I had a sudden trip to Sendai for 1 night and 2 days.



I had a free day at work on Friday, so I was looking at twitter as usual. I was tempted by a tweet via foursquare by a certain oboe lady who is the head of the Sendai branch of grain orchestra, « I’ve been to Nikka Whisky Sendai factory and Miyagikyo distillery », and I suddenly decided to make a trip to Sendai for one night and two days.


I have orchestra practice on Sunday afternoon/evening, but… well, I’ll just do my best to fly the car for that.

So, we set off for Sendai, the city of forests. On the way, I stopped at Hanyu SA just to take off the contact lens of my left eye. There happened to be a Starbucks, so I checked in here and got this badge that I’ve been looking for!

We continued north on the Tohoku Expressway, refueled near Fukushima on the way, and continued on to Sendai.

It was after midnight when I arrived at Sendai. No, actually I didn’t go to Sendai city at all. After getting off at Miyagi-Sendai IC, I took Route 48 in the direction of Yamagata for about 20 minutes and arrived at my destination, « Nikka Whisky Sendai Plant, Miyagikyo Distillery ».

I had heard the information about snow and road conditions from my friend who lives in Sendai beforehand, and I was worried about it, but the weather looked good. It was still cold in Sendai, and there was still a lot of snow on the shoulder of the road.

But on the road, no problem at all.


Now, I went to the Sendai plant and Miyagikyo distillery of Nikka Whisky. I felt that the air was even colder than in Kanto. But it was humid, and I felt nostalgic for the coldness that I used to feel when I lived in Kyoto.



I had been to the distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido twice, so to be honest, I remembered most of the contents of Nikka’s factory tour. My impression was that this Sendai distillery was newer and the scenery itself was more modern, but I didn’t feel there was a big difference in the whisky production process and the storage room because the same manufacturer was basically involved.


If we talk about the storage room, I think the Sendai factory was more spacious and they showed us a large area. I think I was more impressed with the aroma of the distillation process in the building in Sendai. (This is also a nice sweet smell…)

At the end of the tour, we had a tasting, but unfortunately I was in a car, so of course I refrained from tasting, so the tour ended here.

The rest is souvenirs. Souvenirs, well, this is clearly the biggest and almost the only purpose of the visit. I was looking forward to buying the original sake. It was as if we had traveled six hours for this.


The single cask, malt raw materials were 15 years (bourbon remade casks) 20 years (sherry casks), 25 years (new casks) and a few others, but I chose the 15 and 25 years.


I can’t do a tasting, so I can only judge by the aroma, but this time I wanted something rather simple and straightforward (or is that a bad expression?) But this time, I wanted something simple and straightforward rather than sweet, so I left out the 20 year old sherry cask. But I think I should have bought three of them. Well, I could have avoided spending a lot of money, so that’s good.

I really thought of making a spur-of-the-moment day trip, but that would be a waste of time, so I decided to stay overnight at Akiu Onsen, a hot spring in the suburbs of Sendai.

As usual, there’s no navigation system, but I’m already familiar with driving with my iPhone as a navigator.


Thanks to the iPhone navigation system, we arrived at Akiu Onsen without getting lost.


This hotel, « Hotel Ruifeng », is very big and magnificent.


Isn’t it expensive? But actually, there is such a bargain plan, and I chose it. However, the room is a place like a dirty business hotel called « Villa Ruifeng » which is a little bit far from the main building.


But the facilities of the single room are as good as a normal business hotel, and you can still use the large bath in the main building, so I think it’s a very satisfying plan. If you stay overnight without meals, it’s less than 4,000 yen, so I highly recommend it.

ホテル情報はこちら:秋保温泉 ヴィラ瑞鳳 トップページ 【楽天トラベル】 http://t.co/npBB2vc

The outdoor bath was very spacious and comfortable.


The temperature of the water was not as hot as I expected. If anything, I was able to soak more leisurely than usual because there are many places where the hot spring I reach is always hot. I took a dip in the evening just after arriving and after dinner, but I guess it was just a coincidence that there were no people in the outdoor bath at all. Thanks to this, we were able to have the open-air bath all to ourselves both times. It’s really big here.

By the way, I decided to take the plan with dinner and breakfast because it was troublesome for me. I had to eat dinner at the hotel if I was going to drink alcohol, but the dinner in this plan is « dinner buffet »!


It’s not a good way to put it, but it was like a safe hotel party meal. However, the sashimi was delicious.

So, I came to Sendai on a spur of the moment from a trivial tweet on TL, but I could enjoy myself at a cheaper price than I expected. If you drive, it’s not so close to the city, but it’s easy to drive on the Tohoku highway, so I felt it was so quick once we passed Tokyo. I would like to go there again slowly, if possible, while having a good time with everyone.