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MIYAGI Guide

Miyagi

Miyagi is the main gateway of Tohoku region where you can find hot spring resorts and magnificent nature spots. The remote and mysterious Zao Fox Village, where foxes roam freely, is a highlight of Miyagi, and the Tanabata Festival, held at the beginning of August, attracts more than two million spectators. Come here and see Miyagi’s famous coastlines namely the Matsushima Bay offering a splendid panorama of its hundreds of islands and Sanriku area known for its scenic rugged coastline home to many of the prefecture’s most famous sights and some of the country’s best seafood.

Sendai, the central and the most populated city of the Tohoku region can be reached in as little as 1 hour and 30 minutes from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train), making it possible to make a day trip from the capital.


01. Kesennuma

02. Shiroishi Castle Samurai Armor Wearing Experience

03. SENDAI Pageant of Starlight

04. Miyagi Gourmet Street



Kesennuma

Known as the northern gateway to the sea in Miyagi Prefecture, Kesennuma Port is a lively port and the bustle and hustle here starts as early as 3am in the morning! Thanks to the calmness of the Kesennuma Bay, the port becomes a good natural harbor, and has been one of the most productive fishing ports in whole Japan. In fact, the port contributes to Japan's largest catch of bonito, swordfish and sharks; more precisely, the amount of catches and the quantity of fresh bonito landed at this port are ranked the highest in Japan for 24 consecutive years!
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You can consider touring Kesennuma Fish Market nearby, and during day time, you may check out the Kesennuma Sea Market which is a shopping center where you can buy fresh catches and enjoy delicious seafood. Second floor of the building houses the Shark Museum, which is the only museum in Japan that showcases everything shark! Did you know Kesennuma is in fact the largest producer of shark fins in Japan?! Here at Kesennuma, you can enjoy different cuisines that use shark fins as their ingredients.


 

 

 

 

Shiroishi Castle Samurai Armor Wearing Experience

Fancy of becoming a samurai? You can experience the very same at Shiraishi Castle of Miyagi Prefecture. Shiraishi Castle has a history of over 400 years, which was once dismantled about 150 years ago, then restored in 1995, and hence, making it one of the few restored wooden buildings in Japan. This is the only place in Japan where you can try wearing a Samurai Armor in a restored wooden castle.
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Other recommended spots around the area include Matsushima, an archipelago with 260 islands which ranks in as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan; Miyagi Zao Fox Village, where you can interact with more than 100 cute fluffy foxes; and the Zao Kokeshi Museum, which boasts the world's largest display of 5,500 Kokeshi dolls (wooden dolls for childen).

 

 

 

 

SENDAI Pageant of Starlight

Being the largest city in Tohoku region, Sendai City, with a population of over one million, is also called the "City of Trees" thanks to the greenery that surrounds the entire city. During winter time, some 160 zelkova trees along Jozenji Street will be dressed up with about 600,000 illumination lights and the event, SENDAI Pageant of Starlight, offers one of the most spectacular winter illuminations in whole Japan! Remember to check out the Starlight Wink Program held every night during the event period too!
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Besides SENDAI Pageant of Starlight, there are many more snow festivals or light-up events in Tohoku Region!! The Lake Towadako Winter Story Festival (Aomori Prefecture) offers beautiful fireworks and illuminations; while at the Yokote Kamakura Festival (Akita Prefecture), you can experience a 3-meter-high snow house or igloo “kamakura” while savouring a hot “amazake” (sweet fermented rice beverage)! The Uesugi Snow Lantern Festival (Yamagata Prefecture), with its 300 beautiful snow lanterns, is also worth a visit.


 

 

 

 

Miyagi Gourmet Street

Kokubuncho is the busiest shopping district and liveliest evening entertainment street in the Tohoku Region. During day time, it offers many different stores, including department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and discount stores to its patrons; at night, it transforms into a bustling street where its neon-lit lanes packed with “izakaya” pubs, cocktail bars, late-night clubs as well as karaoke rooms that present the most authentic night life experiences. The most prosperous area is the 2-chome area where you can find many good restaurants for local delicacies such as beef tongue and Kinki, a high-quality fish.
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Gyutan (beef tongue) is a local delicacy unique in Miyagi Prefecture, for it is particularly thick and soft. Another famous dish is Sasa Kamaboko, a fish paste made from white fish and baked in the shape of a bamboo leaf. As for sweets, Zunda Mochi (rice cake with edamame bean paste), which uses mashed edamame for the bean paste, is the must-go. Recently, milkshakes and parfaits using “zunda” have slowly made its appearance on the dessert menus in the area too!

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