Ishinomaki (É╬Ő¬) is a large port city east of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. The city has a number of interesting attractions, and is known for being the hometown of prominent manga artist Ishinomori Shotaro.
During the 2011 Tsunami Ishinomaki suffered the largest losses of life and property of any municipality as the tsunami inundated much of the city's low lying waterfront districts and neighborhoods. From Hiyoriyama Park, located on a hilltop near the city center, visitors can look out over the affected waterfront districts. A memorial park with a lot of green space is scheduled to open on March 28, 2021 in the coastal district.
Situated on the site of the former Ishinomaki Castle at the center of the city, this hilltop park offers commanding views out over Ishinomaki. The park is also the site of a shrine and one of the city's best cherry blossom spots with over 400 cherry trees planted along its slopes. Due to its location on high ground, Hiyoriyama Park served as a refuge for survivors of the 2011 Tsunami. Today the park gives visitors views of the tsunami-hit river estuary and waterfront districts.
The Ishinomori Manga Museum is an art museum dedicated to the artist Ishinomori Shotaro, creator of the influential Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider manga. The unique, egg shaped building houses a collection of statues, artworks and comics from his various series. The collection was damaged by the 2011 Tsunami and required extensive restoration before the museum was able to fully reopen in March 2013.
Ishinomaki Genki Market
Hours: 9:00 to 19:00 (shops), 11:00 to 20:00 (restaurants) Closed: No closing days
Located along the river across from the manga museum (see above), the Genki Market (Genki Ichiba) is an indoor market selling local specialties, including seafood products and produce. On the second floor is a food fair where a variety of dishes, including seafood donburi and noodle dishes are served.
The Sant Juan Bautista is a replica of the Japan-built, Spanish style galleon that embarked on a diplomatic mission across the Pacific Ocean during the Edo Period. Visitors can see a museum dedicated to the ship and the voyage and board a life size replica of the Sant Juan Bautista itself.
Tashiro Island is a small, rural island off the coast of Ishinomaki and can be reached in about an hour from the city by ferry. Affectionately referred to as "Cat Island", Tashiro is home to several hundred felines, which vastly outnumber the human residents on the island that care for them. The island is also known as "Manga Island" due to the manga themed camping resort on its southern tip. The resort consists of several cat shaped cottages that feature cat themed artwork by famous manga artists such as Ishinomori Shotaro.
Getting there and around
Direct JR trains connect Sendai with Ishinomaki about twice per hour. Local trains along the JR Senseki Line take about 80-90 minutes, while less frequent rapid trains along the JR Senseki-Tohoku Line require about one hour. By either train type, the one way fare is 860 yen and covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass. Local trains depart Sendai from the Senseki Line platforms in the station's basement, while rapid trains depart fom the Tohoku Line platforms above ground.
Miyagi Kotsu (Miyako) operates 1-2 buses per hour between Sendai (how to get to Sendai) and Ishinomaki stations. The one way ride takes about 75 minutes and costs 820 yen.