Sendai is one of Japan’s largest cities and is considered the gateway to the northeastern region of Tohoku. Around 90 minutes via the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo, Sendai is home to a variety of attractions, festivals, and hot springs. Sendai is also next door to Matsushima, one of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Places.
As the cultural heart of Tohoku, Sendai is a popular place to stay for travelers. Here we’ll share some of the best places to stay in and nearby the city.
Main image: PIXTA

1. Getting to Sendai from Tokyo

Sendai Station area. Photo: PIXTA

・Bullet Train: Taking the Tohoku Shinkansen is the easiest way of getting from Tokyo to Sendai. The trip is a straight shot taking around 90 minutes (11,210 yen o/w; can be covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass, and JR East South Hokkaido Pass).
・Bus: The trip from Tokyo to Sendai by bus will take 5 to 6 hours. There are both day and night buses, and the fares change depending on the company, dates, and time of travel. Major boarding locations include Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station.

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2. Getting Around Sendai

Photo: PIXTA

Sendai is a transport hub with a subway and bus system for getting to many of the major sightseeing spots. The Shinkansen and other JR trains allow convenient access to sights nearby.
For sightseeing within the city, the Loople Sendai is recommended. This loop-line bus connects most of the city’s points of interest. Buses depart from Sendai Station every 20 to 30 minutes from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (a One-day Pass for Loople Sendai is 630 yen; a One-day Pass for Loople Sendai and Subway is 920 yen).

Samurai Sightseeing: Visiting Sendai and Shiroishi Will Make You Fall In Love with Japan's Castle Towns

3. What is Sendai like, and what is there to see?

Sendai Castle Otemon Side Turret. Photo: PIXTA

Sendai is a city with a fantastic balance of modernity and nature. The City of Trees, as it is nicknamed, was founded by the influential and famous lord Date Masamune. Many tourist spots are dedicated to Masamune, but that is not all there is to see in Sendai.
Recommended sightseeing points of interest in Sendai
・Aoba Castle: Built in 1602 by Date Masamune, these castle ruins are a designated national historic site and offer a panoramic view of the city, the Sendai Plain, and the Pacific Ocean.
・Zuihoden Mausoleum: A shrine dedicated to Date Masamune, this mausoleum was built in 1637 and it’s surrounded by amazing seasonal colors.
・Rinnoji Temple: This temple is a true hidden Jewel. While not immediately striking, Rinnoji hides a gorgeous garden and it’s the family temple of the Date Clan. It was moved to its current location in Sendai by Masamune, but it had been built in 1441 by Mochimune Date, one of his predecessors.
・Osaki Hachimangu: A shrine built by…

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