Whether you're a wine connoisseur or not, you will find Ushiku Chateau to be a charming place to have a family outing. Within its spacious confines, you will find a variety of indoor and outdoor restaurants in beautiful garden settings and in historical buildings. First built in the latter Meiji Era, the buildings of the winery are quite interesting in themselves, and house both a winery museum and wine casks used to ferment the famous Ushiku wines.
If the weather is nice, one has a variety of outdoor settings in which to enjoy a grilled barbecue dinner. Meals are ordered at a central station (courses range from ´1200 to ´3500) and are then delivered to your choice of places. The bamboo garden is particularly beautiful and consists of several thatched roof cubicles enclosed in a forest of huge bamboos. The "mini SL" barbecue is popular with kids and consists of a 1/7 scale size steam locomotive running down a 50 m tract that delivers the food to your table, which is enclosed in a giant wine barrel.
Reservations are generally not needed on weekdays, but at peak times, you may want to check, especially for large groups. The number is 73-3151. The easiest way to find it by car is to go across the Joban Railway Line on route 408 (Ushiku-Gakuen Sen) and turn right at the second light (which will also be a 4 lane road). Turn right again at the third light (just before the overhead pedestrian bridge, and drive a short ways down that road towards Ushiku Station. The vineyards are off to the left and the chateau is on your right. Bon appetite! P.S. The wine is great!
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