In the Tohoku region, Miyagi Prefecture occupies a large part of the western side of Japan on the Pacific Coast. Cradled between scenic coastlines and mountainous landscapes, Miyagi is famous for its seafood. A luxurious harakomeshi is a classic Miyagi dish of rice with the belly meat of fatty salmon, sprinkled with salmon roe marinated in soy sauce. Miyagi Prefecture also offers fantastic skiing in the winter and stunning coastal scenery, namely the celebrated Matsushima Bay. Considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful views, Matsushima sees pine trees clustered over more than 200 rocky islets, starkly mingling across clear ocean waters. Nourish the body soaking in the healing waters of Naruko Onsen, while the flaming fall foliage around Naruko Gorge proves unbelievably beautiful. Meanwhile, the mountains and forests of the Zao region in southwest Miyagi are symbolized by the Okama Crater beside the summit of Mount Zao.
The Hirose River wiggles its way through the city of Sendai, Miyagi’s capital that’s best explored by bike. Richly flavored and soft in texture, Sendai is lovingly associated with its quality gyutan (beef tongue), the representative dish of Miyagi Prefecture. Aged and thinly sliced before hitting the grill, beef tongue is succulent and soft, typically served with a side of beef tail soup. Built in 1600, Aoba Castle (Aoba-jo) overlooks the city and resides by the colorful mausoleum, Zuihoden, enshrining the powerful daimyo Masamune Date. Each year in the fall, family and friends enjoy stewing Sendai imoni hot pots around riverbanks alfresco-style, a long-lived tradition flavored with miso, root vegetables, konnyaku, and pork. Bright green zundamochi is a Miyagi Prefecture signature sweet, while the local fish cake in the shape of a bamboo grass leaf is known as sasa kamaboko. Miyagi is abundant with glorious mountainscapes and natural parks, featuring tasty local cuisine and quality seafood.
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