Sendai 仙台

  • Published on : 31/08/2020
  • by : G.L. / I.D.O.
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The capital of Tôhoku and a must-see city in northern Japan

With around one million citizens, Sendai is the largest city in Tohoku (the northeastern region of Honshu Island). Sendai is an old, historical castle town developed by the samurai warlord Masamune Date. It is one of Japan's fastest-growing and most charming cities.

Sendai Shopping & Museum Information

Other sites included on the Loople Sendai bus tour, which departs from the west side of Sendai Station, are Sendai's two major shopping streets of Aoba Dori and Ichibancho and the Bansuisodo - the preserved house of local minor poet and composer, Bansui Doi.

Just north of Sendai Station, the AER Building at 145.5 meters is the tallest building in Sendai and the entire Tohoku region. There's a branch of Maruzen bookstore with writings in English, a Starbucks, the Tohoku Pokemon Center, and on the 31st floor The Panorama Terrace, with great views out over Sendai on a clear day.

The Sendai City Museum introduces the history of the city and displays Date family treasures including Masamune Date's suit of armor and relics from the fascinating journey to Mexico and Europe by his retainer, Hasekura Tsunenaga (1613 - 1620). This epic voyage, Japan's first embassy to the Americas and Europe, is described in Shusako Endo's novel The Samurai.

Other museums in Sendai include the Miyagi Museum of Art and Tohoku University's Museum of Natural History. Of the temples and shrines in the city, Osaki Hachimangu Shrine dates from 1607 and is a good example of Momoyama Period architecture. The shrine houses the guardian deity of the Date family and is the site of the Donto fire festival in January. Nearby Rinnoji Temple has a Japanese-style garden noted for its irises in June.

Sendai Mediatheque is a modern art and film center on Jozenji Dori. Exhibitions, film screenings, and workshops are available in the library.



KimonBerlin Wikimedia Commons

Festivals in Sendai

Sendai's major festivals are the Aoba Festival on the third weekend of May with processions of colorful floats accompanied by people in samurai dress and taiko music. The Saturday is known as Yoi Matsuri and features the colorful "Sparrow Dance" (suzume-odori). Sunday is Hon matsuri and features the main pageant and procession and more "Sparrow Dances."

In August Sendai's Tanabata Festival is one of the biggest matsuri in the Tohoku region drawing thousands of spectators. Bamboo poles are decorated with paper streamers and there are parades along Jozenji Dori and firework displays. The Jozenji Jazz Festival in September sees hundreds of street musicians performing throughout the city.

The Dondo Matsuri at Osaki Hachimangu Shrine takes place on January 14 and is an annual Fire Festival where New Year straw decorations are ceremoniously burnt in a large bonfire.


Sendai Nightlife & Eating Out

The Kokubuncho area in central Sendai is the place to go to sample Sendai's nightlife. There is a variety of great bars, clubs, and restaurants and you can sample Sendai's specialties - gyu-tan (calf tongue) and Matsushima oysters (when in season).

Near Sendai Station is Gyutan-dori (gyutan-street) with many restaurants serving the local specialty.



663highland Wikimedia Commons

Getting Around Sendai

Sendai has two subway lines, intersecting at Sendai Station. The Namboku Line runs roughly north from Izumi Chuo to Tomizawa in the south. The Tozai Line runs east-west, from Yagiyama Zoological Park in the west to Arai in the east.

The Loople Sendai Tour Bus (630 yen for a one-day pass; 260 yen for a single ride, 920 yen for a One-day Pass for Loople Sendai and Subway) allows visitors to hop on and off on a circular tour of the city's main sites of interest.

The first Loople Sendai bus departing Sendai Station is at 9 am and the last at 4 pm. Buses arrive every 20 minutes on weekdays, 15 minutes on weekends and public holidays. The tour of Sendai's tourist attractions takes about 1 hr and 10 min in total, comprising 16 stops. Be warned, the bus, while unique and inviting, does not offer enough room for the crowded visitors trying to cram into it on the weekends and public holidays.

The Loople Sendai Bus stops at bus stop number 1 Sendai Station, 2 Aoba-dori/Ichibancho Subway Station, 3 Bansuisodo, a literary museum (near the Sendai City War Reconstruction Memorial Hall), 4 Zuihoden Mausoleum, 5 Sendai City Museum / Sendai International Center (get off here for Tohoku University Botanical Gardens, not at the "Tohoku University Botanical Gardens" bus stop), 6 Site of Sendai Castle (near Aoba Castle Museum), 7 Tohoku University Botanical Gardens (is the name of the bus stop, but the bus stop to get off at for the gardens themselves is actually 5. Sendai City Museum / Sendai International Center"), 8 Aobayama Subway Station (near Tohoku University Aobayama Campus & Miyagi University of Education), 9 Tohoku University Museum of Natural History, 10 International Center Subway Station / Miyagi Museum of Art, 11 Traffic Park / Sankyozawa Water Power Plant (near the Sankyozawa 100 Year Electric Historical Center), 12 Osaki Hachimangu Shrine, 13 Nikoh-Miyagi-ken Bijutsukan-mae (Miyagiken Sendai Daini Koto School & the Miyagi Prefectural Museum of Art), 14 Sendai Mediatheque, 15 Jozenji-dori Ave/Sendai City Hall (near Kotodai Park), 16 Hirose Dori Subway Station and back to 1. Sendai Station.

Sendai Mediatheque

Sendai Mediatheque


Our tours in Sendai

  • Duration : 18 days
  • Locations : Kyoto, Tokyo, Nikko, Sendai, Tohoku, Aomori
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels & Ryokan, Japan Experience house, Transports out of flights, Guided activity, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
See all our Tours (1)


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