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Sendai

Known as the 'City of Trees', Sendai is a small green city on the island of Honshu. Most international visitors will arrive by air via Sendai Airport, which links to hotels in Sendai city center via an express train – the journey takes around 25 minutes.

The city was founded in the early 1600s and history buffs will find Sendai to be a fascinating city. It is home to the largest Tanabat festival in Japan, attracting around two million visitors who come to celebrate the stars Altair and Vega reaching their zenith. A traditional part of the Tanabata festival involves hanging paper decorations from bamboo with wishes and prayers enclosed inside, a practice that has evolved over centuries into origami. Booking a hotel in Sendai during Tanabat is particularly difficult, so visitors should plan well ahead of time.

Positioned as it is in a bountiful position between the mountains and the sea, Sendai boasts excellent regional cuisine. Seafood, fruits and vegetables are all well-represented in local dishes, the city particularly noted high quality sushi, sashimi, and sake. Sendai has its own special version of miso and beef tongue and wagashi (sweets) are also popular local treats. Most Sendai hotels will have an attached restaurant that can offer guests a sample of local cuisine.

One Sendai attraction for sightseers is the Aoba – or Sendai – Castle. The ruins sit upon Mount Aoba in the center of town and offer panoramic views over Sendai. A monument and several original sections of the castle stand on the site, currently being rebuilt after bombing during WWII destroyed much of it.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Sendai, click on the interactive Sendai map on the left-hand side of the page.