The promotional movie titled “A trip to meet the lights of Miyagi” introduces beautiful seasonal sceneries of Miyagi Prefecture.
The people, peaceful nature, town, food, tradition and culture of Miyagi Prefecture are brightly shining. Having overcome the earthquake disaster in 2011, the movie gives us a touching tour of Miyagi prefecture throughout the four seasons.
In this article, we will further introduce attractive places and delicious food of Miyagi that do not appear in the movie.
What kind of place is Miyagi Prefecture?
Miyagi Prefecture is located in the Tohoku region, the east part faces the Pacific Ocean and the west part contiguous with Ou mountains. Sendai, the capital city of the prefecture and the biggest city in Tohoku region, flourished as a castle town of Date Masamune. Beef tongue and Sasa Kamaboko (bamboo leaf shaped fish cake) are the most famous foods in Miyagi but there are many other delicious foods from both mountains and the ocean. Miyagi Prefecture is full of worthy places and hot springs to visit.
Access to the city of Miyagi
Arriving by airplane:
Approximately 1h 10min from Narita Airport to Sendai airport.
Arriving by train:
Approximately 1h 33min from Tokyo station to Sendai station by bullet train.
Arriving by bus:
Approximately 5h 30min from Tokyo station to Sendai station.
Three Must-see places in Miyagi Prefecture
The pine grove Matsushima is well known in Matsuo Basho’s haiku, consists of more than 260 islands and is one of the three great views of Japan. There are also historical scenic places such as Godaido temple, which is a must-see in Matsushima, Zuiganji temple, Entsuin temple and more. It might be difficult for you to cover all islands, so cruising around Matsushima Bay is highly recommended. There is also a fish market called “Matsushima Sakana Ichiba,” a great spot to stop by to taste the local fresh seafood.
Okama (Lake Goshiki)
Okama is a crater lake located on Zao Goshikidake which is a part of the Zao Mountain Range, dividing Miyagi and Yamagata Prefecture. The water is a clear emerald green and the dynamic landscape is absolutely worthy to see. Okama is closed during the wintertime but snow rime watching is available in Zao area.
Naruko Kyo Gorge
Naruko Kyo Gorge is a scenic spot of the prefecture and famous for its superb autumn colored landscape. The valley is formed from the precipices ranging 100m high and the view from Oofukasawa bridge is magnificent. The area is also famous for hot springs called “Naruko Onsenkyo” where both hot springs and landscape can be enjoyed.
Three Must-eat dishes in Miyagi Prefecture
Miyagi Prefecture is the best place for meat lovers. Beef tongue and Wagyu from Sendai, grilled pork tripe from Kesennuma and so on. Sendai’s beef tongue is a popular souvenir. Garlic and Miso flavored grilled pork tripe from Kesennuma is loved as a soul food by the locals. Don’t miss Sendaigyu, beef from Sendai when visiting Miyagi.
Miyagi Prefecture has remarkable fishing ports such as Kesennuma port, Ishinomaki port and Shiogama port, famous for great marine products. Especially Sanriku is known as one of the best fishing spot and seafood brand. You should try local Sea pineapples, oysters, seaweed and Miyagi’s traditional dishes such as Sendai Zuke Don (Marinated Sashimi rice bowl), Hokki Meshi (rice cooked with plenty of Hokki surf clams) and Harako Meshi (rice with Salmon and Salmon roe).
Okuukare is a traditional local hot pot from Miyagi with seasonal vegetables and Miyagi’s Shiroishi uumen noodles flavored in a thick soy sauce soup. It was originally a Buddhists’ vegetarian meal but nowadays meat can be added and recipes vary by family and restaurants.
Three Must-buy souvenirs in Miyagi Prefecture
Sasa Kamaboko (bamboo leave shaped fish cake)
Sasa Kamaboko was made in the Meiji period when too much flatfish was caught so the locals minced them to a paste, shaped the paste into a bamboo leaf and grilled it for preservation. Sasa Kamaboko is a popular souvenir from kids to elderly.
Zunda is edamame paste and Zunda Mochi is a traditional sweet that combines rice cake with edamame paste. Nowadays bread, cake, custard, chocolates made with Zunda are becoming popular souvenirs.
Hagino Tsuki is a custard cream cake and a standard souvenir of Sendai. It’s been loved for over 30 years since its release in 1979.
Dialect of Miyagi Prefecture
The dialect differs in the northern part and the southern part of the prefecture. Sometimes the dialect of Miyagi Prefecture is called “Sendai-ben” but it doesn’t mean it’s spoken in the actual city of Sendai. The most convincing theory is that Sendai-ben is a dialect spoken in Sendai-han (Sendai domain) during the Edo period that has a different territory from the current city of Sendai.
Ittari Kattari … Whenever wherever
Udjagamasu … Be quiet, Shut up
Goshagu … get angry, get mad
Hashirimae … Daidokoro
Fuda … lots of, many
Why don’t you visit Miyagi, the prefecture with countless great spots and delicious food?
Miyagi Prefecture Tourism Information Site 「Miyagi Kanko NAVI」
- Issaki Hoto Festival, the biggest lantern float festival in the Noto Peninsula – Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture
- The City that makes us feel like travelling back in time to the Edo Period – Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture