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Sendai is the biggest city in Japan's Tohoku region. It was founded and ruled for many centuries by the powerful Date feudal lords. In this day tour you will visit some of the most fascinating spots in Sendai related to the history of the samurai.
- Learn more about the powerful Date feudal lords who ruled Sendai
- Visit interesting historical sites, temples and castle ruins
- See one of the biggest shopping streets area in northern Japan
- Enjoy the splendid Tanabata Festival in the summer
Sendai in Miyagi prefecture is the biggest and most important city in Tohoku region, Japan's northeast. The city was the home of the powerful Date clan which ruled the area for centuries as feudal lords. Date Masamune, the founder of the clan, is one of the most important historical figures in Japan and this tour will take you to many places related to him and his successors. The devastating 2011 Tohoku Earthquake had it epicenter off the coast of Sendai but the city surprisingly did not suffer much damage and the cultural properties remain intact.
In this day tour you will visit the most attractive sightseeing spots in Sendai. The following is an example of the places included:
- Zuihoden Mausoleum. This is the lavishly decorated mausoleum where the tombs of Date Masamune and his successor are situated. Although the mausoleum isn't big, it fascinates with its Momoyama period-style architecture and colourful decoration. The approach includes passing a path with many cedar trees. In the nearby museum you can see a display of important belongings of the Date clan.
- Sendai Castle ruins. Date Masamune built his castle on the top of Mt Aoba overlooking Sendai city. Unfortunately, the castle didn't survive the wars and fire disasters and now there are only historical ruins left from its previous glory. Nevertheless, the view from the top is spectacular and Date Masamune's bronze statue is a symbol of Sendai.
- Ichibancho. This is one of the longest covered shopping street areas in northern Japan. There are plenty of grocery shops, boutiques and restaurants where you can have lunch. Don't forget to try Sendai's most famous specialty - grilled beef tongue called "Gyu-tan"! Despite being fully covered, the shopping arcade has plenty of planted trees which reflects the image of Sendai as a "city of trees".
- Rinnoji Temple. This temple is located in Sendai's outskirts and was founded in the 15th century by a member of the Date clan. A long stone-paved road leads to the main temple hall. Beyond the hall visitors are surprised by a very beautiful Japanese-style garden with a pond, and a three-storey pagoda. Plenty of seasonal flowers bloom throughout the year.
- AER Building observatory. This free observation deck on the top of the centrally located AER Building offers a fantastic view over Sendai's downtown. If you visit the city in early August you will be stunned by the massive decorative streamers put everywhere around the center in preparation for the annual Tanabata Festival.
Sendai can be visited as a day trip from Tokyo and is a great place to explore if you're interested in Japan's history and culture.
What you need to bring