Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Sendai – The City of Trees

Sendai, the Tōhoku region‘s biggest city receiving more than 20 million tourists each year, is an amazing destination that encompasses both city and countryside characteristics, even in the city center. This is why the locals proudly advertise their hometown as Forest City (Morio no Miyako, 杜の都). The city, with a good balance of urban and natural attractions, is the perfect destination to visit if you want a break from Tokyo.

To help you plan your visit to Sendai, below is a list of the top attractions in the city for you to consider. They are listed in the order according to their distance from Sendai Station.

Click HERE to skip to Sendai City’s access information.

Explore Sendai With a Guided Tour

If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the beauty of Sendai, how about joining one of the below tours?

The Must-Try Specialty – Zunda Mochi (ずんだ餅)

As you explore Sendai, you will encounter this light green traditional dessert no matter where you go. The Zunda Mochi is a local dish of Miyagi Prefecture, which is made by mixing mashed green soybeans with sugar before the paste is poured over freshly made mochi rice cake.

It is simple yet addictive, especially when the dessert is properly prepared. For a list of the best places to try this famous local dish, refer to our Best Traditional Japanese Dessert Cafes in Sendai article!

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Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

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.

Sendai Morning Market (仙台朝市)

Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

When you visit Sendai, what you can not miss out on is the Sendai Morning Market. This market began shortly after the air raid in World War Two and is now filled with stalls selling fresh local produce. The price tags here are so friendly that other prefecture’s citizens travel to Sendai for their grocery shopping (≧▽≦).

Many come to the market for Kaisendon (a bowl of rice covered by mountains of fresh seafood), but the market is still a spot for us vegetarians to enjoy the local culture.

Aside from seafood, the 200-meter-long market also has fresh vegetables and fruit stalls. You will surely find some delicious vegetarian side dishes and local specialties, such as bread, deep-fried food, and the famous triangular “Abura-age” deep-fried bean curd!

Tip: You might get a bargain if you visit the market at the end of the day from the shops that want to clear out their products. But note only some shops are open until sunset.

Saitō Croquettes (斎藤惣菜店)

If you love croquettes, make sure you visit Saitō Croquettes. The deep-fried side dish shop has a range of croquettes in different flavors for you to choose from. And they are cheap, at just around 100 yen for one croquette!

You can utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to order a vegetarian/vegan croquette.

Hanagasa Rice Ball (花笠だんご本舗)

Opposite Saitō Croquettes, you can get some rice balls to enjoy with the deep-fried side dishes, and your lunch or late breakfast is sorted!

Sendai Morning Market’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Sendai Morning Market is open from 8 am, and some shops are open until 6 pm.
    • Note that many shops open from 9 am, especially in winter.
    • The market closes on Sundays and public holidays.
    • Translating the official website HERE using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar is probably best to ensure the market will open on the day you plan to visit it.
  • The market is less than 5 minutes away from Sendai Station on foot.

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.

Jōzenji-dōri Avenue (定禅寺通)

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Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

Jōzenji-dōri was originally the approach to Jōzenji Temple. But nowadays, the zelkova-lined path is a small outdoor sculpture museum. Artworks from famous sculptors, such as Emilio Greco (エミリオ・グレコ) and Venanzo Crocetti (ヴェナンツォ・クロチェッティ), are placed, making it an artistic promenade in Sendai’s city center.

In December, the avenue is one of the best places in Sendai for illumination shows. It is the venue for the event Sendai Pageant of Starlight (SENDAI 光のページェント), where thousands of LED lights are used to create a fantastic experience for the visitors.

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Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

How to Get to Jōzenji-dōri Avenue

From Sendai Station, take Sendai Subway’s Namboku Line (南北線) and get off at Kōtōdaikoen Station (勾当台公園駅). The avenue is a 3-minute walk from the 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).

Nishi Park (西公園)

Nishi Park is the oldest park in Sendai, which opened in 1875. In the Edo period, the park was where the houses of the Sendai Domain’s vassals were located. In the Meiji period, Miyagi Prefecture acquired land ownership and transformed the area into Sakuragaoka Park (桜ケ岡公園).

After the Second World War, because Sakuragaoka Park is located towards the west side of Tsutsujigaoka Park (榴岡公園), it was renamed Nishi Park.

When the cherry blossom season peaks in early April, temporary stalls will serve food, and at night, the 300 lanterns hung in the tree will be lit up.

Tip: If you are a Goshuin collecter, remember to stop by Sakuragaoka Shrine (櫻岡大神宮) in the park for the gorgeous cherry blossom Goshuin, which is only given out during the cherry blossom festival!

In addition to being one of Sendai’s most famous cherry blossom spots, you will also find a retired steam locomotive (operated on the Ou Main Line (奥羽本線) until 1968), a giant 7.4-meter tall Kokeshi Doll, some sculptures, and a plum tree (臥竜梅) brought back by Date Masamune from the Korean peninsula in 1592.

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Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

If you are a bit hungry when you get to the park, head to Gengo Chaya (源吾茶屋) for some deliciously prepared traditional desserts!

The park is equally stunning in autumn too!

How to Get to Nishi Park

  • From Sendai Station, take Sendai Subway’s Tōzai Line (東西線) and get off at Ōmachi Nishi Kōen Station (大町西公園駅).

Important: There is no car park in Nishi Park.

Zuihōden Temple (瑞鳳殿)

The next pilgrimage spot is southeast of Aobayama Park. Zuihōden is Yuzuru’s recommended place to visit in an interview with free news agency Sendai Meguri (仙台巡り).

“Speaking of a place to enjoy the beauty of four seasons, Zuihōden pops into my head”, said Yuzuru.

In addition to Yuzuru’s recommendation, an ice-skate-shaped stone is found as a part of the stone pavement close to Zuihōden’s left exit (refer to the 4th photo in the IG post). When you get there, just check with the temple’s staff. They all know where it is; you won’t be the first person asking for directions (´▽`*).

In addition, don’t forget to stop by the temple’s shop for Yuzuru’s poster and autograph!

For more information about the temple, refer to our article on Zuihōden!

Tsutsujigaoka Tenmangū Shrine (榴岡天満宮) and Tsutsujigaoka Park (榴岡公園)

If you visit Sendai between late February and late April, head to Tsutsujigaoka Tenmangū Shrine (榴岡天満宮) to adore the lovely plum and cherry blossoms. Just like all the Tenmangū in Japan, Tsutsujigaoka Tenmangū enshrines Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真). Because plum blossom is Michizane’s favorite flower, plum trees are planted here and there in the shrine’s precinct.

As to the cherry blossom? We have to thank the 4th lord of the Sendai Domain, who brought back 1,000 weeping cherry saplings from Kyoto that started the cherry tree planting in Sendai.

For more information, please refer to our article on Tsutsujigaoka Tenmangū Shrine and Tsutsujigaoka Park!

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Sendai Castle (仙台城)

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Sendai Castle, also known as Aoba Castle, is the base of the Date clan, who ruled the Sendai Domain in the Edo period. Parts of the castle (which was built by Date Masamune) were restored in the late 20th century. It is where you would find the symbol of Sendai, the Equestrian statue of Date Masamune, and a perfect spot for a panoramic view of Sendai’s cityscape!

For more information, please refer to our Sendai Castle article.

Sendai Tōshōgū Shrine (仙台東照宮)

Speaking of Tōshōgū, what first comes into your mind might be the Nikkō Tōshōgū in Tochigi Prefecture (栃木県). But that isn’t the only Tōshōgū Shrine in Japan. In fact, after Tokugawa Ieyasu passed away, more than 500 Tōshōgū were built across Japan by all feudal lords to demonstrate their loyalty to the Tokugawa shogunate.

Sendai’s Tōshōgū was erected in 1654 by the second lord of the Sendai Domain, Date Tadamune (伊達忠宗). More than 130,000 carpenters and 580,000 workers were involved in building this magnificent shrine.

© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

Locating at Sendai Castle’s northeast, the locals have treated Tōshōgū as their guardian shrine.

The Japanese believe demons and devil spirits are coming from the northeast. So there is always a shrine or temple erected northeast of something important. For example, Mt. Hiei’s Engyoji is the temple that has guarded Kyoto since its inception.

The granite torii gate, the Honden Hall, the Karamon Gate, and the Sukibei (透塀) were all designated as part of Japan’s important cultural properties. It is the spot in Sendai to peep into the most advanced building techniques at the time.

Sukibei is the transparent fence.

The torii gate was offered by Tadamune. Because his wife was from the Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefecture), he specially sourced the building material from Okayama, far away from Sendai.

In spring and autumn, Sendai Tōshōgū Shrine is a great spot to adore the natural scenery in Sendai.

Tip: An antique market is held in the precinct from 7 am to 2 pm on the 4th Sunday of each month.

Sendai Tōshōgū’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • Sendai Tōshōgū is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
  • From JR Tōshōgū Station (東照宮駅), it is a 3-minute walk.
  • If you plan to take Sendai City Bus, get off at Tōshōgū Icchōme (東照宮1丁目). The shrine is then a 3-minute walk away.

Miyagi Prefecture Museum of Art (宮城県美術館)

Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

Important: The museum is currently closed for building renovation until further notice.

Miyagi Prefecture Museum of Art is the perfect attraction to stop by if you love examining Japanese and Western paintings, sculptures, and crafts. The museum houses mainly artworks from artists related to the Tōhoku region, most of which were made from the late 19th century onwards.

Among the exhibits, what amazes most visitors are the indoor and outdoor sculptures which reflect the exemplary skills of the sculptors. If it is lunchtime when you visit the Miyagi Museum of Art, get a bento box and head to the museum’s garden to enjoy food whilst surrounded by trees and interesting artworks!

Moreover, if the artworks inspire you in the museum, you can make your own artwork at their Creation Room (創作室)! No reservation or fee is required, so talk to the staff!

Before you go, you can check out the current exhibition on the official website HERE.

Miyagi Museum of Art’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • Miyagi Museum of Art is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm except for Mondays.
    • The last admission is at 4:30 pm.
    • If Monday is a public holiday, it will close on the next business day instead.
  • The admission fee is
    • 300 yen for adults
    • 150 yen for university students
    • Free for elementary and high school students
    • Special exhibitions are charged separately.
    • Free entry to the permanent exhibition on the 5th and 18th of May.
  • From Sendai Subway’s International Center Station (国際センター駅) West 1 exit or Kawauchi Station (川内駅) North 1 exit, it is a 7-minute walk.
  • If you plan to take Loople Sendai, get off at the International Center Subway Station/Miyagi Museum of Art (国際センター駅・宮城県美術館前).
  • If you plan to take Sendai City Bus, take either route 730 or route 739 from Sendai Station West exit bus stop no. 9, and get off at Nikō Miyagiken Bijutsukan-mae (二高・宮城県美術館前).

Mori no Ichiba (仙台場外市場 杜の市場)

Another local market that you can visit is Mori no Ichiba. The indoor market that combines the advantage of a supermarket and a morning market was only opened after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. In addition to Sendai City and Miyagi Prefecture‘s fresh produce, you can also find specialties from other prefectures in the Tōhoku region.

Another good thing about Mori no Ichiba is it has a dining area. So after a shopping session, you can take your time to enjoy them.

Mori no Ichiba also has a couple of restaurants for those who can’t find what they want to eat in the market area. Note that there is no vegetarian menu.

Mori no Ichiba’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Mori no Ichiba is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm except for New Year’s Day.
  • From Sendai Subway’s Oroshimachi Station (卸町駅) North 1 exit, it is around a 15-minute walk.
  • You can also take Sendai City Bus and get off at Chūō Oroshi Uriichiba Seimonzen (中央卸売市場正門前).

Rinnō-ji Temple (輪王寺)

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If you are after the best Japanese garden in Sendai, head to Rinnō-ji, a temple north of Sendai’s city center. In fact, the temple’s garden has been ranked one of the best in the Tōhoku region!

For more information, please refer to our Rinnō-ji article.

Shifuku-ji Temple (資福寺)

Very close to Rinnō-ji Temple, Shifuku-ji is where you will want to visit from late June to late July. The temple known as Sendai’s hydrangea temple has more than 1,200 hydrangeas in the precinct. Although the scale is smaller than Kamakura’s Meigetsu-in Temple (明月院), the crowds are thinner when the flowers are blooming, and you might be able to enjoy a bowl of matcha and a Japanese sweet in the Shoin Hall!

The Kannon statue enshrined in the Kannon-dō (観音堂) was made by Jigaku Daishi (慈覚大師), making the Shifuku-ji the 3rd temple in the Sendai 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.

Tip: Don’t forget to stop by Rinnō-ji for the massive field of iris after seeing the hydrangeas in Shifuku-ji!

How to Get to Shifuku-ji

  • From JR Hita-Sendai Station (北仙台駅), it is around a 12-minute walk.
  • From Sendai Subway’s Kitayama Station (北山駅), it is around a 15-minute walk.

Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum (地底の森ミュージアム)

To all the archaeology fans, make sure you visit Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum. In fact, even if you don’t care much about what happened thousands of years ago, you should find this spot exciting!

The underground museum is probably the only place in the world to see a fossilized forest and the remains of human habitation that occurred 20,000 years ago at the same time!

Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

The Forest from 20,000 Years Ago

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The fossilized 20,000-year-old forest is preserved in its original state in the underground exhibition room. Most of the trees are conifers. It is your chance to see the roots and trunks of precious or even extinct plants up close!

The forest’s fossils also proved that many creatures used to live in the forest because deer dung can be seen in up to 40 spots.

Human activity is evidenced in the traces of bonfires as well as the stone tools discovered nearby.

Tip: Although it is in Japanese only, a short film introducing the Paleolithic lifestyle plays every 20 minutes!

The Above Ground Exhibition Room

Once you have your fill of the fossils underground, you can head upstairs for excavation-related materials. One of the highlights might be the diorama of the coastline 20,000 ago.

Time Required at Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum

It will take around an hour to explore Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum. While most of the exhibits are located underground, there are also exhibition corners on the first floor. So if you are constrained on time, make sure you don’t spend all of it on the basement level.

Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information

  • Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum is open daily from 9 am to 4:45 pm except for Mondays.
    • The last admission is at 4:15 pm.
    • If Monday is a public holiday, the museum will close on the next business day instead.
    • It will also close on the next day of a public holiday, the 4th Thursday of each month, and from the 28th of December to the 4th of January.
  • The admission fee is
    • 460 yen for adults
    • 230 yen for high school students
    • 110 yen for elementary and junior high school students
  • The museum is a 5-minute walk away from Sendai Subway’s Nagamachiminami Station (長町南駅) and a 20-minute walk from JR Nagamachi Station (長町駅).

Mikamine Park (三神峯公園)

Ⓒ 宮城県観光プロモーション推進室

Another popular place for cherry blossom hunting is Mikamine Park, located a 15-minute walk away from Sendai City Tomizawa Site Museum. Because there are wide varieties of cherry trees here, the cherry blossom season at Mikamine Park is longer, lasting from early to late April.

How to Get to Mikamine Park

From Sendai Subway’s Nagamachiminami Station (長町南駅) or from Sendai Station, take Sendai City Bus, and get off at Nishitaga Itchōme Nishi/Mikamine Kōen-iriguchi (西多賀一丁目西・三神峯公園入口).

Nishikigaoka Hillside Mall (錦ケ丘ヒルサイドモール)

If you plan to drive to Sakunami Onsen or Akiu Onsen and love visiting shopping malls, stop by Nishikigaoka Hillside Mall on your way back to Sendai’s city center. The shopping mall imaging the European streets is the Tōhoku region‘s first outlet and is the perfect place for families to spend quality time.

Besides shops and restaurants, Nishikigaoka Hillside Mall has a couple of facilities for young families to have fun.

For example, the wooden indoor creative playground, Kansei no Mori (感性の森), has many wooden items for young children to play freely with their sensibility. In the Kid’sUS.LAND, obstacle courses are set up for them to challenge themselves.

Also, while we don’t normally recommend going to aquariums, the small aquariums on Aqua Terrace Nishikigaoka (アクアテラス錦ケ丘) will break your stereotypical mental image of an aquarium.

Tip: Sendai Astronomical Observatory (仙台市天文台) is just a 10-minute walk away. Although things are conducted in Japanese, there are various planetarium activities and a fantastic film for you to enjoy.

Nishikigaoka Hillside Mall’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Nishikigaoka Hillside Mall and Aqua Terrace Nishikigaoka are open from 10 am to 7 pm.
    • The last admission to Aqua Terrace Nishikigaoka is at 6 pm.
  • The admission fee to Aqua Terrace Nishikigaoka is
    • 1,000 yen for adults
    • 700 yen for elementary and junior high school students
    • 500 yen for young children from the age of 3
  • From JR Ayashi Station (愛子駅), take the Ayashi Sightseeing Bus (愛子観光バス) bound for Nishikigaoka Roku-chōme (錦ケ丘六丁目) and get off at Nishikigaoka Hill Mall-mae (錦ケ丘ヒルサイドモール前).
    • You can also board the bus from Sendai Station (仙台駅).
    • HERE is the timetable for the service. You can translate it using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.

Tip:
1. Remember to get a Boarding Certificate (乗車証明書) when you get off the sightseeing bus.
2. Show the certificate to any shop in the shopping mall for a free return bus ticket when you spend more than 2,000 yen.
3. Note you still need to pay for the initial trip to the shopping mall.
You can refer to the official website HERE if you read Japanese for this offer.

Sendai Daikannon (仙台大観音)

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If you have ever wondered where Japan’s tallest Kannon statue is, it is in Sendai. The statue is as tall as a 15-story building, has a beautiful and calming appearance and acts as a Buddhist art gallery and a temple!

For more information, please refer to our article on Sendai Daikannon!

Akiu Onsen (秋保温泉)

If you want to visit a hot spring town in the Tōhoku region, Akiu Onsen in Sendai has to be one of the top choices. Not only is the onsen one of the top three hot spring towns in northeastern Japan but it was also loved by two past Japanese emperors that the hot spring is known as one of Nihon San Miyu (日本三御湯)!

In addition to the nice hot spring, the onsen town is also a renowned destination filled with beautiful natural attractions.

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For more information, please refer to our article on Akiu Onsen!

Ōkura Dam (大倉ダム) and Ōkura SUP (大倉SUP)

On the way to Saihōji Temple, one of the most popular destinations in Sendai, you will surely go past Ōkura Dam. If you have time and plan to self-drive, we recommend stopping here and taking in the breathtaking view from the dam.

In addition, the Ōkura Dam Downstream Park below the dam is a hidden gem for cherry blossom hunting!

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The Ōkura River Valley (大倉川渓谷) at Ōkura Dam’s upstream is a scenic place to enjoy water activities. The higher the dam’s water level, the further upstream you can paddle to.

If you are interested, the below two organizations can hold English tours. Fill in the inquiry form, and they will get back to you with more details about the half-day tour!

How to Get to Ōkura Dam

From Sendai Staton’s Bus Stop no. 10, take bus services bound for Jōgi (定義) and get off at Ōkura Dam (大倉ダム).

Saihōji Temple (定義如来 西方寺)

If you are a Japanese history buff or enjoy gorgeous natural scenery and temple architecture, consider stopping by Saihōji Temple when you visit Sendai. The temple shares a deep connection with the Taira clan (平家) and comprises many astonishing historical buildings.

In addition, Saihōji has a miraculous Amida Buddha that is said to grant a once-in-a-lifetime wish!

For more information, please refer to our Saihōji Temple article.

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Kirin Beer Sendai Factory (キリンビール 仙台工場)

An attraction in Sendai where you can tour around the alcohol brewery and alcohol tasting is Kirin Beer Sendai Factory. While the tour does incur a small cost, Kirin’s factory is easier to get to compared to Nikka Whisky because of the free shuttle bus services departing from JR Tagajō Station (多賀城駅). It even has its dedicated bus stop at the station’s south exit!

For more information and to reserve a spot for the factory tour, please refer to the official website HERE. The website will prompt you to enter your birth year to confirm you are over 20 years old.

You will also find the free shuttle bus timetable when you click on Kirin Brewery Sendai at the bottom of the webpage.

JR Fruits Park Sendai Arahama (JRフルーツパーク仙台あらはま)

The tourist park close to the stunning Sendai Bay was opened in March 2021 to revitalize the local economy after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. The facility was also created to bring back smiles to people’s faces.

In the 11-hectare-wide farm, 8 different types of fruits of 156 varieties are grown, including strawberries, grapes, figs, kiwis, and apples. So no matter what season you visit JR Fruits Park Sendai Arahama, there are fruits for you to pick!

Tip: It is best to make a reservation by calling +81-22-290-0766 if you want to do fruit picking. You can kindly ask your hotel staff to call on your behalf if you don’t speak Japanese.

Furthermore, you can enjoy the light meal and dessert menus created by Hotel Metropolitan Sendai’s chef in the farm’s restaurant, Les Pommes (レポム). Each dish is prepared from fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms. You can also source the farm’s fruits and vegetables picked from farms nearby at the farmer’s market Arahama Marche (あらはまマルシェ).

Tip: Utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to order vegetarian desserts! We have confirmed that there is no savory vegetarian menu in the restaurant.

Also, there might be fruit or vegetable processing events at Arahama Kitchen (あらはまキッチン). Check with the staff upon arrival if you are interested!

JR Fruits Park Sendai Arahama’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • JR Fruits Park Sendai Arahama is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm except for Tuesdays.
    • Farmer’s market is open until 4 pm.
    • The restaurant is open from 11 am to 3 pm.
    • If Tuesday is a public holiday, it will close the next business day instead.
    • It also closes from the 29th of December to the 4th of January.
  • From Sendai Subway’s Arai Station (荒井駅), take buses bound for Earthquake Heritage Arahama Elementary School (震災遺構仙台市立荒浜小学校前) and get off at Earthquake Heritage Arahama Elementary School.

Spring Valley Sendai Izumi (スプリングバレー仙台泉)

Spring Valley Sendai Izumi is a well-known ski resort among the locals. But what they might not be aware of is that the facility is also a summer resort for both children and adults to enjoy from mid-July to early November. It features exciting outdoor activities, including zipline and adventure courses of different difficulties. You can even experience realistic combat and battlefields that challenge your survival skills!

In addition, Spring Valley Sendai Izumi is also a great spot to view fall foliage from late October to early November!

 © 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

Spring Valley Sendai Izumi’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • The business hours in the summer and the winter season differ. Please refer to the official website HERE and translate it using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.
  • Spring Valley Sendai Izumi is around a 40-minute drive from the city center.
  • From Sendai Subway’s Izumi-Chūō Station (泉中央駅), it will take around 50 minutes by bus.

How to Get to Sendai

As one of the main transportation hubs in the Tōhoku region, there are a couple of ways to get to Sendai.

  • By Airplane
    • You can fly to Sendai Airport (仙台空港). From Sendai Airport to the city, it will be just around a 30-minute journey on bus or train.
  • By JR Train
    • From Tokyo, the bullet train will transport you to Sendai in just over 2 hours.
  • By Bus
    • You can also take an express bus from the main cities in Japan to Sendai.

A List of JR Passes that Covers Sendai

Below is a list of JR passes covering Sendai and other regions. Please keep in mind that depending on your itinerary, a JR pass may or may not be worthwhile for your trip. You can estimate the transportation cost using Google Maps and compare the total price to a JR pass.

If you have determined the above passe

How to Travel Between Sendai’s Attractions

Like all the main cities in Japan, in addition to JR trains, Sendai has a city subway, a sightseeing bus line, and local bus companies connecting you to the attractions in the city. You can also rent out one of the community bicycles, Date Bike!

Date Bike (ダテバイク)

The shared bike service in Sendai City is called Date Bike. Several bicycle ports are set up for you to rent and return the bicycle, making it more convenient for everyone.

Note that an account is required to rent the Date Bikes. For more information, please refer to the official website HERE. You can translate the webpage by changing the language settings at the top right-hand side.

Sendai Sightseeing City Loop Bus – Loople Sendai (るーぷる仙台)

Loople Sendai is a one-way circular sightseeing bus departing from Sendai Station. The service stops at many of the famous attractions, such as Sendai Castle Ruins and Zuihōden Temple (瑞鳳殿).

Remember to purchase one of the One-Day Passes to save some money if you plan on boarding the bus more than two times.

For more information, please refer to Loople Sendai’s website HERE.

Sendai Subway (仙台市地下鉄)

The Sendai Subway is operated by the Sendai City Transportation Bureau and consists of two lines, the north-south Namboku Line (南北線) and the east-west Tōzai Line (東西線).

Tips:
☛ The One-Day Subway Pass is cheaper on weekends and public holidays.
☛ One-Day Pass for both Loople Sendai and Sendai Subway are available.
☛ If you do purchase one of the passes, remember to check out the attractions where you can get a discount by showing the pass!

Local Buses (路線バス)

Besides the Loople Sendai, other buses serving Sendai City are operated by the two companies below:

  • Sendai City Bus (仙台市営バス) in green color
  • Miyagi Kōtsū (宮城交通) in red color

The One-Day Sendai Area Pass and Two-Day Sendai Marugoto Pass (仙台まるごとパス」)

The One-Day Pass for Loople Sendai and Sendai Subway won’t give you access to local buses. So if you plan to travel to attractions further away from the city center, consider purchasing the One-Day Sendai Area Pass or a Two-Day Sendai Marugoto Pass!

For more information about the passes, please refer to the official website HERE.

Important: The One-Day Sendai Area Pass can only be purchased by tourists with a short-term 90-Day visa.

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