Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Best Guide to Sendai’s Top Observation Decks

In Sendai, apart from the Sendai Castle, there are a few more spots in the city center where you can overlook the cityscape of the City of Trees. The good news is two of them are close to Sendai Station, making it easy for us to access these free observation decks!

The Top Three Observation Decks in Sendai

AER Observation Terrace (AER展望テラス)

© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

AER Observation Terrace, which offers a wide view over Sendai’s city center, is just a 3-minute walk from Sendai Station. The best thing about this place is that the terrace on the 31st floor of the commercial building is free to access. So feel free to stop by the building’s two observation spaces when you need a break from the shopping and sightseeing.

The glass panels aren’t completely sealed, allowing you to feel the breeze and hear the sounds of Sendai City.

Tip: The locals even utilize the observation space to enjoy lunch!

AER Observation Terrace’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • AER Observation Terrace is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm except on New Year’s Day.
  • The building is a 2-minute walk from JR Sendai Station’s exit no. 2 to 8 on the 2nd floor and a 3-minute walk from Sendai Subway’s Sendai Station exit no. 7.
  • As there is no designated elevator to the observation terrace, use the office elevator at the far end of the building.

SS30 (エスエス・サーティ)

Another free observation deck close to Sendai Station is on the top floor of SS30, Sumimoto Seimei Insurance’s Sendai base. While you can access the top floor by the normal escalator, we recommend heading up by taking the observation floor dedicated escalator, Sky Shuttle (スカイシャトル).

Compared to AER Observation Terrace, SS30’s observation area is much more spacious. So although it is slightly lower than AER Observation Terrace, it is still one of the most popular spots for Sendai City’s night view (especially among couples).

Facing south during the day, you can see Japan’s second biggest Buddha statue, Sendai Daikannon (仙台大観音), in the distance.

Tip: Translate THIS WEBSITE to English using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar to find out the “Twilight Time” for today. It is the time of the night when you can get the best night view.

SS30’s Observation Floor’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The observation floor is open from 7 am to 9 pm.
  • SS30 is around an 8-minute walk from JR Sendai Station (仙台駅) and a 5-minute walk from Sendai Subway’s Sendai Station.

Sendai Mediatheque (せんだいメディアテーク)

As you walk along the Jōzenji-dori, this glass-panel-covered building will surely catch your attention. The building is Sendai’s community center and consists of art galleries, a library, a theater, cafes, and ample event space.

Designed by Itō Toyo (伊東豊雄), a famous Japanese architect, this modern building has won several architectural awards since its completion in 2001. It is thus a popular pilgrimage spot among architecture enthusiasts.

Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

When you get inside Sendai Mediatheque, you might notice that the building doesn’t have any pillars. Instead, it is supported by 13 “tubes”. This is so Itō can create a space that resonates with seaweed shimmering in the sea. If you visit Sendai Mediatheque at night, it has a vibe similar to the space station around the elevators!

Tip: During the Sendai Pageant of Starlight (SENDAI 光のページェント), Sendai Mediatheque’s glass wall provides the perfect backdrop for selfies.

Sendai Mediatheque’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • Sendai Mediatheque is open from 9 am to 10 pm.
    • Note the library and the theater have shorter opening hours and are not open on Mondays, the next business day of a public holiday, the 4th Thursday of the month, and from the 28th of December to the 4th of January.
  • If you plan to take Sendai Subway, get off at Kotodaikōen Station (勾当台公園駅). Sendai Mediatheque is around a 5-minute walk from the Kōen 2 (公園2) exit.
  • You can also get off at Sendai Subway’s Ōmachi Nishi Kōen Station (大町西公園駅). The community center is around a 13-minute walk from either the East 1 or the West 1 exit.
  • If you want to take Sendai City Bus from Sendai Station’s bus stop no. 60, get off at Mediatheque-mae (メディアテーク前).

Discover Other Fantastic Attractions in Sendai

Click the photo to find out about other amazing attractions in Sendai!

You might not be aware of it, but Sendai, the Tōhoku region‘s biggest city, receives more than 20 million tourists each year!

So if you want to find out how Sendai managed to attract so many people to visit it, refer to our article on Sendai, which is filled with historical, cultural, and natural attractions (=゚ω゚)ノ.

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