The City of Sendai is just right. It’s not too big to enjoy, but it’s not too small. It’s near both the mountains and the sea. Its tree-lined streets are wide, and the main shopping street is covered and devoted to pedestrians. Not really a tourist city, the Port of Sendai was leveled during World War II and rebuilt. It doesn’t have a lot of attractions. But there are some places visitors will not want to miss.
The Miyagi Museum of Art contains a collection of modern art, featuring the works of sculptor Juryo Sato, as well as a beautiful garden and view of the river. The site of the old Aoba Castle is today a replica of a gate and a statue of the city’s founder, but the site once inspired poet Doi Bansui to write about the impermanence of all life, a fitting theme for the current ruins of a once-great castle.
The 17th Century ?saki Hachiman Shrine in the Port of Sendai is a designated national treasure containing metal ornaments and colorful designs set against black lacquer woodwork. Check out the giant statue of Kannon (Buddhist god of compassion) outside the city. The historic Rinno-ji temple has a large and lovely traditional garden that is particularly beautiful when the azaleas bloom.
Located atop the Port of Sendai’s Mt. Yagiyama near the Benny Land amusement park is the Yagiyama Zoo with a collection of 550 animals. The Museum of the Forest of Depths of the Earth is devoted to the stone age based on artifacts found at the 20-thousand-year-old Tomizawa ruins.
The Port of Sendai’s biggest festival is the August Tanabata. The festival begins with fireworks, then the streets are decorated, and parades fill the streets. In December, visitors enjoy the Pageant of Starlight when the Port of Sendai’s two main avenues are adorned with thousands of orange lights.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Sendai by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises by searching for “Sendai” on the Cruise Compete website.