A Guide to Sendai, Japan – Photos of Tanabata Star Festival & Foods

Sendai is the central city of Miyagi Prefecture with a long history, interesting culture and delicious foods.

In the cool elegant city in North East Japan, the big famous Tanabata (= Japanese Star Festival) has been held for 400 years in August.

Sendai Tanabata Festival

I have talked about the romantic tale, bamboo decorations and events of Tanabata many times and some of you would remember that it is on 7 July, not August – That’s right. In Sendai, people hold tanabata on 7 July in Lunar Calendar, which is in August in Solar Calendar of today.

It is the most famous Tanabata festival in Japan. I visited it some years ago and I was so impressed it. Just say – So beautiful!

Travel information and hotel booking for visitors are at the bottom of this post, but I hope you just enjoy photos to feel the cool festival first.

Sendai Tanabata Festival

It is said that Tanabata Festival in Sendai began 400 years ago when Masamune Date (one of the most powerful samurai clans) ruled Sendai.

Locals, including little children, make these big bamboo decorations. This long shape is unique in Sendai. If you see the same things somewhere else, they copied from Sendai style.



To prevent heatstroke, don’t forget hiding from the sun constantly. Sendai is in North East Japan, but summer is summer. Have a cool trip.


The locals are so passionate to make more outstanding decorations than others.

Award-winning globefish decorations by a Japanese restaurant, characters, something attractive… You will find some interesting decorations in the streets as following.

Globefish decorations by a Japanese restaurant


Kokeshi dolls


Pokemons by children

Sendai Original Foods

When you have a break, Zunda-mochi is a specialty of Sendai. Rice dumplings are surrounded by edamame (= green soybeans) paste called zunda in North East Japan.

Zunda Mochi

Today they made zunda cakes, too! How about a set of zunda roll & Reicha (cold green tea) ?

Not only zunda, Sendai has other original foods such as gyutan (grilled beef tongue) and sasakama (processed fish that has a bamboo leaf shape). I love them all!!

In Conclusion


I’m happy if you just feel, “So beautiful!!!” from my photos.

When you visit Japan in early August, I really push this big, cool, unique and traditional festival in North East Japan.

Practical Travel Guide to Sendai

How to Get to Sendai

It takes 1.5 hours from Tokyo Station to Sendai via Shinkansen (Japanese super express.) One way ticket costs around 11,000 yen.

When you visit there, I strongly recommend a combined train ticket by travel agencies; They offer some discounts. JR and other travel agencies often sell a good package especially before and during Tanabata Festival.

Google Search (Your search results will open in a new window.)

Weather Forecast for Sendai

Forecast by Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/yoho/312/ (in English)

Sendai Tanabata Festival

In early August every year. (6 – 8 August in 2015.)

Official Website: http://www.sendaitanabata.com/

Related Posts

Accommodation in Sendai

Sendai is the central city of North East Japan; There are many good hotels in the city.


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