from the Edo to the Taishō periods.

If you visit Senmaya Sake no Kura between early February and early March, the Semmaya Doll Festival (せんまやひなまつり), you will be amazed by the amount of Hina Dolls exhibited.

While in Japanese, you can view past festival photos HERE.

Taishō Roman refers to the cultural and intellectual movement of Japanese Romanticism at the beginning of the 20th century. Because Taishō is the era name at the time, the movement was named Taishō. The artworks and architectural style were largely influenced by the Western culture.

© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

Coffee Raku and Dagashi Corner

Senmaya Sake no Kura also has a small café called Coffee Raku (珈琲 樂), which serves home-roasted coffee. The coffee brewed here is perfect for people who don’t like the strong bitterness that lingers in the mouth.

  • Coffee Raku is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday, excluding Saturday morning.
    • The last order is taken at 5 pm.

In Senmaya Sake no Kura’s shop, there is also a Dagashi corner filled with 80 to 100 different cheap sweets. The corner is a snack heaven, where cheap snacks from the last few centuries to the newer ones are gathered. So remember to stop by and try some cheap Japanese sweets and see if you like any of them!

As a former sake brewery, sake tasting is also available here!

Semmaya and the Horse Farming Industry

The Semmaya area used to be the main horse farming area in the southern part of the Tōhoku region. Apparently, the zone was named Sammaya because there were 1,000 horse stables here!

If you are a Japanese history buff, Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s (源義経) favorite horse was from Semmaya. This is why you will find an equestrian museum in Senmaya Sake no Kura. It is a place to pass on horse culture to future generations. Old harnesses and other horse-related items are on display that prove people here lived alongside horses.

Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • Senmaya Sake no Kura is open from 10 am to 4 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
    • If Monday is a public holiday, it will close on the next business day.
    • It closes from the end of December to the beginning of January.
  • It is a 10-minute walk from JR Semmaya Station (千厩駅).
    • It takes around 50 minutes from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅) to Semmaya Station by train.

Discover Other Attractions in Ichinoseki

Click the photo for more information about Ichinoseki’s attractions!

Of course, Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility isn’t the only recommended spot in Ichinoseki to visit. The city has a wealth of beautiful natural landscapes and is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway from the big city’s hustle and bustle.

So refer to our article on Ichinoseki to further plan your visit!

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