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A Taste of Miyagi in Tokyo

by Takaharu Saito

· Shopping,Food,Restaurants

Miyagi Furusato Plaza in Tokyo now offers support in English, Traditional Chinese, and Korean

If you live in Japan, you are probably familiar with the term "antenna shop." Most often found in Tokyo, antenna shops are small prefecture-themed complexes consisting of shops, restaurants, and information centers. A Miyagi-themed antenna shop called Miyagi Furusato Plaza is located right by busy Ikebukuro Station.

If you want Miyagi products while in Tokyo, it's a great place—whether for recommending familiar Miyagi products to your friends in the metropolis, or for yourself if you’ve moved to Tokyo and miss the flavors of Miyagi.

Miyagi Furusato Plaza has recently started offering foreign-language support in English, Traditional Chinese, and Korean, making it easier than ever for non-Japanese speakers to enjoy shopping here. One of the first things you’ll see at the front of the shop is a welcome banner in four languages. Although not yet ready at the time of our visit, by the time this article is published, many of the price cards will also bear descriptions in all four languages, making it easier for people of many nationalities to understand these unique products. Placards that tell you where products are located have also been translated.

Languages aside, Miyagi Furusato Plaza is simply a fun place to go, even if you’re a Miyagi resident just visiting Tokyo! When we stopped by, there was a live cooking demo of Miyagi-made frozen fish-burger patties going on. The guy was really good at talking and presentation, drawing in passers-by with his delicious samples. It was a lively, market-like atmosphere I wasn't expecting. I ended up talking to him and found myself grabbing two packs of the frozen patties.

At the back of the shop was a fish dealer from Minamisanriku, who was giving away samples of his excellent dried seaweed. He also had some really nice hoya (sea squirt). I learned that Miyagi hoya is slowly but steadily catching on in Tokyo, thanks to promotional campaigns and the advent of improved freezing technologies. If you've never tasted hoya before, Miyagi Furusato Plaza is a good place to give it a try.

The Plaza also features a gyutan restaurant upstairs, and a branch of a famous zunda shake parlor at the front of the shop. If you haven't been to Miyagi Furusato Plaza yet, it's a nice spot in the middle of Tokyo where you can find authentic, high-quality Miyagi food and crafts.

Miyagi Furusato Plaza (宮城ふるさとプラザ)

Hours: 11:00–20:00

Web: cocomiyagi.jp

Web (English): cocomiyagi.jp

Tel: 03-5956-3511

Address: Higashi Ikebukuro 1-2-2, Toshima Ward, Tokyo

Access: 2-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station East Exit

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