Sendai - Japanspecialist
Sendai is the largest city in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region. With approx. one million inhabitants, it is one of Japan's 15 largest cities. The city is easy to reach by the high-speed Shinkansen train from Tokyo (about 100 min).
Powerful samurai, beef tongue and urban life
The city’s main sights relate to the Date clan, a powerful samurai clan that founded the city in the 1600s. Most interesting is Zuihoden, the mausoleum for Masamune Date, the first of the dynasty. It is delicately decorated with distinguished wood carving and a wealth of colours. One can also visit the shrine of the clan, the Osaki Hachimangu Shrine, which, as a contrast, is held in black and gold. Finally, there is Aoba Castle, the ruins of the clan's castle, set on a mountain. Downtown Sendai is easy to navigate and offers everything one would expect in a big city. It is concentrated around the area west of Sendai Station. Here is the long covered pedestrian street that offers everything your heart desires from shopping as well as restaurants. Remember to try marinated and grilled beef tongue (gyu-tan), the city's speciality. You can enter the AER Building at the station for free and go high up to see the view of the city. If you are interested in architecture, you must visit Sendai Mediatheque - a truly unique and innovative building that is a combined media library and art gallery.
Other attractions in Sendai
Approx. 40 minutes by train is Matsushima Bay, a bay with a lot of small fir-tree-covered islands. It is officially one of Japan's three most beautiful sights and is best experienced on one of the many cruises departing from Matsushima. If you are interested in learning more about the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and would also like to support the reconstruction work, visit the nearby Sanriku Recovery National Park. Here you can experience the dramatic coastline, the Sanriku Coast, which has beautiful cliffs, caves and beaches. One can also visit some of the cities that were really hit hard and are still undergoing reconstruction work.