Example Itinerary

Tokyo Getaways: Poetic Bays and Gorges of Miyagi

Duration
4 days / 3 nights
Per Person Per Day
Extension: Optional add-on to your itinerary.
Interests
Wellbeing, Cuisine, Amazing Landscapes
Destinations
Japan
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In Tokyo on a short trip, for business, a wedding, reunion, or another event?  Take advantage of Tokyo’s major bullet train hub and turn your trip into a vacation with these quick and easy add-on getaways. 

Going off the beaten track is easier than ever with the Tohoku Shinkansen line which connects the capital with the mountainous Tohoku. This remote northeast region, known for its harsh climate, offers travelers charming countryside, snowy mountains, hot springs, pristine lakes, rural traditions, and bountiful harvests from land and sea. 

This four-day getaway introduces you to the Miyagi prefecture where you will taste oysters straight from the sea, cruise across the scenic Matsushima Bay, unwind at a hot spring village, and stroll along a dramatic gorge. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Miyagi on the Half Shell: With a whole eastern stretch of coastline along the Pacific Ocean, Miyagi has an abundance of fresh seafood. It is particularly famed for its incredible giant oysters which you will enjoy straight from the ocean, paired with a glass of local sake.
  • Matsushima Bay: A bay so impressive that legendary poet Basho proclaimed it “the most beautiful spot in the whole country of Japan,” Matsushima Bay is truly a sight to behold. 
  • Mountain Bathing: Soak in the mountains, both literally and figuratively, in Naruko where you can refresh mind and body with hot spring baths and gentle strolls through the picturesque forest and ravine trails. 

Day-by-Day

Day 1 Sendai

Depart Tokyo this morning by Tohoku Shinkansen high-speed train and arrive in Miyagi’s capital city, Sendai. Begin with a history lesson at Zuihoden, the mausoleum of Date Masamune, one of the most powerful feudal lords of the Edo Period. Masamune was the first in a long line of lords to rule over Sendai and an integral part of the city’s history. Then, head to downtown for lunch and pleasant strolling through its broad avenues lined with trees. Although it is the largest city in Tohoku, Sendai maintains its countryside charm by balancing buildings and bustle with an abundance of greenery, earning the nickname, “the city of trees.” After the sun sets, another side of Sendai awakens. Head to Kokubuncho, an evening entertainment district packed with thousands of restaurants and bars, for a taste of the city’s nightlife. It would be remiss to not try Sendai’s local specialty dish, gyutan - beef tongue. Sliced thinly and cooked over a charcoal grill, this delicacy has become so popular it can be found across the whole country. 

Day 2 Sendai

A short 30-minute drive from Sendai takes you to Matsushima town and its famed bay. Matsushima Bay is dotted with over 260 pine tree-covered islands, a scene celebrated for centuries as one of Japan’s three most scenic views. Board a local fishing boat for a cruise across the waters. Take in the views as you head for Hojima, an island populated with oyster farms. A confluence of nutrient-rich warm and cold currents is the secret behind Matsushima’s prized oysters. Learn about the methods of this sustainable aquaculture, then get a taste of the oysters, plucked straight from the sea and paired with a glass of local sake. Back on land, head to a special all-you-can-eat oysters lunch at one of the many oyster shacks around the fishing pier. Walk off your lunch by exploring some of the islands that are connected by foot bridges to the mainland, which offer viewpoints, temples, and walking paths. Enroute back to Sendai, stop at the small town of Shiogama to visit its venerable shrine, dating from the 800s. The shrine grounds are particularly beautiful during spring and autumn. Visit a famous sake brewery for a tasting. This brewery is one of three nationally famous breweries that produce the sacred sake for Shiogama Shrine. If you wish, have a sushi dinner in Shiogama before returning to Sendai. As one of Japan’s foremost fishing harbors, Shiogama has the highest density of sushi restaurants in the whole country. 

Miyagi

Day 3 Naruko Onsen

This morning, travel onward by train to Naruko Onsen. Before departing from Sendai Station, browse the next door morning market for souvenir foodstuffs, snacks, or breakfast to have on the train. After arriving, head to Naruko Gorge. There are numerous viewpoints and forested walking trails to take in the dramatic scenery.  The gorge is particularly beautiful and most popular during autumn when the area is covered in brilliant orange, yellow, and red foliage. If you want, stop by a museum to see a collection of traditional wooden dolls, a local craft. You can even watch a craftsman make the doll and try painting one of your own. Return to your onsen guesthouse and unwind in the hot spring baths, a sublime end to your trip to Miyagi.  

Day 4 Departure

Enjoy an early morning walk and another hot bath before catching the train back to Tokyo. Alternatively, take the train to Sendai city and fly out from Sendai International Airport. 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring as mentioned. Roundtrip high-speed Shinkansen train tickets to/from Tokyo in Green class is included. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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