April 28, 2013 in ❤︎I LOVE JAPAN❤︎ / Japan / Tohoku

On my birthday this year, the danna took a couple of days off. Both of us are not the gifts type of person. We sort of reached an unspoken understanding where we won’t have to go through the headache of what to buy each other during special occasions, but to decide together for a small holiday somewhere.

Last year we went to Okinawa, and this year we both wanted to travel up north to Tohoku.

The main reason was really just to give Tohoku some support. I have heard and seen heartbreaking interviews about how bad the people in the disaster areas after 311 have to struggle for a living, and every damn time it bring me to tears. Although just us visiting the area per se would not change anything about the people’s lives in Tohoku, i hope at least the presence of some tourists there will encourage the people there to hold on and persevere , or at least even just a little smile and brighten up their day. 🙂

So we have chosen Sendai, (Miyagi Prefecture) which takes about 4-5 hours drive from Tokyo.

We passed by Sano rest area for breakfast!

In Tokyo the sakura were almost all gone that time, and in Sano, it was still full bloom! 😀 But further up north, they weren’t even blooming for another week, so this whole sakura thing was really really tricky. You need a lot of luck!

Such a beautiful and happy sight :3

This is one of the cutest mascots i’ve seen in Japan!!! 😀

Sano is famous for ramen so it has got a bowl as hat and the fella’s hair is made of ramen lolol


Tamago Kake Gohan (plain rice with raw egg) only 300 yen!


This is a complete meal that puts a big big smile on me every time

I can eat this for the rest of my life T____________T


There was also an ichigo (strawberry) fair!!

Tochigi (te prefecture we were in) is quite famous for its Tochiotome strawberries! Although i still prefer Amao from Fukuoka

Tochigi limited Tochiotome Strawbie Kitkat!


Make a wish


Tochigi limited phone strap



After breakfast we continued our journey to Sendai (2-3 hours drive). The weather was not very good, it was raining throughout 🙁

Reached the central station.

The whole mall was deco in pink for sakura season.

To be honest there isn’t much touristy things to do in Sendai. But just like everywhere else, it has its own food specialty, and it is Gyu Tan (ox tongue).


“The Gyutan Street”

There was at least 5-6 Gyutan specialty shop, and we had a hard time deciding which one to go. The most famous one obviously had a long queue outside but we wanted to be hipsters so we went into another quiter one lol

Grilled ox tongue atsukiri (thickly sliced)

Tofu with ox tongue mince

And clear soup.

It was soooooo goooood. T____T


And then we went souvenir shopping!

The famous “Sea Treasure” box


This is a Tohoku limited, it’s not matcha or wasabi!! It’s this thingie called “zunda”. In the picture is Zunda Mochi.

It looks like Edamame, and to me it tastes like pandan wtf.


And the most famous Sendai custard snack called Hagi No Tsuki.



After shopping, we went and check in to our hotel!

Or rather, our Ryokan, a traditional Japanese style hotel, normally comes with hotsprings ^^

If you happen to travel to the suburb and haven’t experienced ryokan before, it’s highly recommended, because it’s my FAV type of accommodation ever! 😀

First of all it looks like this:


Where is the bed… right?

Well, once you check in, the hotel staff in traditional yukata will come and serve you light snack and tea, and then you get to relax. they will come back shortly after to help you arrange the tatami bed (where the table belongs), and tatami bed is the mostestestestest comfortable thing ever during winter.

Another thing i love about ryokan is that everyone in the hotel practices traditional Japanese etiquette and manners, every one is unbelievably extra extra polite and when they go out of your room they have to bow on the floor wtf.



And then everybody who stays in the ryokan will change into yukata. Normally guys in green/blue and girls in pink ^^


The whole point of staying in the ryokan is really just to slooooowly relax, go to the gift shop and buy snack and beer back to the hotel to drink and watch tv, and then go to the onsen (hotspring), many many times lol.




I love going to their giftshops! Trust the Japanese to sell the most bizarre things ever, really.

When i was in Nagasaki they had Castella Cake Juice wtf.

In Sendai they have Gyutan Cider WTF.


Anyway, this ryokan that we stayed in is very famous for its natural onsen!

It has like a public big bath for men and women, another indoor onsen for men and women, a private onsen room free for rent, AND a natural hotspring outdoor.

And because it was so exclusive, it has alternate time/day for men and women to enter separately. I went in first.

There was a looooooong wooden walkway


And then a looooong wooden stair case

You walk till the end, push open the door…

It is the outdoor hotspring.

When i went there i was the only guest, so i sneaked in my phone for pictures wtf. You are welcome.

The river outside looks like this.

I swear the color is exactly like that!!! And can you see the mini waterfall?  There was lots of steam coming out from it and i believe that’s where the thermal spring comes from. Directly. Into the bath. On me.


I love onsen so much, you will have the best sleep ever after a 15 min soak.



So lazy i never wear my Yukata properly lol



Next day!

This ryokan has the best breakfast buffet i’ve ever had! It has like 10 counters or so making traditional Japanese food on the spot. FREE FLOW MENTAIKO AND SHISHAMO AND TAMAGO OMG

They even had a pastry chef who makes dessert on the spot for you omg i felt so spoilt and also feel super touched by the effort they put in T__T


Shishamo and mentaiko and tamagoyaki, and crap miso sou and fresh kiwi juice.



Grilled salmon and nikujaga and shirasu and natto and fresh milk.


And then onsen tamago and pink rice 😀



I’m not sure if it is just this ryokan, but i love the suburbs in Japan because they really make so much extra effort to make your stay /experience super comfortable, be it a hotel or a restaurant. Or public toilet wtf.


A Sendai public toilet actually has wet wipes! I don’t know why i was so impressed by this lolol. I don’t think many toilets give wet wipes lo hahaha



And then the hotel room and the hotspring bathroom has like a million types of soap, face cleanser, moisturiser, toner etc etc


And then the tissue is forever folded triangle one. This was in the hotel restaurant. Right after a customer leaves the table, they waitress will immediately clean it up AND fold triangles lol


In the onsen they have sterilized hair brushes

Free hairbands for the long hair ones (me me me me me)

The sign board says they have prepared 3 different types of shampoo, you can use whichever you like. The attention to details is incredible.


When we checked out we receive an origami frog, which means safe journey back.

I know it’s trivial but i really appreciate all these super small details la…



So we had to get back to Tokyo the next day.

“Ganbarou Tohoku”

On the way back we passed by Kunimi rest area, in Fukushima.

I was very happy because the whole souvenir shop was full of tourists!!! 😀 (Although you can’t see it from here because it was raining so nobody stayed outside lol)

I guess there are many people just like me, travel to Fukushima just so they can give very small support for the people there, in hope that they can recover sooner 😀


We bought our last gyutan before heading back 😛

I bought Fukushima Hello Kitty <3


And then continue our journey back to Tokyo, and stopped by Utsunomiya for gyoza 😀

Famous gyoza shop





Back home! Lots of souvenir from Tohoku 😀

Yamagata cherries


Oh and the sakura trees along the highway :3


Ok that’s all!

I didn’t know it would end up such a long post. Thank you for reading!





72 responses to “Sendai”

  1. Simon Seow says:

    Hahaha so funny you camwhore with the toothbrush still in your mouth. The raw egg with rice seems yummy. Tabetai!

  2. 3yin says:

    I like GYOZA!!

  3. CW says:

    Stayed at a ryokan in hakone when I went to japan for the first time. It seriously is amazing and yours looks so magical haha 🙂

  4. Jean says:

    its so lovely…! which i could go to the suburb places in Japan like you too! 🙂

  5. Chloe says:

    Cheesie! This post is not long enough hahaha. I wish I could end up reading for hours, lols just kidding! ;p Can I know which ryokan you were staying in Sendai? Wish I could visit the natural onsen one day!

  6. Miki Kee says:

    AHHH!!!! I wanna go to japan too after reading your blogs

  7. kingsley90 says:


  8. Alina says:

    Always wanted to go there as well – maybe next year!nThe food looks so delicious…makes me wonder why I haven’t moved to Japan yet orzn自分の彼氏と一緒にこういうホテルに行きたいは~!素敵n温泉もいいな~!羨ましいhあ~!笑

  9. msbulat says:

    Your Japan posts are always the best!

  10. Cheesie says:

    When will you go Japan???????

  11. Cheesie says:

    ME TOO!

  12. Cheesie says:

    Yea my best stays are ways in ryokan!! Nothing beats onsen 😀

  13. Cheesie says:


  14. Cheesie says:

    Come! Lol

  15. Cheesie says:

    By which one hahaha

  16. Cheesie says:


  17. kingsley90 says:

    Every one.. Looks so pretty and quaint, probably except the toilet with the wet wipe

  18. JessicaC says:

    You made me wanna travel to Japan so bad!!! *saves money from now*

  19. chew says:

    tt was really a sweet gesture of u and all the tourists at the souvenir shop! i hope i can give my support too when i visit japan next time.

  20. Manzy says:

    sooo nice!!! T_T

  21. airmeli says:

    Oh my god. This is great post. Really will want to visit Sendai one day.

  22. Jowen says:

    You never fail to make me fall in love with Japan over and over again! 😀

  23. naeust says:

    Ahh regret not getting the Fukushima Hello Kitty last time! T___T Should drop by Fukushima next time for this little town famous for their hot springs! Err forgot the name though haha sorry not helpful at all wtf

  24. hitomineko says:

    awww that’s so sweet that you would travel to places just to give support to those people. Everything looks so amazing… are those high end hotels?! Just can’t believe they would input so much thought and details. All the food look really delicious. =) I think this travel thing is pretty cool idea. I would do the same too if I could ^^nnxo

  25. Jessie S says:

    Wow~~ really appreciate that you blogged about your trip to Sendai!! Akita & Yamagata is on my to-visit list… Not so soon though..hehe, will be heading to Nagoya in June and then North Kyushu for my birthday in Nov!!! nMind to share the name of that ryokan that you stayed? After reading your review, I wanna visit it too!!

  26. Cheesie says:

    Good luck!! 🙂

  27. Cheesie says:

    Yes please do!! 😀

  28. Cheesie says:


  29. Cheesie says:

    Come!! Tohoku has really great scenery and of course yummy food, it would be worth it!

  30. Cheesie says:

    So happy to hear :DDD

  31. airmeli says:

    I will. I believed it is even more pretty than the photo that you have taken.

  32. Cheesie says:

    Hahahah oh you went before? 😀 Yea next time I wanna go to Fukushima city, this time only passed by.

  33. Cheesie says:

    Ryokan is very standard, they are mostly the same, but yes it would definitely be more expensive than business hotels

  34. Cheesie says:

    Drop by Nikko also, it’s sooooooo pretty during autumn

  35. airmeli says:

    Tohoku is a must go for Sendai afor all season nd drop by Nikko during the autumn season?

  36. Cheesie says:

    It is :)nOne of the most famous in Sendai!nnOh I’d love to go to Akita and Aomori! Wow you seem to travel extensively in Japan too. Just for holiday? 😀

  37. Cheesie says:

    Hope you get to visit Nagasaki! One of my fav cities. And if you go to Kumamoto must visit Aso 😀

  38. Nanda says:

    Omg it’s so beautiful I felt like crying T.T I’ve been dreaming about ryokan and outdoor onsen for so long I really wanna go there! Your pic in outdoor onsen is so dreamy :’) *sigh*

  39. angel says:

    living vicariously through you 🙂 can’t wait to be able to go there someday!

  40. hayleycasa says:

    Oooh now I want to visit Tohoku next time. I have a “next time” list as long as my arm hahah

  41. Mandy says:

    the sakuras are so so so pretty! Cheesie, have you been to Okinawa before?

  42. Nagareboshi says:

    Loved this post! So many wonderful pictures, and the ryokan looked charming! I would veryuch like to visit that place! ^__^

  43. shi alice says:

    …not sure u typed ‘crap miso’ on purpose or typo #notsureme ahaha

  44. Armanda says:

    I back from Japan trip last December and I misssssssss Japan sososo much!!!! And seriously the most beautiful country that I have visited in my life. Wahaha. And their public toilet is the best! And the tatami is so comfortable. Bt….. Due to I’m toooo shy. Don’t dare to enter Onsen! Great loss… I knw… Lol. Anyway reading our blog about Japan makes me miss Japan even ore and make me wants to finish my sudy faster so that I can earn money to travel!!!!! To japan!!! And And when I tell someone that I’m thinking to choose Japan as my future honeymoon destination they laugh at me……….. Hahahaha

  45. ジェシー says:

    yes, just for holidays.. I visited Kansai area for 2 wks, earlier this month.. That was my 4th visit to Japan…

  46. ジェシー says:

    Yes, Nagasaki and Kumamoto is included in my itinerary but not Mt Aso.. not enough time.. I’m traveling alone, and I’m lazy to move hotel.. this Nov trip to North Kyushu will only be touch n go… Will go in-depth next time… and I’m visiting Nagoya in June for a concert… I can’t wait!!! because of all these trips this year, I went n applied a multiple entry visa, which is gonna lessen those troublesome application etc… ^^

  47. Liz Akina says:

    Mygoss you make me droll over Japan again..!! now I know where I’ll end up in a dream tonite… *Japanese Hot Spring in Sendai* LOL.. anyway, Im your reader from Indonesia and I really wish you will come to Jakarta again soon…, so we (your beloved reader) can meet youuuuuuuuuu 😀 LOL…

  48. Elle says:

    Can I ask how much your ryokan stay cost? ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ

  49. Kiko says:

    I also wanna go there! Cheesie I love you and I wish I could be as slim as you! I really like japanese fashion but I can’t fit into anything because I’m too fat and diet pills don’t work for me! TT-TT

  50. slayedoll says:

    ;~; i miss japan! it’s a pity i didn’t sightsee much when i was there…

  51. Setoberi says:

    I’m going Japan in Dec finally after years of reading & :3-ing &salivating & @.@-ing & admiring & (*_*)ing & envying &^(ToT)-ing your awesome blog.. I’m so happeeee .. Can’t wait!! Will reread your all your Nippon blog post so I won’t miss any good tips!! <3

  52. Setoberi says:

    I’m going Japan in Dec finally after years of reading & :3-ing &salivating & @.@-ing & admiring & (*_*)ing & envying &^(ToT)-ing your awesome blog.. I’m so happeeee .. Can’t wait!! Will reread your all your Nippon blog post so I won’t miss any good tips!! <3

  53. Cassie says:

    omg I love love love ur this Jp food posts!! ^o^ I’m feeling hungry already~~

  54. Marie Maklo says:

    Seems like a perfect holiday ^_^ I really want to go to Japan!

  55. mrsveryvera says:

    moukali makka Cheesie? I discovered the gyutan restaurant at Tokyo Station on my last day!! I was gutted as I just had a big bowl of ramen at Ramen Street! Also, you’re right! You can lose weight in Japan! I could fit (comfortably) into my dress this morning! I thought I had put on weight from the donuts (mister donut!!!) I had while in Japan! Ja ne!

  56. zying says:

    gosh i cant even finish ur is so tempted!

  57. Wen says:

    Really beautiful Cheesie. You’re such a good-hearted person.

  58. Cheesie says:

    Finish!!!!! >:{

  59. Cheesie says:

    Bochi bochi denna Hahahaha

  60. Cheesie says:

    Start planning!!!

  61. Cheesie says:

    Yay thank uou

  62. Cheesie says:

    Yay yay yay!!! Please have fun!

  63. Cheesie says:

    Why not!!

  64. Cheesie says:

    Maybe try another method? Sure something will work for someone !!

  65. Cheesie says:

    I am not sure. But you can check the website! It’s called Sakan!

  66. Cheesie says:

    I hope to be there again too!!!

  67. Cassandra says:

    Hi cheesie!nI really enjoyed this post!! I also LOVE how the Japanese pays attention to the smallest details to try to make you enjoy your stay, especially in ryokan! I actually went to Ibaraki by the Kizuna project (fully sponsored, to learn about the recovery efforts omg) and I super love one of the ryokan we stayed there! The manager’s mum danced for our entire group on the day we arrived sooo nice ;_; I’m missing Japan so much, wanna go to a ryokan soon, their hospitality is the best <3 nPlease continue having such posts they always make me feel warmth in my heart (LOL really!!), sometimes make me tear also hehe.

  68. CT says:

    Totally agree with you. The service standard in Japan really is tops, and it is their attention to detail that makes me want to keep returning. Japanese are just so polite and meticulous. And I’m a big fan of the limited edition KitKat that they have over there!

  69. ailina says:

    would you share the name of this ryokan please? 🙂

  70. sgrmse. says:

    been craving gyoza since this morning. OM NOM!!! D:

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