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Miyagi Prefecture
 
 
Sakura Spots April - May

Shiogama Shrine | Shiogama City
Shiogama Shrine is located on the hill of a port town near to Matsushima, one of Japan’s Three Great Sceneries. On the shrine ground the sacred caldron, the origin of this shrine, is enshrined. The history of this shrine is very old, dating back to Heian Period (794-1191AD), and cherry trees of several hundreds of age grown on both sides of the stone steps. >>more

 
Foliage Spots September - October
■Miyagi Zao | Zao Town
Mt. Zao with its huge crater referred to as a "pot" is famous for its scenic beauty throughout the year. During the summer a magnificent flowerbed spreads out with many kinds of mountain flowers. Starting in September the leaves change colors from the top and in October Zao sees its first snow of the season. A tollway runs across Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures, and the red leaves form an arch above the road. Waterfalls can be seen as well, and the view stretches as far as the Pacific Ocean. There is a hot spring resort nearby where you can relax in the hot springs and view the colored leaves at the same time. Silver frost (ice glazed trees) is best around late January to February. >>more
 
 
Prefectural Guide
 


Matsushima

The bay is home to 260 small islands studded with pine groves that tower above the surface of the sea..

 

Okama
The magnificent Okama is the embodiment of the Zao Mountain Range.

The emission of sulfur gasses continues today in this ancient crater lake, whose surface gathers the light from the passing sun and casts it upward in a myriad of colors. Latitude and longitude (38 degrees, 7 minutes, 31.4 seconds north latitude, 140 degrees, 26 minutes, 57.6 seconds east longitude).
 


Sendai Tanabata Festival

On the bustling city street of Chuo-dori in Ichiban-cho, colorful ornamental globes and streamers add considerable flair to the festival's bamboo decorations.
The event is particularly splendid when the summer breeze dances through the hanging streamers, causing them to swing buoyantly on soft waves of wind.

The bamboo-decorated street is open to the public from 9 a.m. every morning during the festival period, and by 10 o'clock large crowds of spectators gather beneath the long tunnel of ornate streamers.

The Tanabata Star Festival parade begins at 5 p.m. on Johzenji-dori, which is lined with beautiful zelkova trees.

Each year more than 10 different parade groups are formed in order to illustrate scenes based on a chosen theme, and for nearly two hours they march in a valorous parade.
On July 5, the eve of the festival, fireworks are set off around Nishi Park in happy celebration of the coming event. For inquiries call the Tanabata Festival Association.

 


Rikuchu-Kaigan National Park

A full-scale marine park along the Rias Coast, it encompasses Oshima Island, Iwaisaki Point and Karakuwa Peninsula, which is famous for its Ogama Hanzo marble rocks.
 


Naruko Hot Springs (Naruko-Onsen)

Naruko Hotsprings and the hot springs of Iizaka and Akiu have long been known as the three finest hot springs in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region.
Naruko itself comprises a group of four hot springs, and at its center is a bustling spa resort town with large ryokan, kokeshi doll workshops and souvenir stores.
Despite all the activity, the resort's traditional public bathhouses retain the character of a colorful history, when Naruko prospered as a center of balneotherapy.
Here and there wisps of steam from the hot springs can be seen rising through the narrow village streets, adding a poetic touch to this unique setting in the heart of the Michinoku district.

Naruko is in fact blessed with such a wide variety of spring waters that almost every ryokan offers a different one with its own unique balance of ingredients.

* Takinoyu, located on Yunomachi Dori in the Naruko onsen, is the oldest hot spring in this spa retreat, dating back a thousand years. A public bathhouse, it uses the sacred hot spring water of the Onsen Shrine, and has become a symbol of the onsen at Naruko.
This is an experience that no tourist should miss.
Takinoyu is so popular that it receives nearly 200 visitors each day! The wooden exterior of the bathhouse imparts the gracious ambience of a spa resort, and its interior consists of colorful, highly textured stone and Japanese hinoki cypress.
Calcareous sinters are found afloat in the viscous sulfurous spring water, which ranges from 35 to 100 degrees Celcius.
In addition to its beneficial effect on neuralgia and rheumatic pain, the spa water offers the benefits of whitening and rejuvenating the skin. It is a favorite of female visitors.
Sitting beneath one of the three cascades of hot spring water will soothe away shoulder and back pain.
 

 
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