At a Glance
Ogawara lies on Route 4, the major thoroughfare connecting Tokyo with Tohoku.
A fairly compact and flat town, bicycle transport is the cheapest and most convenient. Walking is also quite easy if you want to go a tad slower. The Tohoku main line runs through the town, and there are buses from the station to the mall and on to other towns, but otherwise no public transportation is available. Split between Ogawara and Shibata is the Senbonzakura, or 1000 cherry blossom trees in a single glance. There are over 1,100 cherry trees lining both banks of the Shiroishi River, allowing for some awesome hanami quite close to home.
Places to Eat
Places to Visit
Things to Do
BLUSTA -ブルスタ･オラムー 大河原店
A great charcoal grilled yakinuki restaurant (go early, it fills up fast). There is also a location in Sendai.
Twin Bell - ツインベル
Located off Route 4, this small Italian restaurant is more of a general "western food" restaurant. While there is plenty of pasta and pizza on offer, the menu also has Hamburg steaks as well.
E-to - エイト
A Hamburg steak restaurant with some nice choices in sauces. They also have some very delicious cakes as well for dessert!
Monte Mare - モンテ・マーレ
While a reservation only restaurant, the menu is constantly rotated. If you get the chance, it's quite the experience!
Tonkatsu Kusaka - とんかつくさか
An older restaurant, they serve both tonkatsu and soba. The cuts are very obviously handmade, adding to the charm of the place.
Sava - レストランsava
Another reservation only restaurant, they pair different dishes (from fresh sushi to different Western dishes) with local sake.
Gottsousan - ごっつぉうさん
It might be a takeout only establishment, but don't let that discourage you! You'll get home cooked meals here for cheap, along with a few desserts and drinks as well. It's a perfect stop to get something either before hanami or in the middle of it.
Yogiyo - ヨギヨ
A tiny bit of Korea in downtown Ogawara. While also an izakaya, they do offer more than just drinks - there's a full selection of all the best Korean dishes on offer. They only open past five in the evening, so best to go after a day in south Miyagi.
Elephanta - エレファンタ
Located down a residential area, this curry shop is quite delicious in its offerings. They have over twenty different curries on offer, from different lamb curries to seafood and even vegetable!
Near Elephanta, this curry shop deals with Indian style curry, unlike the Indo-Japanese fusion of Elephanta.
O's Cafe - オズカフェ
This eclectic little cafe is down one of the many side streets near Ogawara's town hall. Featuring a menu with such items as roast pork, bagels, and a few varieties of sandwiches.
Canella - カンテラ
A quite retro cafe not too far off from the start (or end) of the senbonzakura. They don't offer much, but if you want a true Showa Era experience, here's a location for you.
Penny Lane - ペニーレイン
Nestled between Bookoff and KFC is Penny Lane, a small but enjoyable cafe. The entire place is themed retro, with a large statue of Elvis and a plate of spaghetti out front. They do indeed offer spaghetti, along with pizza and some gratin as well.
Chill Bon - 焼きたてクレープ チルボン
Located in a row of stalls behind the Uniqulo in Ogawara, this small cafe serves some absolutely delectable crepes. From banana to cream, and everything in between.
Ramen Someiyoshino - らぁめんソメイヨシ乃
Home of the "Ultimate pork ramen", this shop does not skimp on the toppings. Specialising in Jiro-kei ramen, there is an overabundance of toppings here - from bean sprouts to char siu and everything in between. Bring your appetite!
Sanpachi - サンパチ
Another Jiro-kei ramen shop, this one's specialty is the aptly named "magma ramen". Piled high with toppings and given a molten broth, it's quite the challenge to down.
Ramen Rohan - 拉麺ろはん
While not that Rohan, this Rohan serves decent ramen that will cure your desires and then some.
Isshoan - 日本蕎麦街道一匠庵
Located deep in the mountains is Isshoan, a very modern and very delicious soba restaurant. Serving only pure buckwheat noodles, it's a taste experience you're not soon to forget.
Kitaya - 菓子匠喜多屋
Offering both Japanese and Western sweets, this store located next to the Iki-iki Plaza is excellent. They offer special sweets specifically for hanami, and at great pricing. Their anko dango are some of the best!
Ishikawa Confectionery - 石川菓子屋
Not too far from the river is Ishikawa confectionery - they offer different Japanese sweets, from manju to dango. A perfect place to stock up before going to a hanami party in spring.
Ichibaya - 市場屋
Another wagashi store, this time right on the river across from Ogawara station. Despite being quite unassuming, they have quite good fare on offer.
Miyagi Lapras Pokelid -Cherrim
Did you know that Miyagi's Ambassador Pokemon is Lapras? There are 35 decorative Lapras Manhole Covers all over Miyagi! Why Cherrim? Besides the obvious cherry blossom reference, Ogawara is known all over Miyagi for it's Thousand Cherry Trees that run along the Shiroishi River. It's a common place for cherry blossom viewing and illumination. You can find Cherrim a bit of a walk from Ogawara Station if you head toward the 7/11 and look for the Shiroishi River Walkway Map.
Forte Shopping Mall - シーズンズウォーク フォルテ
There is the Forte mall, which is accessible on foot (30-40 min from the station), and by bus (10-30 min). At Forte you'll find bowling, arcades, a major grocery store and bakery with decent supplies of western food (including taco and chili mixes, Italian pastas, etc.), an Indian restaurant, and different clothing stores.
Uraniwa Atelier - うらにわアトリエ
Featured on national television, this small store in the mountains of Ogawara specialises in kokeshi. However, unlike most every other form of kokeshi, these are all "nyan kokeshi". In other words, completely cats!