Miyagi Prefecture, the most populous prefecture in northeastern Japan's Tohoku region, is a place known for its charming diversity, offering a rich tapestry of culinary delights, natural landscapes, and cultural activities. If you are planning a visit to Miyagi, here are 10 experiences you absolutely must not miss.
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10 Best Things to Do in Miyagi
Enjoy Miyagi’s Cuisine
Miyagi is considered a culinary paradise because of its advanced agriculture, aquaculture, and animal husbandry. Renowned for many classic regional dishes, those who visit Miyagi must not miss the famous Sendai specialty, gyutan (grilled beef tongue), fresh seafood, and many traditional local specialties, such as Shiroishi umen noodles and seri nabe (Japanese parsley hot pot).
Admire Miyagi's Natural Beauty
Miyagi boasts magnificent natural landscapes, including beautiful coastlines, picturesque mountains, and breathtaking vistas. Matsushima, located in the eastern part of Miyagi Prefecture, is known as one of the "Three Views of Japan" with an impressive view of the coast and islands, while on Mt. Zao in the western part of the prefecture, there is a caldera lake called “Okama”, which is the most representative nature attraction of Miyagi.
Tohoku Sightseeing Organization
Relax in Miyagi's Hot Spring Resorts
Miyagi is dotted with many hot spring resorts, such as Akiu Onsen, Sakunami Onsen, Naruko Onsen, Matsushima Onsen, and Togatta Onsen, to name but a few. Bathing in these hot springs not only relieves fatigue of your travel but also allows you to enjoy the surrounding scenic beauty.
Experience Miyagi's Festivals and Seasonal Events
Miyagi hosts a variety of festivals and seasonal events throughout the year, ranging from traditional to modern. Traditional festivals include the Aoba Festival in May, the Shiogama Minato Festival in July, and the renowned Sendai Tanabata Festival in August, while modern events such as the Jozenji Streetjazz Festival and the Sendai Oktoberfest in September, and the Sendai Pageant of Starlight in December are the most famous.
Enjoy Miyagi's Vibrant Nightlife
Miyagi offers a vibrant nightlife, with many izakaya bars, restaurants, and music pubs. Nights in Sendai are particularly colorful, as you can linger in the nostalgic alleys of yokocho and get up close and personal with the locals over drinks and conversation.
Discover Miyagi's Hidden Gems
Beyond the well-known tourist attractions, Miyagi has many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Off the eastern coast of Miyagi Prefecture, there is a small island called Tashirojima, which is full of adorable wild cats. Murata Town in the southern part of Miyagi flourished as a commercial town in the past. Walking through the town, you will be able to feel the retro atmosphere of the Edo period through the old kura warehouses that have survived to this day.
Participating in Miyagi's Unique Outdoor Activities
Miyagi offers many unique outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, cycling, and camping. You can participate in these activities to stretch your muscles and experience Miyagi's natural beauty.
Tour Miyagi's Rich History
Miyagi has a rich history, and many ancient buildings and historical sites bear witness to the region’s evolution. You can visit Shiogama Shrine and the ruins of Taga Castle to gain insights into the ancient history of the Tohoku region, with both having a history of more than 1,300 years. If you are interested in the history of samurai, you cannot miss the historical spots related to the renowned feudal lord Date Masamune, such as Aoba Castle Site, Zuihoden Mausoleum, and the National Treasure Zuiganji Temple.
Shop for Miyagi's Unique Souvenirs
At local markets and shops in Miyagi, you can find a wide array of unique souvenirs. Local traditional handicrafts, such as kokeshi dolls and tamamushi lacquerware, are great souvenirs to take home as gifts or for personal use. If you are looking for something edible, sasakamoboko fishcakes, various kinds of zunda sweets, and locally produced sake might be a good choice.
Tohoku Standard Market
Learn about the Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake
On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami devastated Miyagi. While visiting Miyagi, gaining an understanding of how this disaster affected the local residents and society can help you better comprehend the history and resilience of this region. You can learn about the impact of the disaster by visiting the earthquake museums and tsunami remnants and contribute to the recovery by taking a tour of the surrounding areas.
September 29, 2023
Miyagi Prefecture is a charming tourist destination with a wealth of natural resources, historical culture, and human charm. I hope you have the opportunity to Visit Miyagi and experience this beautiful place for yourself.