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Sendai Tanabata Festival: Guide to the Major Festival in Japan’s Tohoku Region (Aug 6-8)

Sendai Tanabata Festival is a beautiful summer tradition held every year between August 6 to 8 in Sendai, a central city in Japan's Tohoku region. The Tanabata Festival is known as one of the Tohoku region's three major festivals, alongside Aomori's Nebuta Festival and Akita's Kanto Festival.
Every year, local and international visitors from everywhere flock to Sendai for Tanabata and the impressive fireworks display.
What is the history behind Tanabata, and what are some things you can look forward to? We'll be giving you a closer look at Sendai's Tanabata Festival in this article so that you can maximize your fun during your visit!
The event will be held in 2022. However, due to health and safety measures some events, such as stage shows, may be canceled, and stalls may be limited. Decorations will be lifted high off the ground so they do not touch attendees. It is also requested that attendees stay to the right side of the streets, and adhere to health and safety measures such as wearing masks.
Main image courtesy of Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

What is the Sendai Tanabata Festival?

Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

Tanabata is a fabulous traditional event that was brought over to Japan from ancient China, and it 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 regardless of the day of the week. This charming traditional summer event of Sendai sees about 2 million visitors every year.
One of the most memorable scenes unique to Sendai's Tanabata Festival is the impressive sight of sasakazari – flamboyant paper bamboo leaves decorations that are suspended from tall places by the sides of the arcade leading out from the West Exit of Sendai Station on the JR Lines.
The drooping leaves, made of colorful Japanese paper, are arranged fukinagashi, or windswept-style, and walking in between long rows of them will put anyone in a festive mood.
They represent the earnest wishes for the health and prosperity of the local residents who carefully crafted them.

Getting to the Sendai Tanabata Festival

Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

The most efficient way to ensure you can take in all the sights of the festival is to start from Sendai Station …

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