Day 07: A Sendai Day Excursion from Tokyo (Sep 2017)

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September 22nd 2017
Published: January 14th 2018
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Friday, 22nd September 2017

Ueno >> Sendai (348.2 km, 86 minutes, 11,190 Yen)

Journey from Tokyo to the city of Sendai, some 348km away took a mere 86 minutes thanks to the Hayabusa Shinkansen Express Train. A survival of the March 2011 Tsunami that swept across Japan's Tohoku Coast, Sendai is a bustling city in the Miyagi Prefecture, home to more than one million inhabitants. Since I only had a day in the city, I had to be rather selective with the places that I was going to visit.

I first made a brief stop at the AER Observatory located next to the JR station which afforded free views of the city from the 31st Floor. Sendai city is crowded with an endless maze of grey monolithic structures with few shades of green as far as I could see. The city is separated by a four-tracked railway viaduct and a six-lane motorway. The visibility from the top was clear even though the blue skies were partly obscured by the thin cloud cover that hovered on top of the city.

From AER, I headed back to the JR Station where I had a light lunch at one of the many Japanese restaurants located within the massive complex. My seafood bowl came with a small serving of clear noodles soup. This was good enough to carry me through the afternoon as I continued my sight-seeing plans to the Matsushima Region. The local train journey via the JR Senseki line took more than the usual 40 minutes due in part that we had to alight at another station before catching a connecting train to the Matsushima Kaigan Station.

From the station, I followed the crowds to the Matsushima Bay and to the Fukuura Island. This was a doable long walk and it helped that the weather was pleasant enough for a comfortable experience. There were some buildings of historical importance that littered along the coast but what was more interesting was crossing the red 252m bridge on foot to the tiny Fukuura Island. The island is small enough for an easy loop which afforded several vantage points of the pine-cladded islets that dotted the bay.

On the direction back to Sendai Station, I reserved sometime in the afternoon for shopping at the Mitsui Outlet Park Sendai Port (20 minutes train ride to Nakanosakae Station + 10 minutes walk). I also stop by for some grocery shopping experience at Aeon Big Express (Rikuzen-Takasago station) before heading back to the JR Station by nightfall. There was just enough time for me to enjoy a nice seat-down dinner before travelling back to Tokyo via the very same Shinkansen that very same evening!

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