1 to 2 hours
Follow your local guide to some of Sendai’s tastiest locations in the down-town area.
First stop is one of the more unique locations in Sendai Station – a local sake vending machine! Enjoy a taste of whichever variety takes your fancy.
Next, embrace your inner salaryman by experiencing Japan’s ‘tachi-gui’ (stand-up eating culture) at another small soba-noodle stand inside the station (if you’re brave enough, we recommend the local specialty ‘Hoya’ – sea pineapple – tempura soba). Save some room for what’s to come…!
Leaving the station, we’ll pass through the bustling ‘Sendai Asaichi’ (morning market) also known as ‘Sendai’s Kitchen’. Try one of the famous croquette potato cakes and ogle all the delicious fresh produce! Speaking of fresh, sink your teeth into some fresh sashimi at a local sushi-train restaurant, before calling in to the mysterious ‘Mitaki Fudoson’ Temple, hidden in the busy shopping arcades. Here you’ll learn about ‘Sendai Shiro’, the city’s own local God of Good Fortune!
Not far from the temple is a local ‘sasa-kamaboko’ (fish cake) store where you can experience grilling your own tasty fish-cake. With a full belly, take a stroll back in time down the retro back-alleys of Bunka-yokocho and Iroha-yokocho, before getting lost in the ‘depa-chika’ (gourmet basement) of Sendai’s oldest department store, ‘Fujisaki Department Store’.
Finally, the tour will finish with another glass of local sake at the legendary ‘Sugawara’ sake store!
Tour will depart from the ‘Inbound Station’ at 12:30.
Assemble at the Inbound Station desk near the stained-glass windows on the second floor of Sendai Station for a quick introduction from your guide.
After a quick introduction of the tour, let’s go!!
Your guide will introduce you to various useful information along the way.
First up is one of the more unusual features of Sendai Station – a local sake vending machine! Choose your favourite variety and take a sip, ‘tachi-nomi’ (stand-up drinking) style!
After ‘tachi-nomi’ (stand-up drinking) it’s time for some ‘tachi-gui’ (stand-up eating)! Call in to one of the local favourite soba-noodle joints inside the station. If you’re feeling brave, why not try the local specialty: soba noodles topped with sea pineapple!
Next, head downstairs to the basement floor of S-PAL Department Store. Charge-up for the rest of the journey with some sweet-treats in the form of ‘Dora-yaki’ – a sweet pancake filled with delicious fillings like red-bean jam or flavoured cream.
Visit ‘Sendai’s Kitchen’, Sendai Morning Market. Despite its name, this market is open until 6pm and is always buzzing with local shoppers and restaurant owners searching for the freshest local produce from the many fish-mongers, vegetable and fruit stands and specialty stores. Here you will join the queue at one of the most popular stalls to enjoy a local favourite ‘cream-croquette’ potato-cake which, if you ask the locals, tastes like childhood!
If you’ve still got room, call-in to one of Sendai’s great sushi-train restaurants for a plate of freshly made sushi!
Across from the sushi restaurant you’ll find another local treasure hidden within the busy shopping arcade – Mitaki Fudoson Temple. Hear the story of ‘Sendai Shiro’ and make a prayer for good fortune!
A stone’s throw from the temple is our last ‘foodie’ stop – ‘Abehei Kamaboko’ fishcake specialty store! Shaped into the bamboo-leaf shapes from the Date family crest, this fishcake is a staple snack for Sendai locals. Here you can try grilling your own Sasa-kama to enjoy it at its best – straight off the grill!
Time to work-off some of those calories with a wander through the back-streets! Experience a time-slip into Showa-era Sendai down the back-alleys of Bunka-yokocho and Iroha-yokocho. Soak-up the retro vibes of the various hole-in-the-wall bars, restaurants and shops and take some notes for your dinner later!
Heading back into the main shopping area, next on the list is another gourmet basement, this time of Fujisaki Department Store – the oldest department store in Sendai with over 200 years of history!
Check out the fancy desserts and incredibly expensive packaged fruit and, if you can still fit anything more in your stomach, try a sample or two!
Finally, wrap things up at another of Sendai’s legendary favourites, Sugawara liquor store! Open since 1895, Sugawara is a local landmark and another favored ‘tachi-nomi’ (stand-up location). Choose from the huge selection of local sake and enjoy a final ‘Kampai’ (cheers) before the end of the walking tour.
End of tour.