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Event Roundup: November 2020

Loads of fall light-ups, and food events making their comeback

· Events,Autumn

1. Hop Japan Brewery Taproom Grand Opening

ホップジャパンのオープニングイベント

November 1

Miyakoji, Fukushima

Hop Japan was founded a few years back, quickly gaining a reputation as one of Japan's best independent hop growers. Starting this year, they're dipping into their own supply to brew original beers crafted specifically to showcase the flavor and aroma of their incredible hops. Starting November 1, the taproom at their brewery will open to the public! There will be grand opening festivities over the weekend, with the taproom open regular hours throughout the year after that.

Hours (regular): 9:00–17:00

Closed days: None

Admission: Free

Languages: English OK (The owner speaks English.)

Official website: hopjapan.com

Location: Green Park Miyakoji (グリーンパーク都路). Map here.

Access: About 30 minutes by taxi or rideshare taxi (乗合タクシー) from Funehiki Station. Despite it being a long way, a ride between Funehiki Station and the brewery costs just ¥800 via the Tokiwa Miyakoji Rideshare Taxi service (ときわ・みやこじ乗合タクシー). Use of the rideshare taxi requires advance reservations. For details, see here.  

2. Karakuwa Clean Olle volunteer event

唐桑・クリーンオルレ

November 1 (& 12/6)

Kesennuma, Miyagi

The Karakuwa Peninsula is home to one of Miyagi's four Olle hiking trails, healthy and accessible leisure destinations even in the age of coronavirus. At this volunteer event, you can come help maintain the trail, keeping it clean and safe for you and other hikers to enjoy. Most of the "clean-up" consists of picking up litter, so all are welcome to come out and help out—no special skills or fitness required!

Hours: 9:00–11:00

Fee: Free

Reservations: None needed

Event details: kesennuma-kanko.jp

Kesennuma-Karakuwa Olle Trail details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Meeting spot: Ogama Hanzou Parking Lot (半造駐車場). Map here.

Access: 25 minutes from Shishiori Karakuwa Station, followed by a short walk. At Shishiori Karakuwa Station (鹿折唐桑駅), board Osaki Line (御崎線) bus bound for Osaki (御崎). Alight at Ogama Hanzo Iriguchi (巨釜半造入口). Timetables here.

3. Kokeshido Kyo pop-up cafe at Naruko Gorge

こけし堂 -峡 kyoー

Through November 3

Naruko, Miyagi

Naruko Gorge is an internationally famous autumn leaves destination. To celebrate its fall colors and provide sightseers with food and drink as destination-worthy as the gorge itself, the folks at Kokeshi Do (the cafe located above the Sakurai Kokeshi workshop) have opened a pop-up cafe just across from the gorge. The menu features top-notch ingredients from local producers, including coffee from Sendai's Damo Kaffee Haus, tea from Ishinomaki's Asahi-en, and sweet oshiruko soup made with Naruko-grown Yukimusubi rice.

Hours: 10:00–sunset (around 16:00)

Cafe details: instagram.com/kokeshido_kyo

Naruko Gorge details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Kokeshido Kyo (こけし堂 ー峡ー). Map here.

Access from Nakayamadaira-Onsen Station: About 2 km by rental cycle, or about 5 minutes by bus. At Nakayamadaira-Onsen Station (中山平温泉駅), board a Koyo Go (紅葉号) bus bound for Naruko-Onsen Station (鳴子温泉駅). Alight at Naruko-kyo Nakayamadairaguchi (鳴子峡中山平口). Timetable here (English).

Access from Naruko-Onsen Station: 13 minutes by bus. At Naruko-Onsen Station (鳴子温泉駅), board a Koyo-Go (紅葉号) bus bound for Nakayamadaira Onsen Station (中山平温泉駅), alight at Naruko-kyo Nakayamadairaguchi (鳴子峡中山平口) bus stop. Timetable here (English).

4. Chrysanthemum Bonsai Exhibition

菊盆栽展

Through November 4

Osaki, Miyagi

Chrysanthemums shows are a traditional autumn affair in Japan, but most of these exhibitions showcase giant chrysanthemums. This show, hosted by the local Osaki Chrysanthemum Bonsai Club, takes the opposite approach, showcasing miniature mums instead. Though small in size, these elegant flowering bonsai are big in beauty and color. For pictures and details from the 2019 exhibition, see here.

Hours: 9:00–17:00 (~15:00 Nov 4)

Admission: Free

Details: city.osaki.miyagi.jp

Location: Osaki Shimin Gallery (大崎市民ギャラリー). Map here.

Access: 19-minute walk from Furukawa Station

5. Minamisanriku Open Terrace: Sun Sun Bar

南三陸オープンテラス さんさんバル

Through November 7

Central Sendai

This food festival, conveniently located just a one-minute walk from Sendai Station, showcases the food and flavors of Minamisanriku. The dishes being served all incorporate Minamisanriku grown/harvested/caught ingredients. Much of it will feature luxury seafoods Minamisanriku is known for, like octopus and abalone; but lesser-known Minamisanriku ingredients will be showcased as well, including seaweeds, wine, and Sendai wagyu (Yup, "Sendai" beef is actually raised in Minamisanriku and Tome!).

Hours: 11:00–21:00 (~22:00 Nov 2 & 6)

Admission: Free

Reservation: Required for prix fixe meals

Details: m-kankou.jp

Location: Event plaza next to Aobadori Eden (青葉通り EDEN). Map here.

Access: 1-minute walk from Sendai Station

6. Miyagi Giant Chrysanthemum Show in Shibata 

みやぎ大菊花展 柴田大会

Through November 10

Shibata, Miyagi

The cultivation of decorative giant chrysanthemums has a long history in Japan, and exhibiting them is a traditional autumn activity. The largest of these festivals were cancelled this year due to concern over coronavirus, but this smaller festival near Sendai is still on. It takes place at Funaoka Castle Site park, best known for its cherry blossoms

Hours: 9:00–16:00

Admission: Free

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Funaoka Castle Park (船岡城跡公園). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Funaoka Station

7. Shiogama City Chrysanthemum Festival

塩竃市菊祭

Through November 10

Shiogama, Miyagi

Chrysanthemum festivals are a traditional autumn affair in Japan, where horticulturalists proudly display the fruits of their year's labor. The Shiogama Chrysanthemum Festival takes place at a particularly scenic location: the grounds of Sarahiko and Shiogama-Jinja Shrines, two venerable shrines built on a hill overlooking Matsushima Bay.

Hours: 9:00–16:00

Admission: Free

Event details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Shiogama-Jinja Shrine details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location 1 (active Oct 30–Nov 10): Sarahiko & Shiogama-Jinja Shrines (倭彦神社 & 鹽竈神社). Map here (they're located next door to each other).

Location 2 (active Oct 31–Nov 7): Marine Gate Shiogama (マリーンゲート塩釜). Map here.

Access (location 1): 15-minute walk from Hon-Shiogama Station

Access (location 2): 8-minute walk from Hon-Shiogama Station

8. Akiu Night Museum 

天守閣自然公園もみじライトアップ2020秋保ナイトミュージアム

Through November 15

Akiu area, Sendai

One of the most impressive autumn illuminations in Japan is right here in Sendai City! This artistic illumination is the recipient of a DARC award, and features not only Instagenic views but also interactive aspects too, like a tree that makes noises if you hug it tree. The light-up takes place at Tenshukaku Gardens in Akiu Onsen, a nature leisure area featuring a traditional strolling garden, onsen baths, and a campground.

Hours: 17:00–21:00 (last entry 20:30)

Admission: Adults & children middle school and up ¥500, Children ages 4 to junior high ¥200

Official website: akiu-sizen.co.jp

Tenshukaku Gardens details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Tenshukaku Gardens (天守閣自然公園). Map here.

Access: About 60 minutes by bus from Sendai Station, followed by a 15-minute walk. From Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool Stop #8 (仙台駅西口バスプール8番), board bus bound for Akiu Onsen (秋保温泉). Alight at Akiu Onsen Yumoto (秋保温泉湯元) bus stop. Abridged timetable here.

9. Rairaikyo Gorge Momiji Path Light-Up

磊々峡もみじのこみちライトアップ

Through November 15

Akiu area, Sendai

The fall foliage lining the narrow and rocky Rairikyo Gorge in Akiu Onsen is illuminated, making for a mysterious and beautiful nighttime stroll.

Hours: 17:00–19:30

Admission: Free

Event details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Rairaikyo Gorge details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Event details (Japanese): sentabi.jp

Location: Rairaikyo Gorge (磊々峡). Map here.

Access from Sendai Station by city bus: About 50 minutes. At Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool 8 (仙台駅西口バスプール8番のりば), board Akiu Line (秋保線) bus bound for Akiu Onsen (秋保温泉). Alight at Nozokibashi (のぞき橋) or Akiu Sato Center (秋保・里センター) bus stop. Rairaikyo Gorge is near the Nozokibashi bus stop. From the Akiu Sato Center bus stop, the gorge is a 3-minute walk. Abridged timetable here. (The Nozokibashi bus stop isn't listed on the abridged timetable, but it's one stop before Akiu Sato Center.)

Access from Sendai Station by Seibu Liner bus: About 40 minutes, followed by a 3-minute walk. From Sendai Station Bus Stop 63 (仙台駅63番のりば), board Akiu・Kawasaki Sendai Seibu Liner (秋保・川崎 仙台西部ライナー) bus bound for Kawasaki-machi (かわさきまち). Alight at Akiu Sato Center (秋保・里センター) bus stop. Timetable here.

Access from Ayashi Station: 15 minutes by bus. From Ayashi Station Bus Platform 2 (愛子駅2番乗り場), board a #83, 84, 85, 86, or 87 Akiu Homen Line (秋保方面線) bus bound for Uenohara (上ノ原), Nojiri (野尻町北) or Futakuchi (二口). Alight at Rairaikyo Iriguchi (磊々峡入口) bus stop. Bus map here, timetable here.

10. Tsurugajo Castle Fall Colors Light-Up

鶴ヶ城紅葉ライトアップ

Through November 15

Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima

With its unusual red tile roof, Tsurugajo is one of the most photogenic castles in Japan. At this evening event, enjoy the dramatic view of the castle illuminated, framed by fiery autumn leaves of the trees in the surrounding park.

Hours: Sunset–21:00

Admission: Free

Event details: aizukanko.com

Castle details (English): fukushima.travel

Location: Tsurugajo Castle (鶴ヶ城). Map here.

Access: By bus from Aizuwakamatsu Station, followed by a 5-minute walk. Alight at Tsuragajo Kitaguchi (鶴ヶ城北口) bus stop. Bus info here (English).

Access from Sendai: Aizu-Wakamatsu is about 150 minutes from Sendai by direct highway bus. No reservations needed. Timetable here.

11. Matsushima Sunset Cruise

松島サンセットクルーズ

Fridays & Saturdays through November 28 (& Nov 1–2)

Matsushima, Miyagi

Matsushima Bay, with its hundreds of pine-covered islets, is widely recognized as one of Japan's most iconic views. Daytime sightseeing cruises are offered on a daily basis, but sunset cruises are offered only during special times of year, like fall color season.

Time: Between 16:10 & 15:40. Exact departure time varies by date in order to coordinate with sunset.

Fee: ¥1,500 adults, ¥750 children

Reservations: Recommended

Details: matsushima.or.jp

Location: Matsushima Sightseeing Boat Pier (松島巡り観光船乗り場). Map here.

Access: 6-minute walk from Matsushima Kaigan Station

12. Matsushima Rikyu Autumn Leaves Light-Up

松島離宮紅葉のライトアップ

Through November 29

Matsushima, Miyagi

Rikyu is Matsushima's brand-spanking-new sightseeing facility, opened just this month. The strolling garden here, designed to resemble a detached palace garden, is likely to prove especially atmospheric with its autumn leaves illuminated.

Hours: 16:30–22:30

Closed days: None

Admission: ¥1,000, children ages kindergarten and younger free

Details: rikyu-m.com

Location: Matsushima Rikyu (松島離宮). Map here.

Access: Across the Street from Matsushimakaigan Station

13. Cat Art Exhibition: The World of Shu Yamamoto

Cat Art展~シュー・ヤマモトの世界~

Through November 29

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

Shu Yamamoto is a Japanese expat living in North America who specializes in cat-themed renditions of famous paintings. This exhibition is hosted by the Ishinomori Manga Museum which, which will also be serving fun cat-themed dishes in their cafe and selling limited-edition Shu Yamamoto cat art goods in the gift shop.

Hours: 9:00–18:00 (last entry 17:30)

Admission: ¥840 adults, ¥520 children ages junior high to high school, ¥210 elementary school students, children ages preschool & younger free

Event details: mangattan.jp

Shu Yamamoto official website (English): shucatart.com

Location: Ishinomori Manga Museum (石ノ森萬画館). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Ishinomaki Station

14. Fall colors at Entsuin Temple

円通院の紅葉

Through late November

Matsushima, Miyagi

The beauty of the gardens at Entsuin Temple rival those of Kyoto, especially in autumn. Though the temple's annual autumn light-up was unfortunately cancelled this year due to concern over coronavirus, the gardens are still open for viewing during the daytime. In fact, some visitors may find the temple's gardens even more beautiful by day, with the vivid contrast of red autumn leaves against green moss more visible in daylight.

Dates: Late October–late November

Hours: 9:00–16:00 weekdays, 9:00–16:30 weekends & holidays

Admission: ¥300 adults, ¥150 high school students, ¥100 junior high & elementary school students

Temple details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Entsuin official website: entuuin.or.jp

Location: Entsuin Temple (円通院). Map here.

Access: 5-minute walk from Matsushimakaigan Station

15. Sendai Wara Art 

せんだいわらアート

Through December 5

Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai

A fun and eco-friendly art show. Wara (straw), a byproduct of the rice harvest, is used to shape large sculptures. The event takes place at the horticultural center Midori no Mori, home to seasonally changing gardens and a farmer's market where you can purchase locally-grown produce and potted plants.

Hours: 9:00–17:00

Admisson: Free

Details: sendai-nogyo-engei-center.jp

Location: Sendai Nogyo Engei Center Midori no Mori (せんだい農業園芸センターみどりの杜). Map here.

Access: 10 minutes by bus or a 30-minute walk from Arai Station. From Arai Station, board a bus bound for Former Arahama Elementary School (旧荒浜小学校) via Nogyo Engei Center (農業園芸センター). Alight at Nogyo Engei Center bus stop. Timetable here.

16. Annormal: A Moyoko Anno Exhibition

安野モヨコ展

Through December 13

Central Sendai

Moyoko Anno is the wife of Neon Genesis Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, but is also an accomplished manga artist in her own right. She was voted the thirteenth-most popular manga artist in a recent Oricon poll, and it was recently announced that her manga Memoirs of Amourous Gentlemen will be made into a Broadway musical—a first for Japanese manga!

Annormal celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of the Moyoko's debut, and will feature about 500 of her works, including manga as well as the fashion illustrations she is also known for.

Hours: 9:00–17:00 (last entry 16:30)

Closed days: Mondays*, plus November 4, 24, & 26. *If Monday is a holiday, the museum will be open Monday and closed the following day.

Admission: ¥800 adults, ¥460 high school students, ¥230 children ages elementary to junior high

Details: annormal.annnomoyoko.com

Location: Sendai Literature Museum (仙台文学館). Map here.

Access by subway: 30-minute walk from Dainohara Station

Access by bus: 25 minutes by bus from Sendai Station, followed by a 5-minute walk. At Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool (仙台駅西口バスプール) platform #4, board bus bound for Niji no Oka Danchi (虹の丘団地) via Shiyakusho (市役所経由), Izumi-Chuo Station (泉中央駅) via Niji no Oka (虹の丘経由), Tomiya Eigyosho (富谷営業所), Minami-Tomiya Sunny Town (南富谷サニータウン), Shoryo New Town (松陵ニュータウン) via Yaotome Station (八乙女駅経由), Tsurugaoka New Town (鶴が丘ニュータウン) via Jutaku-mae (住宅前経由), Koyodai Danchi (向陽台団地), Akaishidai Danchi (明石台団地), Tohoku Gakuin Daigaku Izumi Campus (東北学院大学泉キャンパス), or New Tomiya Garden City (新富谷ガーデンシティー). Alight at Kitane Nichome・Bungakukan-mae (北根二丁目・文学館前) bus stop. Route map here, timetables here. For other bus access options, see here.

17. The Treasure of Yamagakoi Kofun exhibition

山囲古墳のお宝 一時里帰りした名取の至宝

Through December 20

Natori, Miyagi

The Yamagakoi Kofun is one of the Iinozaka Kofun, a cluster of large tombs in Natori dating back to around 4 CE, designated a National Historic Site. For the most part these tombs remain a mystery, with very little excavation having been carried out even for research purposes. One of the few exceptions is the Yamagakoi Kofun, which was excavated in 1949. A kabutsuchitachi sword was unearthed, and subsequently taken away from the city. This year, for a short few months, the sword will be back home and on display at the local history museum.

In addition to the exhibits, the Natori Museum of History and Folklore also offers hands-on crafting and fire-making experiences, no reservations required! Some of the hands-on experiences are free, while others require small fee (around ¥200). Try your hand at making magatama jewel, a pin, pottery rubbings, and more!

Hours: 9:00–17:00

Closed days: Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, the museum will be open Monday and closed the following day.)

Admission: Free

Exhibition details: natori-shiryokan.jp 

Iinozaka Kofun details (English): wikipedia.org (For details about the Yamagakoi Kofun specifically, you'll need to see the Japanese version of the page.)

Location: Natori City Museum of History and Folklore (名取市歴史民俗資料館). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Morisekinoshita Station, or 1.3 kilometers on foot or by rental cycle from Natori Station

18. Fall Light-Up at Miyagi Prefectural Library

宮城県図書館地形広場のライトアップ

Through December 25

Izumi Ward, Sendai

The Miyagi Prefectural Library is situated right next to a lovely wooded area. This fall, the trees closest to the library will receive a rainbow-hued dynamic-lighting makeover, an Instagenic backdrop for an evening stroll, or a meal at the library's new Panora Cafe.

Light-up hours: 16:00–19:00 (cafe last order 18:30)

Closed days: Irregular

Admission: Enjoying the view from the outdoor plaza or from inside the library is free. If you want to enjoy the view from inside the cafe, food or drink purchase is required.

Details: panora.cafe

Location: Miyagi Prefectural Library (宮城県図書館). Map here.

Access: 20–30 minutes by bus from Izumi-Chuo Station. At Izumi-Chuo Station Bus Pool platform #3, board bus bound for Techno Hills Higashi (テクノヒルズ東), or Miyagi Daigaku・Kogyodanchi (宮城大学・工業団地) via Izumi Park Town Shako-mae (泉パークタウン車庫前経由). Alight at Miyagi Toshokan-mae (宮城図書館前) bus stop. Timetables here.

19. Michinoku Marugoto Harvest Festival

みちのくまるごと収穫祭

November 2–3

Central Sendai

A food festival celebrating the agriculture and local producers of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate. Numerous stalls will be set up, serving local delicacies like raw oysters, kaisendon, yakisoba, pickled seaweed, and hoya in all sorts of preparations. A diverse range of local breweries and wineries will also have booths set up. Local craft beer will be on tap at the Iwate Kura, Sennen Brewery, and the Beer Renkei Team stalls. Niida-Honke sake brewery, Fukushima Dream Wine, and Ichinoseki Mead will also have booths, serving up their respective tipples.

On November 3 only, there will be a Chef's Booth set up where visitors can sample Michinoku-inspired fare prepared by some of Japan's top chefs, including Chef Keisuke Matsumoto, a Sendai native. For those who want to play chef themselves, local farms will have stalls set up both days, selling fresh produce and traditional seasonings like miso.

As for entertainment, there will be live music, including shows by groups that normally perform at the Jozenji Streetjazz Festival (unfortunately cancelled this year). Tohoku PR booths will also be offering crafting experiences, such as origami and keychain making.

Hours: 10:00–16:00

Admission: Free

Details: sendai-tushin.jp

Location: Kotodai Park Citizen's Plaza (勾当台公園市民広場). Map here.

Access: Above Kotodaikoen Station

20. Mangattan Culture Festival

マンガッタン文化祭

November 3

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

What better way to celebrate Manga Day (of course you knew November 3 was a Manga Day) than to head to the spaceship-shaped Ishinomori Manga Museum for their Manga Culture Festival? This year, the theme of the event is cats. Highlights include cat art exhibitions, cat-themed sweets and limited edition goods, and a booth where you can make your very own set of cat ears. If you're coming for the manga you'll definitely also want to check out the museum itself; if you're coming for the cats, consider catching the ferry out to nearby Cat Island Tashirojima to meet some real-life neko.

Hours: 9:00–18:00

Museum admission: Adults ¥800, high school & junior high students ¥500, children ages elementary & younger ¥200

Details: mangattan.jp

Location: Ishinomori Manga Museum (石ノ森萬画館). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Ishinomaki Station

21. Zao Highlands Daikon Picking & Cheese Fair

蔵王高原大根狩り&チーズフェア

November 7–8

Zao-machi, Miyagi

Good cheese can be hard to come by in Japan. Lucky for us, we've got the Zao Dairy Center nearby! Come feast on their cheeses at this annual festival. A daikon-picking event is going on in the area at the same time. For ¥1000, you can pick as many daikon as you can fit in the large vinyl bag.

Hours (Cheese Fair): 9:00–15:30

Hours (daikon picking): 9:00–15:30 (November 7) 9:00–15:30 (November 8)

Admission: Free, daikon picking ¥1,000 per bag

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location (Cheese Fair): Zao Dairy Center (蔵王酪農センダー). Map here.

Location (daikon picking): fields in the Togatta Onsen Nanokahara area (蔵王町遠刈田温泉七日原). Map here.

Access: About 60 minutes by bus from Sendai Station, followed by a 30-minute walk. Board bus bound for Active Resorts Miyagi Zao (アクティブリゾーツ宮城蔵王), alight at Togatta Onsen (遠刈田温泉) bus stop. Timetable here.

22. Autumn Leaves of Yubikan Light-Up

紅葉の有備館ライトアップ

November 7–8

Osaki, Miyagi

Yubikan once served as a retirement home for heads of the Date Clan samurai, then later as a school for Date Clan children. The building itself offers a glimpse in to the lifestyle of samurai elite, and the strolling garden outside offers beautiful views that change with the seasons. It's usually open only during the daytime, but at special times of year the building and gardens are open and illuminated in the evenings, bringing a lively glow to the typically dark and quiet nights of the historical Iwadeyama area.

Hours: 9:00–20:00

Admission: ¥350 adults, ¥260 high school students, ¥180 children ages elementary to middle school

Event details: city.osaki.miyagi.jp

Yubikan details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Yubikan (旧有備館). Map here.

Access: Across the street from Yubikan Station

23. Matsushima Godaido Light-Up

松島五大堂ライトアップ

November 12–23

Matsushima, Miyagi

Though the fall light-up at Entsuin Temple has been cancelled this year due to concern over coronavirus, the illumination at Godaido, another historic temple that participates in the annual Matsushima Fall Light-Up, is still on. Green lights cast a lurid glow over the temple and its island. In addition to the light-up at Godaido, a few other small temples nearby and the approach to Zuiganji Temple will be illuminated.

Hours: 17:00–21:00

Admission: Free

Official website: godaido-lightup.com

Godaido details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Godaido Temple (五大堂). Map here.

Access: 7-minute walk from Matsushimakaigan Station

24. The National Treasures of Chugu-ji Temple

東日本大震災復興祈念 奈良・中宮寺の国宝展

November 12–January 12

Central Sendai

Chugu-ji is a temple in Nara founded in the seventh century. Once the palace of the mother of Prince Shotoku, it was converted into a temple, and later an imperial convent, following her death. The temple is home to two National Treasures as well as many other fine works of Buddhist art. One of these National Treasures, the Statue of Pensive Bodhisattva, will be displayed in Tohoku for the first time ever at this exhibition. Many of the temple's lesser-known treasures will also be displayed, as will a replica of the Chugu-ji's other National Treasure, the Tenjukoku Mandala Shucho.

Hours: 9:30–17:00 (last entry 16:30)

Closed: Mondays (except Nov 23 & Jan 11), plus Nov 24, Dec 28–Jan 4

Admission: ¥1,500 adults, ¥1,300 college students, ¥750 children ages elementary to high school

Details (English): pref.miyagi.jp

Location: The Miyagi Museum of Art (宮城県美術館). Map here.

Access: 5-minute walk from International Center Station

25. Sendai Shokudo

仙台食堂

November 14–15

Central Sendai

Food festivals are starting to make a comeback in Sendai, with various precautions for preventing the spread of coronavirus being introduced. One new precaution being implemented at the Sendai Shokudo is that it's by reservation only. The reservation system helps the event organizers control the flow of visitors and, on the off chance someone who attended the event ends up testing positive for coronavirus, helps them contact those in attendance at the same time so they can go get tested as well.

Public health precautions aside, the event will offer food stalls run by restaurants and izakaya from around southern Tohoku, including Keyaki Cafe, Gorilla Shokudo, and Emu Curry. Craft beer will be available at the Craftsman Sendai stall, and live music will provide entertainment as you eat, sip, and stroll.

Hours: 10:00–14:00 or 15:00–19:00

Admission: ¥1,500 (includes two ¥500 food tickets)

Reservations: Required. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.

Details: sendai-tushin.com

Location: Kotodai Park Citizen's Plaza (勾当台公園市民広場). Map here.

Access: Above Kotodaikoen Station

26. Natori Museum of History & Folklore Festival

資料館まつり

November 15

Natori, Miyagi

Come out and support this local history museum at their first-ever festival! The event will offer entertainment in the form of live traditional performing arts, like kagura and mukashibanashi storytelling. Games and crafting experiences will also be offered. The games will include bingo and a ring toss tournament, while the crafting experiences on offer will be magatama jewel, pin, and bookmark making. If you can't make it the day of the festival, the crafting experiences are offered daily inside the museum.

Hours: 10:00–14:00

Admission: Free, crafting experiences ¥200 each

Details: city.natori.miyagi.jp

Location: Natori City Museum of History and Folklore (名取市歴史民俗資料館). Map here.

Access: 15-minute walk from Morisekinoshita Station, or 1.3 kilometers on foot or by rental cycle from Natori Station

27. Return to the Matrix

母体回帰

November 21–29

Central Sendai

Noriko Takahashi is a Sendai-based painter who mainly does solo shows. We hear the works for her Return to the Matrix solo exhibition are influenced by the current state of the world and the sorrow of loss. The show will take place at the Nakamoto Seiji Contemporary Art Museum. With its quirky architecture, the museum building is an offbeat sightseeing destination in and of itself.

Hours: 11:00–18:00 (~16:00 Nov 29)

Closed days: Tuesdays

Admission: Free

Event details: facebook.com/painter.norikotakahashi

Museum details (English): seishi-nakamoto.com

Location: Museo de arte contemperaneo de Seishi (中本誠司現代美術館). Map here.

Access by subway: 24-minute walk from Kita-Sendai Station

Access by bus: 1-minute walk from Kita-Sendai Junior High (北仙台中学校前) bus stop. At Sendai Station West Exit Bus Pool (仙台駅西口バスプール) platform #4, board bus bound for Niji no Oka Danchi Campground (虹の丘団地キャンプ場) via Shiyakusho・Higashi-Katsuyama (市役所・東勝山経由).

28. Atoa Premium Concert: Trancest

トランセスト

November 22

Online

Atoa is a professional taiko drumming group known for their stunning traditional performances as well more avant-garde work. The live version of Trancest was performed in Tagajo this October; now the troupe is offering an online version for those avoiding live events due to concern over coronavirus. Trancest features Atoa taiko accompanied by music, dance, and performing arts. The accompanying arts range from ancient Noh theater to contemporary singer-songwriters.

Time : Broadcast begins 20:00

Tickets: ¥4,500, must be purchased in advance. Purchase through the Atoa Line Store, or by email at wadaiko.atoa@gmail.com

Details: atoa-official.com

Location: Anywhere with access to a computer and internet

29. Kesennuma Port Marché

気仙沼みなとでマルシェ。

November 29

Kesennuma, Miyagi

The final Kesennuma Port Market Festival for 2020. This relaxed open-air event features food, drink and handicraft stalls run by local producers, plus fun fishery experiences—an unusual feature at your average farmers market, but Kesennuma is, after all, a port city! The market stalls will be set up at Mishione Yokocho, a small "yokocho" of trailers housing restaurants and a sento bathouse, built where a factory washed away by the 2011 tsunami once stood. The fishery experiences take place at a different spot from the main market, so be sure to ask about the location those if you're interested.

Hours: 8:00–14:00

Admission: Free

Event details: facebook.com/kesennuma.marche

Mishione Yokocho details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Location: Mishione Yokocho (みしおね横丁). Map here.

Access: 10 minutes by bus from Kesennuma Station (気仙沼駅), followed by a 2-minute walk. Board clockwise city loop (市内循環) bus, alight at Umi no Ichi-mae (海の市前) bus stop. Timetable here.

30. Fall colors at Nakakamado Temple

中釜戸のシダレモミジ

Late November–early December

Iwaki, Fukushima

Just when you think fall color season in Tohoku is pretty much over, you'll find there's one or two holdouts where the fall colors last into December. One such spot is Nakakamado. If you're craving one last hit of koyo before winter really sets in, this is a great spot to visit. This tiny temple is famous for its weeping maples, designated National Natural Monuments. On busy days during peak fall color season, the neighbors open up a market stall selling handmade sweets and postcards. You can check the progress of the trees' leaves at the link below.

Hours: Always open

Admission: Free

Details: city.iwaki.lg.jp

Location: Nakakamado Weeping Maple Tree (中釜戸のシダレモミジ). Map here.

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