Miyagi Prefecture provides many ways for visitors to experience contemporary culture, from art and design to shopping and rubbing elbows with locals. When it comes to contemporary design, sendai mediatheque and Ogata Yama present stunning modern architecture open to visitors year-round. The Reborn Art Festival in Ishinomaki only comes around only once every two years, but is one of the best art festivals in Japan, with outdoor exhibits dotting the coastal landscape and events featuring world-class performers. Dive into local culture in one of Sendai’s yokocho, retro alleyways filled with cozy bars and restaurants that remain popular local haunts. Recently, Miyagi has attracted attention for its revitalization efforts of forgotten countryside towns, turning them into hidden gems. In Onagawa, Seapal-Pier and the new Shigeru Ban–designed train station complex have remade the center of this longtime fishing town as a low-key hub of shopping and design, while Shichikashuku in southern Miyagi lets you experience the comforts of modern life from a new perspective, inside innovatively repurposed vintage buildings.