2 to 3 hours
Due to the continued global spread of the COVID19 virus and the associated impact upon public health and safely in Japan, reservations for all tours and experience programs will be SUSPENDED until May 2020, or until the situation improves and relevant restrictions upon travel are lifted.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Tohoku as soon as possible. In the meantime, please stay safe and well!
~ Inoutbound Sendai Matsushima Inc.
Sashimi, sushi, raw oysters – you’ve been there, eaten that! So, are you ready to venture a little further off the beaten path of Japanese cuisine?
As fresh as it gets: Sendai City
Sendai City, the capital city of Japan’s north-east Tohoku region, is the ideal balance of metropolis and countryside. Whilst Sendai boasts all the conveniences of a big city, you also don’t have to travel far before you meet the beautiful Pacific coastline or open plains of rice fields and farmland surrounded by sprawling mountain ranges, meaning the freshest local produce is always close at hand. So fresh, in fact, that not only is it packed with delicious natural flavour, it is perfectly safe to eat completely raw.
Yep! It doesn’t get much ‘fresher’ than this…
On this tour, your guide will take you to three local ‘izakaya’ style bars hidden down the back streets of Sendai’s downtown area to challenge your culinary boundaries with:
Raw shark’s heart (!)*
At each of the three bars you’ll have a chance to try one of the above dishes paired with a drink of local sake, beer, whisky or whatever you choose!
Are your taste-buds ready to take on this ‘rare’ challenge?
* Please note: shark’s heart may not be available as it is only served if there has been a catch that day. Miyagi Prefecture supports sustainable fishing practices, meaning that sharks are not targeted for the consumption of any particular part and, when caught, all parts of the shark are used for consumption to ensure there is no waste. If shark’s heart is not available on the day, the dish will be substituted with another rare local delicacy, ‘Harmonica’ (broiled swordfish backbone).
Meet your guide outside wagyu and beef specialty restaurant, ‘Kotora‘ at the Aoba-dori Avenue entrance to ‘Clis Road’ shopping arcade.
See MAP here.
(Not to be confused with its sister restaurant, outside Sendai Station!)
The tour kicks-off with a classy start! Sit down to an aesthetically pleasing set of:
Pair the set with a glass of local sake, or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice!
Walk with your guide to the atmospheric back-alleys of ‘Bunka-yokocho’ and ‘Iroha-yokocho’.
Each alleyway is lined with tiny bars and restaurants, some seating only up to 8 people at a time.
Wander through the alleys to soak up the retro vibes and take some blade-runner style pictures before heading to the next bar!
Next on the list is ‘Ni-dai-me’, a casual izakaya serving up both modern twists on Japanese cuisine as well as very local, very traditional dishes that have been crowd-favourites of after-work drinkers for decades. Notably, raw chicken meat and raw horse meat! Tonight, you’ll have the chance to compare both in a set with some sake, a beer or whatever beverage you choose!
If you need a chaser, feel free to order any extra dishes you like from the menu (at extra cost).
Time for the grand finale! Your last stop will be the charming ‘Nanbu-Iroha’, a cosy bar run by an even more charming ‘Okami-san’, serving up ‘Oden’ (a kind of Japanese hot-pot) and local dishes from northern Miyagi and Iwate areas (along with a great selection of local sake!).
If you time your visit right, here you will be able to challenge yourself with a very rare (literally) local specialty – ‘Mouka-no-hoshi’ or shark’s heart!
If not available on the day, Okami-san has another specialty hidden up her kimono sleeves for you – ‘Harmonica’, the broiled back-bone (with some very tasty, fatty cuts of meat attached!) of a swordfish.
Either way, you can’t go wrong at Nanbu-iroha!
Congratulations!! You’ve survived the ultimate ‘Raw Japan’ challenge!
Your guide will leave you at 20:30 after you’ve finished your meal at Nanbu-iroha.
Head back to your hotel satisfied, or continue the adventure in one of the many tiny bars serving up more fresh local delicacies for you to discover!