Thursday 18 January 2018


Sendai is the largest city in Japan's northeastern Tohoku region, and the country's second largest north of Tokyo. It was founded by famous local lord Date Masamune in 1600, and owes not only many of its sights and history to him and the Date clan, but also the city's comprehensive grid layout is based on his plans. It's famous for grilled beef tongue, the Tanabata festival, its zelkova tree-lined streets, producing a lot of rice, autumn potato stew picnics, Sendai Castle, and being close to Matsushima, one of the Three Views Of Japan, amongst other things. The coastal areas of Sendai, including its airport and many ports, were all but destroyed by the 2011 tsunami; it is here that the wave came furthest inland—up to 10km in some places.

We stumbled through the city in the snow, a whirlwind visit that took us from the station to the castle – where we witnessed a cosplaying Date Masamune help build a snowman with some children – and back again. As a showcase of the country, rather than a travel guide, we want to show you with words and pictures rather than tell you what to do, and here is a day spent on the wide boulevards of Sendai, witnessing not just one of its most popular sights but something more worthwhile: the daily life of the city.


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