Explore the museums, universities and striking buildings that make up this exciting modern city on Japan’s Honshu island.
Located on the northeast side of Honshu island, Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region. It is known as Mori no Miyako, or “Forest City”, because of the lush trees and plants that populate the city. The old city was largely demolished during World War II, making Sendai the thoroughly modern city it is today.
Explore old and new alongside one another in Sendai. Osaki Hachiman Shrine is a rare relic of the old world in the city. Completed in 1607, this Shinto shrine has been designated a National Treasure of Japan. A fine example of the extravagant Azuchi-Momoyama style of architecture, the site makes for a fascinating step back in time. By contrast, Sendai Mediatheque is a striking example of contemporary design. Conceptualized by the famed architect Toyo Ito, this library has a gift shop and café.
Explore displays by both local and international artists at Miyagi Museum of Art. The museum’s courtyard is home to a large sculpture garden. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city at Sendai Castle Ruins. The original castle was destroyed by Allied bombing, but the imposing gates and grounds are still a breathtaking sight. Purchase a souvenir for your trip to Sendai at Clis Road. This street, the main shopping district in the city, is pedestrianised and under cover.
The large selection of universities in Sendai has earned the city a reputation as a center of academia. Tohoku University, one of the oldest colleges in Japan and among the most prestigious universities in the world, is the city’s largest. The presence of so many students contributes to a bustling downtown district, with a large variety of restaurants and bars.
Sendai is very easy to reach by plane, train and car. Sendai Airport has a large offering of domestic flights and a limited number of international routes as well. The city has a station on the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train, which can reach Tokyo in 2 hours.