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Situated on the east coast of the region, Sendai is the largest city in Tohoku and capital of Miyagi Prefecture. Its population of around 1 million make it a cosmopolitan city in its own right and for the traveller it is the most logical point from which to arrange a tour of the rest of Tohoku.

Rebuilt after its demoilition by allied bombing in the second world war, the city today consists of wide boulevards and avenues set out in a grid-pattern which are enoyable to stroll down.

Sendai owes much of its history to the warlord Date Masamune (pictured right) who established the city as his base during his reign in the early 17th century. The ruins of Sendai-jo (castle)  - nicknamed Aoba-jo - can still be viewed as can a history of the area in Aoba Castle Exhibition Hall (English translation available). Date’s mauseleum - Zuiho-den has been rebuilt to be an exact replica of the one destroyed during bombing.

Several interesting temples can be visited - Zuiho-ji and Osaki Hachiman jinja probably the pick of those on offer. (The latter being listed as one of Japan’s national treasures)

There are numerous excellent restaurants as well as Ichiban-cho - Sendai’s main shopping district. Head for Kokobuncho-dori at night to experience the usual mix of bars and clubs typical of large Japanese cities.


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