Miyagi Prefecture is located in the North of Japan, under Iwate Prefecture. It takes around 2 hours to reach by shinkansen from Tokyo Station, so it’s a good destination even if you don’t plan to stay for long. The most important city is Sendai, but you can find delicacies even in the smallest town, so just explore!
1. Gyutan (grilled beef tongue)
I know, in the description we were talking about your tongue, but guess what… as a Japanese local food, Miyagi Prefecture’s Gyutan is a delicious option and goes beyond any expectation! It typically has a strong smell and a unique texture that can become rather addicting. It’s delicious, even without heavy condiments, so it’s usually served just with a sparkle of salt and some side dishes like cooked rice, miso soup, and pickles. Gyutan is charcoal-grilled to exalt and bring out all its magical flavors.
Where to find: you can find Gyutan specialized Gyutan restaurants or in traditional Japanese restaurants in Miyagi prefecture and Sendai city.
2. Zunda mochi
For the ones who have a sweet tooth, but still wants to be healthy: we’re thinking about you too! Located in the Sendai airport and Sendai Station, Zunda Saryo is a sweet shop selling the traditional Zunda mochi: a mochi made with edamame (young soybeans) which is very famous in Sendai city. Edamame is rich of nutrients such as vitamin A and C, so they’re very good for you and they also taste great! Zunda Saryo shop uses edamame not just to create exquisite mochis, but also to blend delicious milkshakes and even kakigori (shaved ice). This is the best way to start your trip in Sendai!
Address: Sendai airport, Minamihara, Shimomasuda, Natori, Miyagi Prefecture
Kamaboko means “fish cake” and it is made by forming pureed fish into loaves and then steamed until solid. The most famous fish cake is the surimi one, but there are a lot of types with different shapes to discover. It is the case of sasakamaboko: is a bamboo leaf-shaped fish cake made with flounder fish. The white color and the elegance of the shape, make sasakamaboko a dish to serve without adding additional condiments and is usually used as a side dish to accompany cooked rice, soups, etc.
Where to find: you can find sasakamaboko in souvenir shops in Miyagi prefecture.
4. Matsushima oysters
When in Matsushima City, the most gourmet experience is sea food tasting and especially Matsushima oysters. This is a delicacy available between October and March only, so be sure to go in that period to savor the best of Matsushima sea products. Oysters may be served raw with just some lemon as a condiment or even fried, but we advise to try them raw first, especially if they’re super fresh!
Where to find: you can find Matsushima oysters at restaurants in Matsushima City.
If you’re in search for a light meal, Umen will surely satisfy your needs! Umen tradition is at least 400 years old, and it’s a special dish from Shiroishi City. Umen noodles have no oil and their texture is very smooth, making them lighter and very easy to digest. The broth they’re served with is also delicious and made specially to exalt the noodles texture!
Where to find: you can find Umen at Shiroishi station and Shiroishi-Zao Station’s local restaurants.
Harako-meshi is a traditional dish in Watari area which consists of salmon and salmon roe (called harako) on cooking rice. It’s a very simple meal, but we assure you that the delicious Miyagi Prefecture salmon doesn’t need any fancy condiment to be perfect and melt in your mouth! The best time to taste Harako-meshi is from October to December, so make sure to arrange your trip in this period. Harako-meshi has become very famous in all Miyagi Prefecture so you can taste it even in Sendai city, but it will be a bit modified and enriched in fancy dishes. We recommend trying the original first!
Where to find: you can find Harako-meshi in Japanese traditional restaurants in Watari city and all Miyagi Prefecture.
7. Ishinomaki Yakisoba
The famous Ishinomaki City dish is Ishinomaki Yakisoba; the only Yakisoba made using brown noodle (it’s brown before flavored with sauce!). When fried, Yakisoba noodles usually become sticky and to avoid that, it is said that Ishinomaki locals created this special type of noodles in 1950, which doesn’t stick even when fried. Ishinomaki Yakisoba noodles capture perfectly the flavor of fish broth made to steam them before frying so that the ultimate dish comes out rich and tasty.
Where to find: you can find Ishinomaki Yakisoba in Ishinomaki city in Miyagi Prefecture.
8. Sendai Beef
Another gourmet meat cut typical of Miyagi Prefecture is Sendai Beef: it is of the highest grade in the Japan Meat Grading Association, thanks to its softness and succulence. Sendai beef is a perfect ingredient to make the best nabe (hot pot) or sukiyaki of your life because the juiciness of the meat will make every vegetable taste great in no time! It is also delicious on its own, so a lot of traditional Sendai restaurants will serve it as a side dish to taste the original flavor of the meat.
Where to find: you can find Sendai beef in traditional Japanese restaurants in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture.
Sankaku-age is a triangle-shaped fried tofu that you can taste at a shop named Jogi Tofu Ten. Their tofu is made of high-quality soy and is fried two times: once in a low temperature boiling oil and once at a higher temperature boiling oil. This way it maintains its softness on the inside but becomes deliciously crispy on the outside.
Address: Shimomichi-1-2 Okura Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken
Price: one sankaku-age is ¥130
10. Japanese sake
Here we recommend for you two great sake breweries to taste the Miyagi Prefecture, local sake to the fullest!
Urakasumi Sake Brewery
There are various shops where you can purchase the Urakasumi Sake Brewery sake. They have shops, even in Europe and in other various countries, so make sure to check their website to find the nearest shop.
The principal brewery is located in Osaki city, but you can also find another brewery in Kurihara city in Miyagi Prefecture. Ichinokura is very attentive about the ingredients used to make their sake, so they cure personally the cultivation of rice, the collection of high-quality water and the selection of expert staff to provide the best service.