Northern Miyagi is a vast inland area of plains and mountains rich in nature, history, and traditional craft. Visitors flock here every summer to see the Sanbongi sunflowers and the lotuses of Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma, and in autumn to see the fall colors of Naruko Gorge and to hike Mount Kurikoma. Year-round, visitors and locals alike frequent Naruko Onsen for relaxation as well as health benefits. The northern Miyagi area is historically and culturally significant as well: Iwadeyama was the home base of samurai warlord Masamune Date before he went on to found Sendai City. Visit the Iwadeyama historical district to explore sites like the Yubikan samurai villa and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to try on real samurai armor. The area’s rich history has made it also rich in traditional craft, like kokeshi dolls and shino-bamboo basketry. Stop by workshops like Sakurai Kokeshi in Naruko or Takeikougeikan in Iwadeyama to watch these crafts being made by artisans, or even try your hand at making them yourself. The northern Miyagi area is just 13 minutes from Sendai Station by shinkansen bullet train. Once in the area, transfer to a local train or bus to reach your sightseeing destination.