Sendai Sights and Landmarks Guide, Japan
Like many Japanese cities, Sendai has a rich history that goes back to the Middle Ages, to the times of the samurais. Local legends still recall the now legendary rulers of the region, who erected many of the buildings and monuments which are nowadays the main tourist attractions of Sendai. A pleasant, moderately sized city, Sendai is famous for its many green areas that infuse the city with an almost European atmosphere. Japanese visitors to the city usually make day trips from the more cosmopolitan areas as far as Osaka or even Fukuoka, only a few hours away by bullet train, but the city is swarming with foreign tourists as well. This Sendai Sights Guide will point out the major attractions that this beautiful city has to offer.
Sendai Sights Guide - Museums
Those who are interested in Japanese art and culture will enjoy the Sendai’s museum. The Miyagi Museum of Art hosts an extensive collection of art, both modern and classical. There is an exhibition dedicated to the work of Juryo Sato, a Sendai-born artist who is famous nationwide. This Sendai Sights Guide recommends that you visit Sendai City Museum if you are interested in the city’s colorful past. Many of the displays are related to the Date family, who ruled the region for many decades. The highlight of the museum is a perfectly preserved suite of armor that once belonged to Date Masamune, Sendai’s most famous ruler. The Tomizawa Site Museum is probably the most interesting museum in Sendai. The museum displays a fossilized forest and the remains of a 20.000 years old human settlement.
Sendai Sights Guide - Historical Sites
The Aoba Castle is advertised by locals to be a main attraction of the city. Although it is indeed an interesting site, the castle was not preserved, but the remaining ruins, which supposedly inspired a few famous Japanese poets, are worth a visit. The castle was built by the Date family, and thanks to its once strategic location, it now overlooks the entire city. You can also visit the resting place of Date Masamune, and the Ōsaki Hachiman Shrine, a national treasure, built in 1607 by the same Masamune. Another intriguing site is the Tōmizuka Tomb, dating back to the 4th century.
Sendai Sights Guide - Festivals and Local Customs
Sendai region is visited by many tourists because of its beautiful landscapes. The city surrounding areas are teeming with natural beauty and the many open air festivals in Sendai exploit the location of the city as much as possible. Sendai Tanabata Festival is famous all over Japan. Although not as boisterous as festivals usually are, it attracts millions of visitors with its tanabata crafting competition (tanabata are intricate traditional bamboo decorations).
The Aoba Festival is a celebration of spring, and it follows the pattern of typical Japanese festivals: floats, traditional dancing and music, food stalls and samurai parades. If you happen to visit Sendai in autumn, you mustn’t miss the imonikai, a local custom of eating miso-soup on the river bank. Tourists are provided with ingredients as well as cooking utensils, and can enjoy the local variation on the traditional soup under the beautiful zelkova trees.
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