Founded in 1600, Sendai (仙台市) is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. In the summer, the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the largest Tanabata festival in Japan, is held. In winter, the trees are decorated with thousands of lights for the Pageant of Starlight, lasting through most of December. Sendai is nicknamed the "City of Trees".
Osaki Hachiman is a Shinto shrine erected between 1604 and 1607. The main shrine building (shaden) has been designated a National Treasure of Japan. The lavish decoration with wood carving, painting, metal fittings, and lacquer emulated recent models at the time from central Japan. The shaden is one of the oldest extant examples of ishi-no-ma-zukuri (a complex Shinto shrine structure), and an outstanding work of Azuchi-Momoyama architecture. The shrine is served by the Sendai Loople loop bus (bus stop #12).
Opened in 1981, the Miyagi Museum of Art has its primary focus on works associated with Miyagi Prefecture and the Tōhoku region more generally, from the Meiji period to the present day. The collections include works by both Japanese and international artists.
The Sendai City Museum is the main museum of Sendai. It displays various artifacts related to the Date family (Date Masamune was a regional strongman of Japan's Azuchi–Momoyama period) and the history of Sendai. Date Masamune's famous suit of armor and artifacts related to Hasekura Tsunenaga's visit to Rome are sometimes on display. Other historical artifacts can be seen in various temples and museums in the city, such as the Zuihoden Mausoleum.
Better known as Aoba Castle, Sendai Castle was home to the Date clan, daimyō (powerful Japanese feudal lords) of Sendai Domain and was completed in 1637. It is a designated National Historic Monument. The site is protected by cliffs to the south and east, and by a deep forest to the west. While the natural defenses of the castle were extensive, the man-made defensive structures of the castle were minimal, as its role was more administrative and ceremonial than military. There is also a museum showcasing Japan's modern military history.
Zuihōden is the mausoleum complex of Date Masamune and his heirs, daimyō of the Sendai Domain. When Date died in 1636, he left instructions for a mausoleum. Zuihōden was erected in the following year. A number of the Date daimyō and other members of the Date clan are buried in the grounds. Most of the monuments were destroyed by bombing and subsequent fires in 1945 and eventually rebuilt in their original Momoyama style. The complex can be reached from Sendai Station by the Loople bus at stop #4.
Running east to west, Jozenji-Dori is the city's main avenue with a promenade. It is lined with Japanese zelkovas, sculptures and parks. At the end of the avenue lies Sunmall Ichibancho the shopping arcade. It is an ideal place for a stroll, people watching and shopping. Many events and festivals, such as the Sendai Pageant of Starlight and the Jozenji Street Jazz Festival, take place on Jozenji-Dori and in the near by Kōtōdai Park.
Completed in 2001, Sendai Mediatheque is a mixed-program public facility which combines library and art gallery functions. The innovative building's seven levels of facilities offer a range of services including a conventional book-lending library, an extensive collection of film and audio recordings with stations for both viewing and editing, a theatre, to a cafe and bookstore, all housed in a nearly cubic glass enclosure. It is said that the Mediatheque "is a pioneering example of attempts to use new notions of 'media' as an architectural concept".
Miyagikyo Distillery is a Japanese whisky distillery owned by Nikka Whisky Distilling, and was opened in 1969. Originally known as "Sendai distillery", it was the second to be established by Nikka Whisky, after the company’s Yoichi distillery in Hokkaido. The location was selected for whisky production because of its good air quality, moderate humidity for storage, and abundant underground water. The distillery offers guided tours on the whisky production process and the history of Nikka Whisky.
The Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan's three great waterfalls. The viewing deck is an easy hike up the mountain and there are several small shrines in the area. The Falls is known for its beautiful autumn colours. The nearby Rairai-kyo Gorge has a 650m long trail and visitors can enjoy a variety of peculiarly-shaped rocks along the way. The area is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty.