Sendai (仙台) is one of the biggest cities in Tohoku. It is not an essential visit, but offers cheap accommodation and many side trips. There are also some interesting things to do in the city if you have some spare time between travelling.

Budget travel tips

  • Head up north to the World Heritage site of Hiraizumi.

Places of interest


A real cultural heritage of Japan. Matsushima is a beautiful bay with lots of little islands and temples to visit.  

sendai_castleSendai Castle Site

Not much of the castle remains, but there are some cool statues, castle towers and a few cheap museums.

Open: All day

Price: Free 


A stunning red and gold building, and the resting place of the cities founder, Date Masamune.

Open: 9:00-16:30 (Feb-Nov), 09:00-16:00 (Des-Jan)

Price: Adults 550, Children 200-400 yen 

sendai_Rinno-jiRinno-ji Temple

A rather pretty Japanese garden with a three-story pagoda and interesting temple buildings including a Japanese tea house.

Open: 8AM to 5PM

Price:  300 yen 

sendai_Jozenji_streetJozenji Street

Trendy street with modern and old sculptures, frequent events and festivals plus lots of places to eat. It’s just north of Hirosedori station on the Sendai subway line.

Goddess of Kannon (FREE)

The sixth tallest statue in the world, with great views over the city. More info here.

More Sendai Side Trips

How to get there

With the Japan Rail Pass

From Tokyo station, take the JR Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Sendai station (90 mins).

Without the Japan Rail Pass

Get a bus with Willer Express (click link at the top for English).


Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Guesthouse Umebachi

Well regarded guesthouse, not far from central Sendai.

More at

Free Volunteer Guides

Miyagi Goodwill Guide Club

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict