A bit more on Sendai

here are few more photos of what I saw in Sendai. I recommend to use the loople bus, this is an old fashion type of hop-on hop-off version, very cute and with that you get an overview of the city.

 

 

Here are some views of the tour

 

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We were there at the end of July just before the week end of Tanabata Festival on 5th and 6th August, this is very special apparently. While Japan celebrates and have their Matsure in May, Sendai celebrates in early August and that brings over 2M visitors in one week end!

Everywhere, where displayed the Tanabata and the hotel do their own with the employees every year.

 

 

Sendai – food

The Tohoku region is known for the good food (Osaka remaining the hotspot for food in Japan).

Sendai and the Miyagi Prefecture have a lot to offer. Their main one is beef tongue

I did not get a chance to try it as there were some many other items to try that I simply had no time to fit it in the menus, next time

Seafood is recognised and I would highly recommend it, the fish was excellent as well as the oysters. fun thing, they sell seafood in vacuum pack as omiyage in the train station!

We went for sushi on the Friday evening in the west wing of sendai station there is a lovely sushi place good value for money, we had great fun and the quality was remarkable, arigato gosaimasu.

You can see on the plate that we got the classic ones but also raw almonds sliced thinly. the weird black thing in the middle is a pickled aubergine. they have them every where and we were not too enthusiastic about it. (we found it in our bento, at breakfast and during this dinner, clearly a common thing in the area)

One thing that Sendai is known for is Zunda and that is A MUST!! I absolutely loved it. Now, as a westerner, if you tell me, I will have a soya bean ice cream, I dont think I will go for it instantly however I highly highly recommend it.

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here is a bit of explanation and the Japanese version with nutrients explanation zunda

 

For those of you who do not plan a trip to Sendai, Zunda is available at Daimaru Tokyo and Haneda Airport.

I tried the shake and the pudding and both were equally delicious

BREAKFAST

Now, finally, I could have a Japanese Breakfast at the hotel with an explanation and it was fun.

Of course rice is on the menu, in my case I had rice with mentaiko from Aomori (one of the Tohoku prefectures), excellent

We had a roll that looked like vine grape, long and thin, sweet with meat taste

There is a Chinese origin rice that is stewed and that you can top up with seaweed, fried onions, pickles, excellent, anyone has the name? a very good option

there is also miso soup and I have been told that miso soup is excellent for hangover (resaca)

you will find the typical natto that I avoid at all cost, pickles, omelet, fish cakes (the white thing on the plate) that you find everywhere and can buy as omiyage, not very tasty and a bit chewy, the one at the hotel was the best we tried of all

Udon are also reknown in Sendai (see photo) and the famous Zunda this time is cream with mochi (rice ball)

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Sendai – travel and 1st impressions

After just 2 days in Sendai, I came back with the will to go again and visit more of Tohoku. There are 6 vast prefectures in this region and I found out that all have a lot of history, handicraft, traditions and great food.

Sendai is the 2nd largest city in the North of Japan. 1h40 with the Shinkansen from Tokyo station. Depending on where you are in Tokyo, you could consider Ueno where the train makes a short stop.

Tochima trains are faster, I took a slower one on the way back that took 2 hours, no big deal, just more stops.

1 million inhabitants in the city and you can tell they are all very impacted (rightfully so) by the 2011 East Japan great Earthquake, all around there is about Hope, Reconstruction, Future, etc. you can see the words displayed on many occasions.

What I loved about the city is that it is of course a lot slower than Tokyo or Osaka. you can walk in the streets and they are not packed, people are friendly with a lot less speed in their attitude.

I noticed base ball is a great thing here with the Rakuten Stadium and the Eagles Tohoku team, there were matches and the queue to the shuttle was inmense, it took me a while to understand that all were queuing for a match, never seen such a long queue!!

Shinkansen is just GREAT, always on time, so fast, and so big! by the time they leave a station, they are already at high speed and same applies when they reach a station, the speed is still very high, this is why there are fences on the platforms and the staff is very cautious of people going too close to the yellow safety lign.

The only thing that I really dont enjoy is the price, it is super expensive and JR must have made a fortune by now.

11900 Yen one way to Sendai!! and no matter which type of train you take, same price. crazy!! there are discount shops in town but I still need to figure out how they work and where they are, that is on my priority list as it would save 30% apaprently!

Typically, on the way out, Japanese people will buy a bento box on the platform or in one of the shops in the station and have either breakfast or lunch on board.

 

On the way back, no matter if it was a short trip and a week long one, they will always buy a souvenir gift for family, children and/or colleagues (omiyage) and you will find large shops in all stations, sometimes, this looks like a mall

In Sendai, they were obviously selling a lot of beef tongue and zunda pastries

 

In Sendai, the station is really nice, not that big, you cannot really get lost for long (as you would in Tokyo). It is mostly divided into East and West Wing,

Please do not stick to the Metropolitan Hotel as a benchmark as there is one on each side!!

The shops and restaurants are of good quality