Japan 2014: Sendai

Despite staying three nights in Sendai (仙台) I didn’t get to see all that much of it as I was using it as a base to visit other areas. Still, what I did see of Sendai I liked. It seemed like a very livable city, not too dissimilar to Nagoya really, and it’s certainly a place I would like to return to. All around the station area there are loads of shops and restaurants (including a massive Loft department store – yay!) and these wonderful elevated walkways which mean you don’t have to walk at traffic level.

Sendai

Sendai – station area

 

The station’s pretty big, and as well as being quite well connected by train (both overground and underground) the city has a good public bus system and a tourist bus called Loople Sendai (るーぷる仙台). A one-day ticket on Loople Sendai is only ¥620 for an adult.

Inside Sendai Station

Stained glass window featuring the Tanabata Matsuri in Sendai Station

 

Inside Sendai Station

Close-up of Sendai Station’s stained glass window showing Date Masamune.

 

In the little time I had to explore the city, I decided to just visit one site, and that was a shrine called Osaki Hachimangu (大崎八幡宮).

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Entrance to Osaki Hachimangu

 

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Climbing up to the shrine

 

Osaki Hachimangu was constructed in 1607 under the order of warrior, leader, and eventual founder of modern-day Sendai, Date Masamune (伊達政宗). The deity of Osaki Hachimangu is Hachiman, the Shinto god of war, who is considered to be a general guardian and protector of Sendai.

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Simple outer shrine building

 

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Ornate Osaki Hachimangu

 

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Colourful

 

Unusually, parts of the shrine are covered in black lacquer, and parts are decorated with gold leaf and bright colours reminiscent of those at Nikko Tosho-gu (日光東照宮). As shrines go, I’d say it’s one of the more interesting ones to look at.

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Decorated with gold leaf

 

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Colourful animals adorn the roof

 

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

Beautiful colours

 

Osakihachiman Shrine, Sendai

More shining gold

 

I barely scratched the surface of Sendai, so I will have to go back sometime and see more. One day I’d love to visit during the famous Tanabata (七夕) Festival in August – Sendai is well and truly on my list for a future trip to Japan!

As the year is drawing to a close I find myself still writing about my trip to Japan in May and June this year – there’s just so much to say! I am starting to reach the end of my adventures, but do still have at least six posts to go, so it’s likely I won’t finish until early January. Please bear with me, and thank you for reading! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Japan 2014: Sendai

  1. Sendai is a city I have visited dozens of times but always to go shopping or for lunch. I’ve stayed there a few times when using the ferry or the airport but other than the main shopping areas near the station which have grown in recent years, the remains of the old castle and a visit to 東北学院大学 which one of my ancestors helped found I haven’t seen much of the city. I never knew there was such an nice shrine in Sendai. On my next visit to eat 牛タン I will be sure to check it out.

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    • I didn’t know you’d visited Sendai so many times! It’s a city a really like – I could see myself living somewhere like that if I were to ever live in Japan again. I hope you have the chance to visit the shrine sometime! 🙂

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