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Sendai is a city with deep history and vivid culture. With convenient transportation options like sightseeing buses and rent-a-cycles, this is a great destination to explore at your own pace.The places below are all accessible by the Loople Sendai sightseeing bus. For More Information
Zuihoden is the fantastically ornate mausoleum of the founder and lord of the Sendai domain, Date Masamune. Climbing up the stone steps and into the majestic cedar forest surrounding Zuihoden, you can really feel a palpable difference from the world outside, both physically and mentally.
The area houses not only the mausoleum of Date Masamune, but also the resting place of 20 of his followers who killed themselves to follow him in service in the next life, as well as the mausoleums of Date’s two successors. Loople Stop: Zuihoden Mae
Zuihoden is the mausoleum of the daimyo Date Masamune. During the autumn leaves season from mid- to late-November, red and gold leaves envelop Zuihoden in its entirety, creating a grand and majestic scene that spreads out before your eyes.
During this time, the mausoleum is open for extended viewing hours and is specially lit up. Visitors can enjoy a fantastic autumn mood so different to daytime views. The stunning contrast of the red autumn leaves, the green of bamboo, and the yellow of the illumination can be described as nothing other than a masterpiece of beauty.
This stunning, award-winning complex designed by renowned architect Toyo Ito houses a library, art gallery, audio-visual library, film studio and cafe. The design features a unique structure characterized by its fluid spaces and lack of walls to achieve a focus on light: natural light during the day and striking illumination at night. Mediatheque has garnered wide international acclaim, including the World Architecture Award 2002 for the Best Building in East Asia. Loople Stop: Sendai Mediatheque Mae
Although Sendai Castle was all but destroyed by Allied bombing during WWII, a trip up to the top of Mt. Aoba is still worth the effort. Not only can you look forward to panoramic views of the city below, but here you will also find a large statue of the iconic warlord Date Masamune on horseback, which makes for the quintessential Sendai vacation photo. A portion of the castle has been restored, and the inner grounds are lined with shrines and souvenir shops. In addition, the Date Bushotai (military commander corps), clad in the garments of samurai and ninja from the Warring States Period (end of 16th to 17th century) to the Edo period, entertain guests with their performances.Loople Stop: Sendai-jo Ato
Jozenji-dori really breaks the mold for a central city street in Japan--this wide, relaxed, tree-lined avenue is part of the reason that Sendai is known as the City of Trees. Enjoy a stroll under the leaves of the Zelkova trees, pop into one of the numerous cafes, and stop by Sendai Mediatheque.
Jozenji-dori is also the site of two of Sendai’s best events: the Jozenji Street Jazz Festival (second weekend in Sep) and the Sendai Pageant of Starlight (Dec 6-31).Loople Stop: Jozenji Dori Shiyakusho Mae
The Sendai City Museum houses an unrivalled collection of artifacts that helps visitors unravel the legend of the ubiquitous Date Masamune. A particular highlight is Masamune’s armor and helmet, which is said to have been used as the basis for Darth Vader’s costume in the Star Wars movies!Loople Stop: Hakubutsukan/Kokusai Center Mae
Start exploring in and around Sendai Station, with its lively food and souvenir shops, then continue on to Sendai Morning Market where the locals buy fresh, local produce and wonderful seafood, and finally on to the city’s maze of shopping arcades, shopping streets, and department stores for all the consumer products, fashion, and electronics you could want. Looking for a something to remember Sendai? Choose from a wealth of local handicrafts including silk, pottery, hand-made paper, lacquerware, and kokeshi wooden dolls.
Thanks in part to the local universities, Sendai boasts a vivacious after-dark scene. For travelers headed further north into the Tohoku region to more rural areas, this is perhaps an opportunity to drink at the last chance saloon, as Sendai has the best nightlife in northeast Japan. The neon-filled, labyrinthine Kokubuncho area is home to over 3,000 restaurants, bars, and izakaya (Japanese pubs), and a number of nightclubs can be found on Chuo-dori for those looking to dance the night away.