Ishinomaki, Japan

Sushi lovers, take note: Ishinomaki claims more sushi restaurants per capita than any other city in Japan. The busy port harvests outstanding seafood thanks to its plankton-rich waters, while the Miyagi Prefecture is one of Japan’s top producers of rice. Genki Market is a great place to sample local specialties like yakisoba, Ishinomaki’s famous stir-fried noodle dish. Matsushima Bay is sprinkled with some 260 pine-clad islands; take a scenic cruise, or soak in the view while visiting the spaceship-shaped Ishinomori Mangattan Museum, dedicated to influential manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. (Life-size statues, banners and colorful murals of his iconic characters line the main Manga Road.) Matsushima also boasts two 9th-century Buddhist temples that were reconstructed by the feudal lord Date Masamune: Godaido Temple enshrines five Buddha statues that are only displayed every 33 years, while Zuiganji Temple is noted for its ingenious “nightingale floors,” which make a bird-like sound to warn against intruders.