Writer: Heidi

Originally from the west coast of America, Heidi moved to Japan in 2018 and considers herself a jack of all trades. She makes digital and traditional art, films and edits destination videos, is involved in medical research and fundraising, and practices music and martial arts. Since moving to Japan, she has also adopted a few more hobbies such as dance, calligraphy, and archery. Coming from a melting pot of cultures and a multicultural family background, she lives to have as many new cultural experiences in the world as possible.

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The Kizuna Spring Festivals of The Tohoku Region

Back in 2011 after the Great Earthquake and Tsunami, everyone in the Tohoku region of Japan came together to renew their land and their spirit by creating “Tohoku Rokkonsai (Six Festivals).” Tohoku Rokkonsai sewed together the six prefectures into one breakthrough event, touring around the region to celebrate all of their summer festivals.

Panorama of pinkish-red azaleas against a background of green hills

Mt. Tokusenjo's Azaleas and the Kesennuma Azalea Festival

Every year from mid May to early June, the people of the greater Kesennuma area in Miyagi Prefecture bask in the beauty of spring with the blooming of wild mountain azalea flowers (yama tsutsuji) on Mt. Tokusenjo. The Kesennuma Azalea Festival is also held to celebrate, with local musical artists and activities.

Cultural Experiences in Kesennuma

5 Cultural Experiences to Have in Kesennuma, Miyagi

Kesennuma is a beautiful coastal city in Miyagi prefecture in northern Japan. With Kesennuma having a population of a little over 65,000 people and best known for its fishing industry, one may wonder what it has to offer the average person. Lucky for me, the people of Kesennuma are so kind and ecstatic to share Japanese culture with others! Here are some of the things I’ve found so far!

Ramen shop seen at night from outside

Kesennuma Ramen Shops – 5 of the Best

Perhaps most known as of late for its destruction and city’s resilience following the 2011 disaster, the small city of Kesennuma is actually home to many mom-and-pop style noodle houses that have been around for decades! With so many to choose from, ordering chashuu (pork belly) ramen has been my go-to dish but I’m always excited to try something new or a shopkeeper’s personal favorite.

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