2021.03 Enjoy Spectacular Scenery and Superb Cuisine in Miyagi [PR]
Photo courtesy of Tourism Division, Miyagi Prefectural Government
Miyagi: Magnificent nature and a rich food heritage
Discover Miyagi’s culinary classics
Let’s begin by presenting some distinctive Miyagi cuisine.
Aji-no-Gyutan Kisuke: Try Sendai’s famous gyutan-yaki
Gyutan-yaki (grilled beef tongue) is a specialty of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture’s largest city. Sendai is home to about 100 restaurants that specialize in gyutan-yaki. Aji-no-Gyutan Kisuke (the Ekimae Chuo Honten location), is just a minute’s walk from Sendai Station. The beef tongue is seasoned with select ingredients to enhance the umami of the meat, aged for several days to bring out the flavor, and then carefully grilled over a charcoal fire by a master chef, one piece at a time.
* An English menu is available.
Murakamiya Mochiten: Taste traditional zunda mochi and other sweets
Made from two of Miyagi’s specialties, rice and soybeans, zunda mochi is a soft, glutinous rice cake, covered in a tasty jam made of young soybeans (edamame) and a little sugar and salt. It is said to have been created here at Murakamiya Mochiten, a long-established shop (founded in 1877), about five minutes on foot from Sendai Station. The taste and texture of the sweet beans and fragrant rice is a memorable Sendai food experience.
A taste of the sea: Head to the coast for the freshest seafood
Next we present the seafood and views that can be enjoyed in Miyagi, a luxuriant natural environment embraced by the sea and mountains.
Shiogama Seafood Wholesale Market: Create your own seafood bowl
At Shiogama Port just north of Sendai, visitors can find all kinds of freshly caught seafood. Shiogama is one of Japan’s leading ports in terms of tuna catch volume, and fresh tuna is a must-try here. Head to the port’s lively seafood market and choose your favorite ingredients to make your own delicious dish of seafood on rice. In the market, there are shops selling small packs of reasonably priced sashimi and salmon roe (ikura), and shops that will fillet fresh fish on the spot. In the dining area, you can purchase a bowl of white rice to top with your favorite fish, to create your own kaisendon (sashimi on rice). Ask each shop about which seafood is particularly good that day.
* The market makes hand sanitizers available, arranges spaced seating in the dining area, and frequently disinfects tables and chairs to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
* Business hours vary from shop to shop. Dining hours are from early morning to midday.
Miyagi Zao: See the “snow monsters”, works of natural art
At the foot of Mt. Zao, about 90 minutes by car from Sendai, you can enjoy a unique winter landscape (December to March). Under the right weather conditions, the fir trees on Mt. Zao are covered in frost. Freezing winds bring heavy snow, which sticks to the frost, creating these unusual forms, nicknamed “snow monsters.” Join a guided tour from Sumikawa Snow Park to see the spectacle up-close in a heated snowcat vehicle.
* The Snow Monster Tour takes about two hours.
* The Zao-go shuttle bus operates between JR Sendai Station and Sumikawa Snow Park (fare charged, reservations required; travel time of about two hours). Tour packages that include shuttle tickets and a Snow Monster Tour are available.
* There is a free shuttle bus for Snow Monster Tour participants (reservation required; travel time of about 20 minutes) between Togatta Onsen and Sumikawa Snow Park.
* Snow gear rentals are available at Sumikawa Snow Park.
Ichibancho: Sendai’s favorite shopping street
If shopping and eating are your thing, Ichibancho, a covered shopping street near Sendai Station, is the place to go. Here you’ll find an impressive array of establishments, from shops selling inexpensive daily goods, to department stores, famous brand stores, and restaurants.
Don Quijote: A place to find everything
Don Quijote is a general discount store that sells just about everything. At the Sendai-Eki Nishiguchi-Honten branch, you’ll find a full selection of cosmetics, daily necessities, electronic appliances, toys, food products, and even sweets found nowhere else but Sendai. There is a duty-free counter that makes getting Japanese souvenirs a snap.
*Don Quijote has multilingual staff members on hand to provide service in English, Chinese, and Korean.
Abe Kamaboko-ten: Hyotanage, a Sendai specialty
If you find yourself getting hungry while shopping, stop by Abe Kamaboko-ten to try some hyotanage. This slightly sweet treat is made with fried kamaboko fish cake, a Sendai specialty. Skewers of hyotanage are inexpensive and easy to eat.
The popular snack gets its name from its resemblance to a bottle-shaped gourd (hyotan). In Japan, bottle-shaped gourds are fashioned into containers for water and sake. Hyotanage is made of kamaboko, a type of fish cake.
Thanks to its rich pastures and bountiful sea, Miyagi Prefecture is a destination for delicious food. As a traditional meeting point for travelers between Japan’s Kanto region and the far north, Miyagi Prefecture has a wealth of cultural and culinary influences. This cultural heritage, along with the area’s rich pastures and bountiful sea, has made Miyagi a destination for delicious food. Miyagi is an ideal base for international visitors exploring the Tohoku region, and is a Muslim-friendly destination.
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