It is blessed with rich fisheries and wonderful sightseeing spots, including Matsushima, one of the three major scenic spots in Japan. With 1,060,000 residents, the prefectural capital, Sendai, has continued developing as the hub city in the Tohoku region.
March 11, 2011, witnessed the occurrence of a large tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the coast of Tohoku in the Pacific Ocean. As a result of this tsunami, the beautiful scenery centering on the coastal region was utterly transformed. Now, two years after the disaster, the clamor of recovery and reconstruction resonates within the prefecture. Beautiful flowers bloom on this land reborn and its people have begun to smile once again.
“We want people of the world to see both our recovery and our rejuvenation.”
From April to June, the JR Group and Miyagi Prefecture, together with surrounding municipalities, are working together to carry out a large-scale tourism campaign. With numerous events taking place during the campaign, this is the perfect time to visit Miyagi and Sendai. Please come on up to see what we are talking about.
Sendai Miyagi DC Promotion
Visit the Affected Areas
Many areas affected by the disaster in Miyagi Prefecture have been recovering and are ready to welcome tourists. Locally, there are individuals known as “story-tellers,” who experienced the disaster first hand. Having the chance to visit the affected areas and think about natural disasters is something precious, so please feel free to ask these story-tellers about their experience of the earthquake. Interpreter-guides can be arranged through GOZAIN, an organization in Sendai for volunteer interpreter-guides. Listening to these real experience-based stories is very moving and will most definitely become something you will never forget.
Enjoy Good Eating in the Recovery Shopping District
People of the shopping district affected by the disaster have set up a temporary shopping district called “Recovery Shopping District” (Fukko Shotengai). Come to feel their passion and also enjoy delicious local food.
Kesennuma Fukko Shotengai: Minamimachi Murasaki Market
The market is home to 54 shops, such as traditional Japanese-style restaurants, izakaya (Japanese-style pubs), cafes, and a korokke shop selling steaming deep-fried korokke (croquets). If you like, Kesennuma’s specialty, shark-fins, and horumon innards dishes are also available.
Address: 1-2-1 Minami-machi, Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture
Minami-Sanriku Sansan Shotengai
You can find 30 shops lined up side-by-side. Enjoy fresh, locally caught seafood in a casual manner.
Address: 59-1 Shizugawa-Gozenshita, Minami-Sanriku-cho, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture
Participate in Events
Many events will be held during the campaign period. Here are some of them.
Ogawara Cherry Blossom Festival
April 4 (Thu)-April 30 (Tue), 2013 (tbd)
Rows of cherry blossom trees continue on for 8 km along the banks of the Shiroishi River. A “tunnel” comprised of more than 1,200 cherry blossom trees is really a site to see.
A Hike from the Station: Walking the Grounds of Lord Date Masamune
April 27 (Sat), 2013
Starting from Sendai Station, you will visit places related to Date Masamune (1567-1636), the first lord of Sendai, including Sendai City Museum and the ruins of Sendai Castle. Participation is free of charge. English language maps are available so please feel free to participate.
Zao Echo Line
Late April-mid May, 2013
You can enjoy driving, weaving between snow walls, from the opening of the road in late April to mid May. The overwhelmingly tall walls of snow are sure to be exciting.
May 18 (Sat)-May 19 (Sun), 2013
Valiant warriors parade with floats in Jidai Emaki Junko (parade) and 4,000 people energetically dance in Sendai Suzume Odori (dance festival). You can “jump in” and join the dance freely.
Visit Tohoku Using a Special Ticket
JR East will sell special tickets during the campaign.
JR EAST PASS SPECIAL
For any three days within the first ten days of your first usage of the ticket, you can ride JR East trains as often as you like.
Please see the back cover of this magazine for more details.
You can also receive wonderful giveaways when traveling to the Miyagi/Sendai area with the JR EAST PASS or the JR EAST PASS SPECIAL. Please show your pass at any places handing out the giveaway.
Debut of “Super Komachi” of Akita Shinkansen
This spring, the E6 series train of Akita Shinkansen makes its debut as “Super Komachi.” It will begin running on the Shinkansen line at a maximum speed of 300 km/h from the start, and will run at a maximum speed of 320 km/h, which is the fastest in Japan, in spring 2014. State-of-the-art technology has been adopted that improves upon both environmental performance and comfort level of the train. Take the new train, and visit Sendai and Akita!