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Jubilant Festivals

Festivals communicate the culture, tradition, history and characteristics of the people in Japan and local regions. Festivals in Miyagi are no exception. Each year, more and more people visit this region to experience and enjoy the festivities Miyagi has to offer in all seasons. Come and stimulate your five senses at these beloved events.


Sendai Tanabata Festival (Star Festival)

Sendai Tanabata Festival is one of the three largest Tanabata festivals in all of Japan, and in contrast to the other festivals, it is held on August 6-8 based on the lunar calendar. Hundreds of paper decorations colorfully decorate the shopping arcade in downtown Sendai hanging from the beautiful green bamboo, and the decoration’s long strips of paper waving ever so elegantly against the wind. Locals and visitors alike are always amazed each year by the way Japanese washi paper can be transformed into a remarkable piece of artwork.

Best Season
Summer (August 6-8)
Access
Approximately 5-minute walk from Sendai Station

Aoba Festival

Aoba Festival is held every year in May to honor Date Masamune and the contributions he made to establishing Sendai. The streets are filled with sparrow dancers, springing into the air like sparrows while waving beautiful fans, dancing along to the Japanese taiko drums and flutes. The beats of the drum and the rhythm of the steps will naturally make visitors move their feet and join the dancers. During the festivities, visitors will also have the opportunity to learn the steps and transform into a dancer on the spot.

Best Season
Spring (third weekend of May)
Access
Approximately 3-minute ride on Nanboku Subway Line to Kotodai-koen Park Station from Sendai Station

Shiogama Port Festival

The Shiogama Port Festival is one of the three largest port festivals in Japan. A large portable shrine (mikoshi) is carried down the steep, long steps of Shiogama Shrine and paraded around town towards the port where the dazzling dragon and phoenix boats await on the sparkling summer waters of Matsushima Bay. The boats sail off throughout the bay, with an escort of over 100 local fishing boats.

Best Season
Summer (third Monday of July)
Access
Approximately 30-minute train ride on JR Senseki Line to Honshiogama Station from Sendai Station

Sendai Pageant of Starlight

The night skies of Sendai brilliantly light up with 600,000 tiny LED lights that are hung on the 160 zelkova trees that line up along Jozenji-dori Avenue in downtown Sendai City, warming hearts and bringing joy to everyone each year. When the lights are switched on, you can hear the hundreds of thousands of people gasp in awe, and pedestrians and drivers alike can enjoy walking or driving through the romantic, endless tunnels of lights. Come and enjoy one of the most popular and top class illumination events in all of Japan.

Best Season
Winter (December)
Access
Approximately 3-minute ride on Nanboku Subway Line to Kotodai-koen Park Station from Sendai Station

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