Stuff that’s not in Sendai

Sendai is the largest city between Tokyo and Sapporo. Given how much ground that covers, you’d think Sendai would be ridden with tourist traps. Quite the contrary, all the tourist spots in Sendai seemed to be geared towards the locals (i.e., sucking off Date Masamune), while the general-interest attractions lie outside city limits. Thus, I rate Sendai a great city to live in but a mediocre tourist destination.

Yamagata

It’s 1000 steps to the top of the cliff temple Yamadera (not a tough climb by any means but high enough to get some great views). In Yamagata City you’ll find the former Prefectural Assembly Hall, where a scene from the second Rurouni Kenshin live-action movie was filmed. Much to my disappointment, they changed the purple drapes.

Nothing else in Yamagata but skiing and hot springs.

Ishinomaki

Ishinomaki getting fucked over by the tsunami

Ishinomaki is the home of Shoutarou Ishinomori, the manga artist behind Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider. The town boasts a bunch of character statues and a manga museum I didn’t visit. Instead I went to Tashirojima, an island famous for having an above average number of cats, most of which only hang around the port so they can harass tourists carrying food. If seeing anywhere from 0-5 cats at once is your idea of a good time, Tashirojima is heaven on earth.

Zao Fox Village

I eventually made it to an animal attraction that actually had animals. One of them bit me. I hate animals.

Fukushima

There’s nothing to do in Fukushima. This was apparently true before the tsunami as well.

Shinjuku

Too many Nigerians trying to hustle you into whorehouses.

Comiket

I’d previously never gone to Comiket before noon. This was the end of the line at 11:00. Loot was minimal, as I still haven’t finished reading my winter haul.

One of the really cool things about Comiket is that it brings together hobbyists of all walks, not just anime and manga.