The first three days of my Miyagi trip saw me sightseeing around Sendai City, visiting the Matsushima Islands and exploring the Umino Mori Aquarium.
The fourth day of my trip started with some gloomy weather so I visited Ice Rink Sendai. I was inspired to come to Sendai because of this rink as it is where double Olympic figure skating champion, Yuzuru Hanyu started his career. Yuzuru was skating at the very moment of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami evacuated the building when the ice began to break apart. Ice Rink Sendai is now completely restored with much financial help from Yuzuru.
Arriving early, I decided to take a walk around. This part of Sendai is very spacious and quiet. The Nanakita riverside is full of greenery and wild flowers giving a feeling of being in the countryside. I wanted to visit Futahashira shrine and Zenshiji temple but couldn't find them as they were hidden behind some houses and trees. I asked a women passing by for some help and she kindly showed me the way. In spite of my poor Japanese we had good conversation. I like to be in touch with local people.
After visiting the ice rink I visited Rinnoji Temple, a 15-minute walk from Kita-Sendai Station, though I needed to ask the way several times. The temple itself seems ordinary, but it has an absolutely gorgeous garden behind it. For 300 JPY I enjoyed the beauty and peace of the garden all by myself.
The fifth day was fine and sunny - a good day for climbing the famous Yamadera mountain temple. The climb was a bit challenging for me, but with grand views from the top, it was worth the effort. On the way both up and down I met groups of little children, elderly people and even dogs. Once more I admired the way traditions are kept and passed on to younger generations in Japan.
Taking the train back from Yamadera, I enjoyed some wonderful views of nature - wild woods, rapid mountain rivers along stony shores, waterfalls and fields. I then stopped at Toshogu Station from where I visited the beautifully natural Toshogu Shrine.
After all that climbing, I decided to just relax on the sixth day. Travelling by train in Sendai is very easy as there are only a few lines, so I took already familiar Senseki Line to Fukudamachi Station. On the map it seemed easy to get to Tanabatakan Museum, but being on the ground I was confused and didn’t know in which direction I should go. I again had some help from a local lady. She called her friends who then gave me a lift the museum! I was very grateful indeed! Tanabatakan was impressive and I spent about two hours there taking pictures.
I decided to skip the crowded Kanezaki Kamaboko factory next door, and instead visited Oedo Onsen Monogatari. I enjoy onsen very much and think it’s the best way to relax. I spent 3 or more hours there before having lunch. When I asked the onsen staff about the direction to the train station, a woman offered to take me by car. How nice and kind of her! From our conversation (again I used all the Japanese that I knew) I understood she was an artist and a fan of Yuzuru. I also I learnt about a photo exhibition dedicated to Yuzuru that I ended up visiting later.
I spent the evening at Tsutsujigaoka Park, a short walking distance from Tsutsujigaoka Station on the now very familiar JR Senseki Line. Along with the park, I also visited Tsutsujigaoka Tenmangu, a shrine located not far from the station.
I cannot thank the people of Sendai enough for such a lovely three more days.
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I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: https://gurushots.com/f10384/photos Matane!