Sendai is known to the Japanese as the city of trees. Every avenue has many of them, and even the shopping centres do have trees in them.
The city responds to the scale challenges introduced by the infrastructure in a very similar manner to other Japanese cities, only I believe that in a more successful manner as the higher level walks extend further than others, whilst shops appear already at ground level, giving an impression of continuity that you normally cannot see in other cities
I think what I liked was that it was always clear where pedestrians walked and where cars drove. Neither interrupt the other and everything run rather smoothly… even for Japanese standards I thought!
Another thing I enjoyed was that you never felt to be in an empty space, even though the city was not as busy as central Tokyo, for example, would have been.
The Sendai mediateque was the solution that the Japanese Master Toyo Ito came up with when considering what a modern response to the idea of a library would look like.
A lantern-like multi purpose culture centre with uses almost floating from one layer to the next, was a ground breaking proposal;to those considering how best to design what could be considered new knowledge hubs.
The integration of structure , space and services was impressively clean and sharp. Every system was concealed, and the tubular structure which run through all the paper-like floor layers felt much less intrusive that I imagined when I first saw the drawings 10 years ago.
You could definitely feel the lightness of space that Ito had targeted in every element.
Sendai Cuisine, gyutan menu. Sendai’s gastronomic speciality is tongue, cow tongue and they cook it in many ways. I must confess that it is a far cry from anything i had even eaten before. Much much better, no doubt about it. Like every Japanese dish, these have been developed to perfection within in their simplicity .
We went to a place called Risuke near Sendai station that my brother in law knew, but there are many choices.
Tofu with tongue mince.
Local brown rice.(This is spectacular. I have never tried such a flavoursome brown rice. Not before going to Sendai, neither since)
This is the lost in translation whisky… remember?…” intensely”
Beef tongue stew. This was an incredible dish. The stew had miso as the back flavour and it was deep and rich in flavour in such a way that I cannot match to anything else. Very delicious and interesting.
Grilled beef tongue. Of course grilled had to be part of the menu. Japanese love the idea of the barbecue when cooking.
Beef tongue sausages.
Chilli powder. The magic touch!