August 22, 2007

Ryan and I left the ryokan around the checkout time of 10am to start our leg of the trip that would take place in the Tohoku region of Japan. Armed with our JR East Passes, that we had purchased on arriving into Japan, we made our way to Tokyo station to get on the shinkansen to Sendai. There is nothing much to note about our trip out there except that riding on a shinkansen is very smooth and fast.

Sendai

The trip took around two and a half hours and upon arriving at the Sendai station we took a taxi from the station to our next ryokan, Tenryukaku. We did a little video about our impressions of the ryokan which I will post here. Needless to say the ryokan was amazing. I will make a separate post with the list of places that we stayed and where you can reserve them for your reference. We spent a couple of hours just admiring the ryokan then we made our way back into Sendai (the ryokan is about a 10 minute taxi ride from the main area of the city of Sendai).

Sendai is extremely hard to navigate around. We had our Japan travel guide: The Rough Guide to Japan , and we still could not find the restaurant that was recommended by them. We asked a woman that was walking down the street where the place was and very graciously she helped us find the restaurant, after about 30 minutes of looking, even she had a hard time finding it and it was a very famous restaurant. The woman happened to speak very good English and works for a company called Gourmet Navigator. I really can not thank her enough.

Eventually we got to the restaurant, Tasuke, and tried gyuutan. Gyuutan is a specialty of Sendai and is extremely delicious, seriously if you are ever in Sendai take the time to find this place, it is worth it. After we left, we were walking back to the main street of Sendai and ran into the woman who helped us find Tasuke and she asked how we liked the food. We ended up talking for about thirty minutes and as I said I can not complement her enough.

It was getting late so we went back to Tenryukaku Ryokan for the night. Before I went to sleep I spent a little time in the in-house onsen (I love ryokans!!). If you don’t know about bath etiquette in Japan here is the short version. First you wash yourself completely in the wash room part of the bathroom (here literally meaning the place where you wash yourself or take a bath, you will not usually find a toilet in this room), then after you have rinsed off you relax in the bath. It was very refreshing and something I truly enjoy about Japan. And there concludes our seventh day in Japan.

Next time I will talk about how we spent the day in Sendai and our night in Morioka, until then!!

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