The Sendai Tanabata Festival (仙台七夕まつり) is a renowned summer tradition held annually from August 6 to 8 in Sendai, a central city in Japan’s Tohoku region. As one of the Tohoku region’s three major festivals, alongside Aomori’s Nebuta Festival and Akita’s Kanto Festival, it combines folklore, craftsmanship, and community spirit.

Join us as we delve into the enchanting traditions of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, a dazzling celestial celebration.

TOP Photo: Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

The Sendai Tanabata Festival is a unique and romantic summer event that captivates visitors with its vibrant atmosphere.

Held along shopping streets in and around central Sendai, this festival offers an unforgettable experience for all attendees.

The main highlight of the festival is the mesmerizing display of large, colorful streamers that adorn the entire city, eagerly anticipated by the people of Sendai each year.

In preparation for this article, we had the privilege of interviewing the Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association (Bureau: Sendai Chamber of Commerce and Industry), gaining valuable insights and expert advice on how to make the most of this enchanting celebration.

The 2023 Sendai Tanabata Festival

The 2023 Tanabata Festival in Sendai will be held at the same scale as before the COVID-19 pandemic, marking a return to its previous size after a four-year hiatus.

Last year, as a measure to prevent infections, the Tanabata decorations were placed more than two meters above the ground, making them harder to reach. However, this year, there are no height restrictions planned for the decorations.

The main venue for the festival is the shopping street near Sendai Station, and it will also be held in surrounding areas, saturating the entire city of Sendai with the vibrant colors of Tanabata.

Sendai Tanabata Festival and Associated Event Schedule

Please refer to the official Sendai Tanabata website for updated information (Japanese and online automatic translations available).

What is the Sendai Tanabata Festival?

Photo provided by: Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

Tanabata is a fabulous traditional event brought over to Japan from ancient China and is a mix of a few cultural points.

Currently, however, the festival is most popularly known in Japan as a summer festival where wishes are written on a strip of paper known as tanzaku, which are then hung up on trees.

The first feudal lord of Sendai, Masamune Date (1567 to 1636 C.E.), promoted the event as a festival to wish for craftwork proficiency and an abundant harvest, resulting in the event being held every year between August 6 to 8 regard…

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