For more than four centuries, Miyagi has been a leading food-producing region. Its diversity is its strength. Winter snow and ample rain support good harvests. Warm and cool ocean currents meet just off the coast, resulting in an abundance of marine life. Rice grown in the plains of Miyagi is of excellent quality and used for making fine sushi, sake, and desserts. Sea and mountains, tradition and modernity, city and country, chefs and farmers—elements usually separated— intermingle in Miyagi.
Miyagi is home to several of Japan’s largest fishing ports and fish markets, with maguro tuna, saury, and salmon being some of the most celebrated catches. Miyagi is also one of Japan’s biggest producers of oysters, rivaled only by Hiroshima.
Witness the fishing industry from an insider’s perspective—head to a fish market in the early morning to watch a live auction or to tour behind the scenes. Taste Miyagi’s freshest seafood prepared by masters: kaisendon seafood bowls, sushi, and sashimi at restaurants; or keep it simple and eat your fill of oysters at a fisherman-run oyster shack.
Miyagi sake consistently places highly at national and international competitions. It is predominantly high-quality junmai sake, made to pair perfectly with the region’s seafood. Learn more about how Miyagi sake is produced by taking a brewery tour.
Miyagi’s climate produces estate-grown grapes worthy of supporting Japan’s growing wine industry. One of the domestic wine industry’s rising stars, Akiu Winery, has its vineyards in the scenic Akiu Onsen area of Sendai and is open to visitors year-round.
In recent years, Japan has stunned the world by winning a number of major international whisky awards. One of Japan’s whisky pioneers, Nikka Whisky, operates the Miyagikyo Distillery in the lush Sakunami area of Sendai, chosen for its pure water and optimal climate. Tours are offered daily.
This particularly delicious rendition of grilled beef tongue is a delicacy which originated in Sendai. The meat is thoroughly tenderized and marinated for excellent texture and flavor.
Other Famous Local Specialties
Zunda mochi is a local confection made of mochi (sweet rice dumplings) topped with a sweetened edamame puree. It can be enjoyed in different forms, including the popular zunda milkshake.
Sasakamaboko are fishcakes made from fish pureed, seasoned, and pressed into the shape of bamboo leaves. They can be eaten as is or grilled.