Nowadays, most people know Sendai as the region that suffered from the March 2011 earthquake/tsunami. Part of my trip was spent exploring the aftermath of the disaster, and the other part was spent indulging in the goodness Sendai has to offer.
We spent the first day catching up and relaxing, and we drove a few kilometers away from the city center, where we found the best little cafe tucked in the mountains. The name is Dottore, and it's owned and operated by a lovely young Japanese couple. The cafe boasts a large stone oven, one of the few in Japan, where they make the best pizza I've ever tasted- better than anything I've had in Tokyo. Not only do they have my favourite Italian dish, but they also serve freshly baked cakes. Not the fluffy, sad Japanese kind (sorry), but the dense, flavourful ones I love so much. The coffee is equally top quality- why can't this place exist in Tokyo? If you're ever in Sendai, I highly recommend visiting that cafe, as it's a hidden gem. We ate a total a four pizzas (including a banana dessert one), a heavenly white chocolate cake than came with the daintiest sakura meringue, coffee, and a bottle of San Pellegrino. I will dream about that meal for years to come.
After the meal, we somewhat mustered up the energy to hit the nearby onsen, called Iwanumaya. To be fair, I had never been to an onsen resort as I usually just hit the local one near my house for a short session. It was quite luxurious and spacious, and for some reason I was the only person using it at that time of the afternoon, so I had my own private session, which was wonderful. I resisted the temptation to take my camera around the area, but I did swim outdoors under the rain.
It was such a relaxing day, something I really needed to clear my mind- away from the Tokyo crowds, out in the mountains, in the nature. Also, taking the Shinkansen is one of the most exciting parts of any journeys for me, especially as I got to ride a new type of Shinkansen I had never tried before (yeah yeah, make fun all you want, I like trains)!
Here are a few snapshots.
|Tohoku Shinkansen- the beast we took|
|Bags and Tokyo omiyage in tow|
|Sendai was COLD!|
|Margherita pizza, Seirinkan eat your heart out!|
|Meat pizza, tasted like real Italian meatballs- I know!|
|Cute coffee mug|
|The stamp on the cake! Adorable!|
|Dottore's open kitchen and pizza oven|
|I bought this Sendai mascot keychain.|
|This guy is too cute, I'm in love.|
|Statue of Date Masamune|
|Look at this tree!|