upon a time, a
famous Haiku poet nearly said “Oh Tagajo, oh Tagajo, oh Tagajo”
whilst on his travels up North.
impressed was Basho by the breath-taking scenery on Route 45 from Sendai
to Tagajo (Pachinko Parlours in the shape of ships and castles, karaoke
purazas, orange Yoshinoyas, red 'n green conbinis, blue 'n white
conbinis, an abundance of gas stations and the Monument of Tagajo) that
he mentioned it (alas, only the Monument!) in his travel sketch
"The Narrow Road To The Deep North."
can be reached by car on Basho's Narrow Road, otherwise known as Route
4, or by train on the Senseki line (it takes 20 minutes from Sendai to
Tagajo and costs a mere ¥230). It is a definite must for all you
history-buffs as Tagajo is one of the 3 great historical sites of Japan.
the Nara and Heian Periods, the Government set up its administrative HQ
in Tagajo and the mutsu-kokubin (provisional temple) was built.
However, during the attempt to drive out the indigenous rebels of the
region in 780, Tagajo was burnt to the ground and fell into ruin. You
can see many artefacts in the nearby Tohoku History Museum.
well as its stones and ruins, Tagajo is also proud of its Ayame Matsuri
(Iris Festival) from mid-June to July. Every year, the “Tagajonians”
come out in force to see the pretty purple and white flowers in the Iris
Garden. At this year’s festival, yours truly was supposed
to perform nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dancing), dressed
as…yes that's right, AN IRIS, but it rained and was unfortunately
you're partial to a bit of sport now 'n again, you'll probably find yourself in Tagajo Green Zone
Park for an AJET sports extravaganza! This park provides fun for all the
family with a public playing field, tennis courts and football pitches.
can be reached by Route 58 (towards Shichigahama)or a 30 minute walk
from Tagajo Station along the river. Keep your eye out for details of
the next sports day on the AJET webpage and in the Drum.
is also home of a beautiful lake, Sendai Port (used by AJET on the
annual trip to the Sapporo Snow Festival) and, for those who live in
Nakano-Sakae or Shiogama - Nagasakia (a large department store with a
terrific ¥100 store on
the 4th floor!).
my favourite place in Tagajo is without a doubt "Bar Mosco."
Where else can you watch Eric Bristow and Joccy Wilson on Yorkshire TV,
play darts with the locals, drink Choco Martini and eat deep-fried
owner is very friendly, loves football (he has Gary Lineker's video!)
and can speak a little English. Turn left out of Tagajo Station and
cross over the bridge on the right hand-side. You'll see a Co-op
supermarket. Behind the supermarket there is a tiny alleyway. Mosco is
the bar with the dartboard on the door.
by Catherine Russell