"Tomiyado" Tourism Exchange Center in Tomiya City, Miyagi

Eat, experience, and shop local just outside Sendai

By Justin Velgus    - 3 min read

"Tomiyado" (とみやど) is a tourism exchange center in Tomiya City, Miyagi Prefecture that opened in mid-2021. The cluster of shops and eateries is located across the street from Uchigasaki Sake Brewery, the oldest sake brewery in Miyagi. It is also a 5-minute drive from food wholesale center Costco. Ancestors of the Uchigasaki brewing family used to make things like soy sauce at the location of the facility. Several renovated historic warehouses form the backbone of a charming tourism facility. You'll find travel information, restaurants, shopping and friendly locals inside the parking and admission free center.

Start off your visit to brush up on the history of the Uchigasaki family, particularly its most influential member Sakusaburo Uchigasaki (1877-1947), inside the mini museum. Even if you don't understand Japanese, the pictures of the politician/academic/brewer in the bygone days of Tomiya and his study trip to England are interesting to view. In the same building you'll find local and prefectural tourism pamphlets and information.

Weekly lunch special at "IIchaya"
Weekly lunch special at "IIchaya"

Come hungry because you'll be sure to find something to satisfy you. I chose to eat at Iichaya (いい茶や). Housed in a 2-story traditional building, the restaurant serves a rotating weekly lunch special, tasty udon bowls, and other dishes for a reasonable price. Since everything is handmade, I imagine they would be able to accommodate vegetarians by removing any meat items. Exiting the restaurant, I couldn't resist the gelato ice cream shop next door flanking the outside dining area. I chose a double scoop (¥500): one flavor featuring Tomiya blueberries and the other featuring strawberries from Yamamoto Town. A ramen restaurant that also serves sandwiches (store name: "Tanshin") and a "meat-lovers" restaurant serving rice bowls and grilled/fried meats (store name: Hacchime) are also onsite.

Gelato made with Tomiya blueberries and strawberries from Yamato Town
Gelato made with Tomiya blueberries and strawberries from Yamato Town

The only hands-on activity to do here is at the ceramic shop "Kunpu". Try making your own ceramics using an actual potters' wheel. Do realize that the pottery needs to be fired in their kiln, which means you'll have to wait 1-2 months for your product to be completed and sent to you in the mail (Japan addresses only). Regardless, make sure to hop inside the shop to find cute ceramic decorations, dolls, cups and more for sale.

The biggest surprise here is local honey producer Eight Crowns. Occupying a renovated storehouse, the stylish shop sells luxury honey. Even imported honey in Japan with artificial flavors and additives is expensive, so enter knowing that their handmade natural, raw honey won't be cheap. While the 2,500 yen for a small container might be a surprise, try a free sample and you'll soon find out the quality justifies the price. I haven't tasted REAL natural honey so many times in my life, so I was happily surprised. There are a variety of conversation-starting flavors: nuts, lemon and herbarno to name a few. If not buying for yourself, this would be perfect as a gift.

Honey comes in various flavors, such as nuts, harbenaro, and lemon
Honey comes in various flavors, such as nuts, harbenaro, and lemon

Note that the adjacent Uchigasaki Sake Brewery (内ケ崎酒造店) does offer brewery tours in Japanese with a reservation, but only during the months of April-September when they are not producing sake.

Regular Facility Hours:

Sunday - Thursday: 10:00-19:00

Friday-Saturday, day before national holidays: 10:00-21:00

Closed Tuesdays.

Getting there

40-minute drive on regular roads from Sendai City. The facility is located a 5-minute drive from food wholesale center Costco.

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Justin Velgus

Justin Velgus @justin.velgus

Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is the Miyagi Prefecture Partner for Japan Travel and a longterm contributor since 2012 with a focus on the Tohoku region.  Justin has written extensively for JT, and other publications such as VisitMiyagi and Sake Today, amassing over 350 published articles introducing the travel and culture of the region. Justin's wealth of experience and knowledge comes from studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and promoting sake overseas for the government of Fukushima. Now Justin helps with inbound tourism and regional promotion while also enjoying his role as a volunteer tour guide in Sendai, the gyutan capital of the world.

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S a month ago
Wow, they cover a lot of interests with the sake, honey, ramen, and pottery. I'm adding this one to my Sendai itinerary.
Bonson Lam a month ago
Being next to the oldest sake brewery in Miyagi is a story in itself!
Kim a month ago
Fancy honey is always a nice gift to give (or receive!), so I'd definitely stop by there first!