After traveling to Iwate Prefecture, my next destination was Miyagi Prefecture.
Going to Sendai from Ninohe by Shinkansen again, which takes about an hour.
Sendai is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, and it is also the largest city in Tohoku area. I have actually been to Sendai before on my birthday in 2013.
Loooove Shinkansen rides. Scenic winter view all the way!
This was the breakfast I had in the morning. It’s just so genius to have plates like that for hotel buffet, makes everything looks ultra gourmet!
Arriving in Sendai. It is all painted white by powdery snow.
I haven’t seen anything like this for a long long time! So much excitement for a Malaysian girl!
After checking in to my hotel, the team and I got on a car to Matsuyama to visit one of the biggest Miso factory.
Sendai Miso, Matsuyama
This is the Sendai Miso Shoyu (Johsen) factory, located in Matsuyama, in the northen part of Miyagi Prefecture.
With the good people who brought me here. I was briefly introduced to the making of Sendai miso. How the fermentation can take months and how there are different types of miso throughout different areas in Japan.
Sendai Miso is one of the most famous miso types in Japan, and did you know that the first Sendai Miso factory is built by a samurai at the base of the Sendai Castle way back in 1593!? A samurai!!! He must have really loved miso with all his life.
Sendai miso’s 3 main ingredients are rice, soybean and salt.
While there are many different variety of miso like Saikyo Miso (a sweet-based white miso originated from Kyoto, which I don’t usually like) and Shinshu miso (yellow miso).
Sendai miso remains one of my favorite because it is full-bodied, saltier and super rich in umami. I bought a pack for my daily miso soup and for the first time the danna praised my breakfast cooking lolol.
There’s a “breathing hole” for the miso to continue to ferment, as Sendai Miso is fresh miso.
According to the Sendai Miso spokesperson, miso can hardly go bad. So as long as you place it in the fridge, even if it is past expiry date, you can consume it safely. It’s true. I had a box of miso that was almost a year expired and I still used it, nobody got any tummyache lolol.
Other products they produce include Shoyu, Koji and assorted miso products.
I was escorted to the factory to see how miso is produced there, and I saw this collage of photos. Those are the pictures taken right after the 2011 Earthquake.
Part of the factory was damaged, but now it is back in its perfect shape. One thing I noticed about the people and shops in Tohoku is that, they usually keep and display photos of the aftermath of the disaster. It’s a little heartbreaking to see, but I am very very impressed by the act.
Instead of trying to forget a painful memory, they put it out there as a remembrance and a symbol of good faith, gratitude and positiveness. That the dark times will pass and they always move on, work hard and thrive even better. And be thankful. I am so humbled. It is something I can learn for myself.
Anyway I was treated to a very very simple lunch at the factory canteen.
A Sendai Miso yaki onigiri (heated up) from the convenient store (a collaboration with Johnsen), which cost 102 yen, and a hot, steaming bowl of Sendai Miso soup fresh from the kitchen.
It was the simplest, most belly-warming meal ever. I am viewing life differently now lol. How can a bowl of soup and a rice ball makes such perfect lunch? I have no complaints. T___T.
So, so so so good.
Johsen fresh Sendai Miso is also sold in the departmental stores by weight!!!
If you go to Sendai, don’t forget this must-buy!!
Another most popular and everybody’s favorite specialty of Sendai is the Gyutan (ox tongue).
For dinner, the team and I went to a famous restaurant for Gyutan nearby the Sendai train station.
And ordered soooooo much food.
Sooooo much hahaha.
There’s the Sendai Sasa-kamaboko for grilling (very good!).
Sendai roast beef.
AND THE HEROOOOOO
Glorious, glorious Sendai Gyutan. I immediately sent this picture to the danna much to his envy.
After dinner I still had room for dessert lolol. Mini Cheesie in the belly was obviously very happy with all the Japanese feast and wanted mooooore.
Just a random cafe near our hotel for waffles. If they serve this in KL it would probably be best-in-the-country. No joke.
Shiogama Fish Market
Woke up extra early because we are going to the fish market!!!! View from hotel room. All the building roof tops were white!
In a chartered limo heading towards Shiogama fish market, a famous fish market in Miyagi prefecture!
Had to do a short filming for the local TV hahahha acting all super star XD.
Lots of fish whose name I’ve never heard before!!
This is Hoya, known as the Sea Pineapple (or Sea Squirt?!) a Miyagi specialty seafood which even some Japanese have not heard of.
It is a kind of sea…thing?! (Even after Wikipediaing i still have zero idea what it is. It says that it is a type of Ascidiacea, and when I clicked on Ascidiacea, it explains that it is a subphylum Tunicata of sac-like marineinvertebrate filter feeders. Right. I guess I…. give up?)
Anyway. It is served raw with Ponzu. Tasted sweet and slight bitter. Like… ok definitely nothing like pineapple lol.
Snow crabs. GIANT snow crabs. And king crabs. GIANT King crabs. The price ranges from less than RM100 to about RM180 PER PACK??! Isn’t what the restaurants in KL charges for like one leg or something? Hahahha.
Just to give you an idea how huge it is.
That’s minus the body.
It’s so huge it can be the UFO Catcher machine claws and pick me up. Maybe two of me.
Hairy crabssss i love hairy crabs!!!
The stall owner insisted I hold a live one T___T.
Crabs are getting bigger and bigger.
We were so fortunate to meet all the nice stall owners to entertain a gaijin like me who wasn’t gonna buy anything from them.
This very very kind uncle insisted to steam a bunch of crab legs for me. T_____T. Why are they so nice??!?! I wish I could buy something from their stalls but I probably don’t want my luggage to smell like crab at the custom.
Shared my legs (the crab ones) with Yumi. Soooo yummy!
I really love the people in Tohoku.
Well I am not gonna talk about the roadwork but what I saw at construction sides in Sendai.
A sakura flash roadwork light. In pink.
Hello Kitty roadwork signs. T___T
Hello Kitty holding a rainbow T___T.
Of course it is all genuine Sanrio licensed.
There are also pandas!!!
So yea. Guys. This is Japan for you. Even construction has to be Kawaii.
Bought lots of instant beef stuff for the danna.
And of course my Miyagi Zunda Kitty <3.
That’s all for this time!!! Update soon about the rest of my travel <3