10 Best Things to Do in Sendai, Japan | Capital of The Miyagi Prefecture

Sendai, the capital of the Miyagi prefecture. It is an underrated city full of dazzling festivals, cultural monuments, museums, galleries, and observation towers. This lively city contains a little bit of everything in Japan. Alluring nature, dazzling festivals, mouthwatering cuisines, and amiable locals in Sendai will make your trip worth remembering. There are a gazillion things to do here for tourists. If you are ever visiting these 10 things to do in Sedai should definitely be in your bucket list.

10 Best Things to Do in Sendai | Japan

1. Explore the Zuihoden Mausoleum

Zuihoden Mausoleum
Source: THE GATE

Zuihoden is also referred to as the Mausoleum of Date Masamune. It is surrounded by giant cedar trees. Zuihoden is the prettiest place to be in Sendai. The magnificent architectural structure, wood carvings, and the gold trimming make this place look hauntingly beautiful. You can also stroll through the mausoleum under the shade of trees and explore the temple, statues, and artworks depicting Momoyama’s cultural traditions.

2. Check Out the Aoba Castle Ruins

the Aoba Castle Ruins
Source: Trip.com

Located on the Aoba Mountain, Aoba Castle will take you through the history of the 90th century. You can take a hike to reach the castle and get an enticing view on top of the mountain. This castle is also famous for having the iconic statue of the Date Masamune. A historical center that exhibits Aoba Castle’s history can be seen on the site. It highlights models of the stronghold as it remained in the Edo Period, and commodities from the palace. A visit to this beautiful castle will take you back in time.

3. Take in the Views at AER Building

AER Building
Source: Thousand Wonders

If you want to get a panoramic vista of east and west Sendai from the top of a 140-meter skyscraper then head to the AER building. The AER Observation Deck in Sendai is situated on the 31st floor of the AER building. There are two patios in the structure, on both the eastern and western side. You can observe the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and gaze out to get a breathtaking view of the city at any time of the day. But if you drop by here at night you will have the opportunity to experience a dazzling laser light show.

4. Relax in an Onsen 

Onsen in Sendai
Source: HOTEL Sakan Official Site

Japan is best known for having hot springs and onsens. Your trip to Sendai would be incomplete if you cannot make it to The Sakan onsen. It is one of the most popular onsens in Japan consisting of several warm baths and a traditional ryokan. A good onsen bath detoxifies your body and elevates blood circulations. Prominent for its health benefits and healing effects, a natural warm bath in an onsen can help you relax and unwind.

5. Tour Miyagi Museum of Art

Miyagi Museum of Art - Things to Do in Sendai
Source: Discover Sendai

If you want to check out some modern arts while in Sendai, the Miyagi Museum is worth stopping by. It was opened in the late twentieth century and contains artworks from different eras. The museum exhibits arts and sculptures by both local and international artists. But most of the arts and crafts represent the beauty and lifestyle on Tohuku Island. After exploring the museum, you can take a wee stroll through the ground backs onto the river and enjoy the serene beauty of nature, letting it refresh you.

6. Stuff Your Mouth with some Local Foods 

Grilled Beef Tongue in Sendai - Things to Do in Sendai
Source: Tabido

Sendai has an indisputable reputation for serving some drool-worthy Japanese cuisine. But the most popular one has got to be “gyutan” which is a grilled beef tongue. You should also try Zunda mochi, a traditional dessert made out of green soybeans. Sendai is also known as one of the best cities to eat seafood. The fact which tops all of these is, food is reasonably priced here. So, you can gobble all the traditional delicacies without worrying about the price.

7. Dance at Aoba Festival 

Aoba Festival - Things to Do in Sendai
Source: Pinterest

If you happen to be in Sendai during springtime make sure that you attend the Aoba Festival. This celebration has been taking place every spring for around 350 years. During the festival, the streets become filled with music, food stalls and dancers who perform the Suzume Odori dance. The enthusiasm and energy of the dancers are infectious thus you will feel an inevitable urge to dance with them.

8. Attend Tanabata

Tanabata - Things to Do in Sendai
Source: Nippon

Tanabata is a significant festival that takes place in summer all across Japan. However, the most impressive one is held in Sendai. The whole city is adorned with colorful paper flowers prior to the event. Tanabata starts with a dazzling firework display and the festival lasts for two days. The most unique tradition of the festival is writing down your wishes on a colored paper and later tying those to bamboo trees.

9. Visit Umino-mori Aquarium

Umino-mori Aquarium - Things to Do in Sendai
Source: Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Uminio-mori aquarium has nearly 100 water tanks containing aquatic creatures such as dolphins, penguins, manta rays, sharks, etc. The aquarium arranges exhibitions and shows for the tourists that fascinate them and at the same time educate them on the marine life of these creatures. It hosts the largest sea lion and dolphin performance show in Tohuku Island. If you visit the show with children, they will enjoy this show the most.

10. Visit Tashirojima Cat Island 

Tashirojima Cat Island - Things to Do in Sendai
Source: Busy.org

Have you ever heard of a cat Island? The island full of fluffy adorable furballs in Miyagi is one of the most magical animal kingdoms in Japan. The cats here openly roam around the island and appear to appreciate the love that they get from the visitors. This place has become an ideal and popular destination for cat lovers who can live their dream here.


To sum it up, known as the “City of Trees,” Sendai flawlessly combines the excellence of nature and the sweeping city. Now that you know about the 10 best things to do in Sendai, plan your next vacation here and do not forget to do the things mentioned above to make your trip a memorable one filled with all sorts of excitement.

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