Sendai (仙台)  is the largest city (about 1,000,000 people) in the Tohoku region of Japan's Honshu island.
Sendai is divided into five districts: Aoba-ku, Izumi-ku, Miyagino-ku, Taihaku-ku and Wakabayashi-ku.
As everyone here will tell you, "it's not too big and not too small, it's very convenient and it's close to both the sea and the mountains."
Sendai is a comfortable and pleasant city — it's a nice place to live. It's very green — in fact they call it 杜の都 (Mori no Miyako, "Forest City"). The main avenues around the city are wide and tree-lined, giving the city an almost European feel. The main shopping street — confusingly known by two different names, Chūō-dōri (中央通り) and Clis Road — is pedestrianised and covered, so it feels like a mall. Several large universities are located in Sendai, attracting young adults from throughout the Tohoku area.
Although there is evidence of settlements in the Sendai region dating back over 20,000 years, it was not until the local feudal ruler, Date Masamune, moved his capital here in 1600 that the city began to take on any signifance. He established a fine castle on Aobayama (green leaf mountain) and the town that was built below the castle near the Hirose River was built according to the traditional street grid pattern. The original name of the area was also Sendai, but the Chinese characters for this name were changed. Originally they referred to a temple on Aobayama that housed a thousand Buddha statues. Later, Date Matsume changed the Chinese characters to mean 'hermit on a platform,' which referred to a mythical palace in the mountains in China. It is this latter name that is currently used by the present-day city. On March 11, 2011, the city suffered catastrophic damage due to the magnitude 9.0 2011 Great East Japan Quake, the largest ever to hit the country and the 4th largest ever, whose epicenter was 130 km to the east of the city, in the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake caused a devastating tsunami that flooded Sendai. Together, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people on the country's north-east coast.
Sendai is not too cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer, compared to other Japanese cities to the south.
Winter temperatures rarely dip below zero Celsius, and snow, though frequent in winter, melts quickly. Winter weather is very rainy, yielding to variable weather in Spring. There is a long rainy season, marked by consistently cool and cloudy weather, which typically coincides with the month of June, but has been known to set in right after the cherry-blossom blooms in April and to continue through July, and even August.
When (and if) the rainy season ends, Summer weather is very hot and humid, until September, which brings typhoon season. Most of the typhoons do little damage, having dissipated somewhat on their travel north, but fall on Sendai as very heavy rainstorms, following one another in close succession.
For those who prefer dry sunny weather, Autumn is the most reliable time for pleasant conditions in Sendai. In October, the weather becomes clear, dry and sunny, though cool, usually throughout the month and sometimes well into November. Daytime temperatures hover around 18C, with cooler nights. Rice harvesting is done at this time, while the fields are golden.
Most travelers will arrive in Sendai by train. Sendai is the largest station on the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) which runs from Tokyo to Aomori. By the fastest service, it is just over 90 minutes from each.
When searching for trains to Sendai, note that there is a second Sendai station in Kagoshima, so be careful to select the JR Sendai station in Miyagi.
The fastest service is the Hayabusa (はやぶさ) services which takes 90 minutes from Tokyo and runs at least once an hour (this is the fastest train currently in service in Japan). This train runs non-stop between Ōmiya (just outside of Tokyo) and Sendai. This is an all reserve service, but seats are generally available on short notice outside of peak hours and holidays. The service is covered by the JR Pass and JR East Pass, but otherwise costs ¥11,000 from Tokyo. You may also want to note that the Komachi (こまち) service bound for Akita operates on trains which are linked to the Hayabusa until Morioka (after Sendai), the trains are slightly narrower but are otherwise the same service. If you ask for a ticket on a Hayabusa train, you may be issued a ticket for the Komachi, but as long as the destination is Sendai, you need not be concerned.
The Hayate (はやて) service is very similar, but the trains are an older, slightly slower, model, so it takes an extra 10 minutes from Tokyo, and the cost is ¥10,690. This service has been gradually phased out since 2011 as new trains are delivered for the faster Hayabusa service. As of 2015, there is only one train remaining on this service running two trips per day.
There is also a slower Yamabiko (やまびこ) service taking 110 to 140 minutes from Tokyo depending on the number of stops. You might think of this as the local train servicing the cities between Tokyo and Sendai. This train runs two or three times an hour, and it does not require seat reservations. The cost for a non-reserve seat is ¥ 10,370.
It may be worth noting that the Tohoku Shinkansen also runs Nasuno and Tsubasa services, but these trains do not go to Sendai.
Sendai Airport (SDJ) ) mainly functions as a domestic airport with regular flights to Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa and Kanazawa(komatsu). However, there are also a few international flights to neighboring countries, such as South Korea, Taiwan, and China, and there is also a daily flight to Honolulu in the US.
The airport is linked to the city with the Sendai Airport Access  railway, which takes 17-25 minutes to JR Sendai Station and costs ¥630.
The airport was hit by the tsunami on 11th March 2011, but has long since resumed all services.
Many highway buses run to Sendai from various locations in the Tohoku region.
JR Bus Tohoku and Tohoku Kyuko bus operate highway bus service to Sendai from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. There are five daytime trips and one overnight trip. Each run takes 5 1/2 hours at a cost of ¥6,210.
An overnight bus service also runs directly from Yokohama and Shinagawa, costing ¥6,500 from Yokohama (6 1/2 hours) and ¥6,200 from Shinagawa (5 3/4 hours).
Kintetsu runs an overnight bus service, the Forest, from Osaka and Kyoto to Sendai. The one-way ride costs approximately ¥12,000 and takes 12 1/4 hours from Osaka and 10 3/4 hours from Kyoto.
Willer Express  is a company with nightly bus services to Sendai from Tokyo. With English online booking service.
Meitetsu runs an over night bus service from Sendai to Nagoya. Departure time is 9:30PM and arrival in Nagoya is 7AM.
Taiheiyo Ferry (太平洋フェリー)  (Japanese) +81-22-259-0211. Offers overnight car ferries to Nagoya (21 hrs 40 mins) and Tomakomai (in southern Hokkaido) (15 hrs 20 mins) on the SS Ishikari and SS Kitakami.  (Japanese).
Getting there: Ferry terminal is located a ten minute taxi ride away from Nakanosakae Station (中野栄駅) on the JR Senseki line (仙石線). The terminal is also located not far from the Sendai-ko kita （仙台港北) interchange on the Sendai Tobu Highway (仙台東部道路). For further details, check out the ferry website  (Japanese)
Sendai has one subway line traveling on a north-south axis, connecting major shopping districts with the train station. Key stations include Sendai for the train station and the AER building, Nagamachi-minami for the Mall (large American-style shopping mall including multi-screen cinema), Hirose-dori and Kotodai-koen for access to Ichibancho (covered shopping arcade), and Izumi-chuo for the soccer stadium. Second east-west line is under construction, with opening planned in 2015.
Adventurous types can try the bus system to reach those areas not covered by the subway. There are a few resources that help english speakers navigate, but it helps if you know the city (or at least some Japanese, as most stops has route maps). In this case it might become very convenient and far-reaching service, as many points in the city are reachable only by bus or car. However, in some places buses are infrequent, with waiting times up to half an hour, and they tend to get very crowded in the rush hour.
Fortunately for tourists there is a "Loople Sendai"  bus that makes a wide loop around to various Sendai attractions for ¥600 for a whole day, or ¥250 for one ride. Normal route buses have fares based on the distance travelled and usually cost from ¥170 (the basic fare) to ¥300 for some longest journeys.
Travelcards (commony called "bus cards" both in English and Japanese, although they could be also used on subway) are available, offering slight discount -- ¥5,000 card has ¥5,850-worth of fare on it. There are two major bus companies, but for all practical intents and purposes they are indistinguishable.
The city center is compact and can easily be traversed on foot, especially by using the covered shopping arcades. There are many shops and arcades around Sendai station and therefore people could walk around on their own. Other parts of the city are quite hilly (even the center has some significant slopes) and while they still could be traversed on foot, this might be physically demanding. Residential parts are also very spread-out, and walking such large distances becomes impractical.
Gozain  Sendai Volunteer English Interpreter and Tour Guide Group will give you a free guided tour (no charge for the guides) of the sights in and around Sendai.
- Zuihoden (瑞鳳殿), 23-2, Otamayashita,Aoba-ku (By car:Approximately 20 minutes by car from Sendai Miyagi I.C.(Parking available free of charge.) By bus:Take a Loople Sendai bus from the West Exit of JR Sendai Station(BusPool No.15-3)and get off at the Zuihoden-mae bus stop.Or,take a city bus(BusPool No.11) or a bus of Miyagi Transportation Co.,Ltd.(BusPool No.12)from the West Exit of JR Sendai Station and get off at the Otamayahashi bus stop.), ☎ 022-262-6250, . 9:00 - 16:00 / 16.30. Mausoleum of Date Masamune, first lord of Sendai Domain. Zuihoden was designed in the ornate style of the Momoyama Period. It features intricate woodwork and a rich variety of vivid colors. Massive cedar trees surround the paths in the area, and are meant to symbolize the long history of the Date clan. A museum beside the Zuihoden main building shows some of the personal artifacts of the Date family, and even some specimens of their bones and hair. 550 yen.
- Ōsaki Hachiman Shrine (大崎八幡宮). Completed in 1607, and is designated a national treasure. The metal ornaments and colorful designs displayed against the black lacquer woodwork is an especially attractive feature.
- Sendai City Museum (仙台市博物館), Kawauchi 26 (Get off the train at JR Sendai station. Take city bus for Dobutsukoen-junkan, Aobadai, Miyakyodai (Miyagi university of education), Naritasan, (via Aoba-dori Ave.) at 9 depot of the Sendai bus terminal. It takes about 10 minutes to Museum/International center's stop. The museum is 3 minutes walk from the stop.), . A nice complement to the castle with a nice little play room with plenty of old Japanese toys as well.
- Sendai Castle Ruins (仙台城跡), ☎ 022-225-3074 (fax: 022-225-2558), . Often recommended by locals. There's a replica of a gate and a statue of the founder of the city, Date Masamune. However, the ruins of Sendai Castle is the theme of a famous poem written by Doi Bansui called 'Kojo no Tsuki' - 'The Moon over the desolate castle'. In the poem, the author touchingly invites us to reflect on the impermanence of all life, which is represented by the ruins of the once great castle caught in the light of the full moon. The poem has been put to music and is famous throughout Japan.
- Miyagi Museum of Art (宮城県美術館), 34-1 Kawauchi-Motohasekura, Aoba-ku, . A reasonable collection of modern art. Special room for Juryo Sato a local (but nationally famous) sculptor. Beautiful garden and a nice view of the river.
- Statue of Kannon. There is a huge statue of Kannon (the Buddhist deity of compassion) outside the city that is worth seeing. However, don't expect to find it mentioned in any guides. Ask locals for directions.
- Sendai Mediatheque, . This building was designed by Toyo Ito and is an important piece of contemporary architecture. Take a look at the outstanding structure while enjoying the cafeteria and design shop on ground level.
- Rinno-ji (輪王寺), 1-14-1 Kitayama, Aoba-ku (By bus, take the Kitayama-Shiheimachi line and get off at Rinno-ji mae.), ☎ +81 22 234-5327. An historic temple with a large traditional garden, which is especially attractive when the azaleas are in bloom.
- SS 30 Observation Lounge, (At the intersection of Higashi Nibancho Street and Kitamenmachi Street.). This office tower has an observation deck on the 29 and 30th floors, which is open and free to the public.
- 3m Sendai City Science Musuem (仙台市科学館), 4-1 Dainohara Shinrin Kouen, Aoba Ward (1. Asahigaoka Station subway station and walk uphill about 5 minutes)), ☎ 022-276-2201, . 09:00-16:45. A modest collection covering the sciences with a lot fo science exhibits and plenty of buttons to push. 500円.
- Sankyozawa 100 year electric historical center, 16 Sankyosawa, Aramaki, Aoba-ku (Sendai loople bus stop 10), . 09:30-16:30. A small musuem discussing the history behind japan"s oldest power plant a hydroelectric dam. free entry.
- The Museum of the Forest of Depths of the Earth (地底の森ミュージアム), 4-2-1 Nagamachi-Minami, Taihaku-ku, ☎ 022-246-9153. The museum of the stone age. In the museum, restoration exhibition of that time is carried out based on the data discovered from public presentation and there of the ruins 20,000-year Saki's Old Stone Age unearthed from Tomizawa ruins (富沢遺跡）.
- The biggest festival in Sendai is Tanabata (七夕). The festival is the most famous in Japan and starts with fireworks on Aug 5th and then the festival proper is from Aug 6th to Aug 8th. The streets are decorated with huge kazari (literally 'decorations') consisting of kusudama (a large paper ball covered in paper flowers) and long streamers. Varieties of elegant designs and colors.
- In December, there's the Pageant of Starlight which isn't really a festival as such. The trees in two of the city's main avenues - Aoba-dōri and Jōzenji-dōri - are festooned in thousands of orange lights. The effect is is very pleasant, with the orange glow casting a warmth over the otherwise cold and frosty streets.
- The Donto-sai Festival is held at the Osaki Hachiman Shrine on January 14 every year.
- Michinoku-Yosakoi Festival, .
- Benyland, Yagiyama, . This is a fun little amusement park. It's not exactly Disneyland, but you can have a fun few hours on the roller coasters and other rides.
- Nikka Whisky Distillery Tour, Nikka 1, Aoba-ku (Sakunami) (Go to Sakunami Station (on the Senzan line) and take a taxi from there.), . English/Korean/Chinese audio guide offered. 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tours are conducted every 15 to 20 minutes. Tours take one hour. Free whisky at the end of the tour.
- Kirin Brewery Tour, 983-0001 Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai, Miyagino Ward, Minato, 2−2−1, ☎ 022-254-2992, . No English audio tour available, but you may get a hand out in English, and 3 free beer samples are included at the end. Tours should be reserved at least one day in advance, by 3pm, and have no guaranteed availability otherwise.
Sendai has a few major sports teams.
- Vegalta Sendai, . pro soccer J. League
- Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, . pro baseball Pacific League
- Sendai 89ers, . basketball Japan League
- Sendai hira - silk
- tsutsumiyaki - pottery
- yanagi'u washi - hand made paper
- tsuishu - lacquerware
- kokeshi - wooden dolls, popular throughout the Tohoku region.
- Sendai tansu - wardrobe
- Sendai Daruma
Sendai's specialties include gyūtan (牛タン), grilled beef tongue; sasakamaboko (笹かまぼこ), a type of fish sausage; and zundamochi (ずんだ餅), sweet green soybean paste eaten with soft glutinous rice balls. Sendai-Miso （仙台味噌）has a long history. Hiyashi-Chuka（冷やし中華）is made in Sendai.
- Rikyu (利久), (There's one on the corner of Ekimae-dori and Hirose-dori, across from the AER Building.). A famous chain of gyūtan restaurants. Order the teishoku (set meal) - this includes meat, pickles, barley rice, leek, and a clear oxtail soup with real tail.
- Ichimuan, Westin Hotel Sendai 37F, 1-9-1 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, ☎ +81 22 713 8350, . lunch: 11.30- 14.00 (last order) dinner: 17.30- 21.30 (last order). Ichimuan specializes in Kyoto Haute cuisine (kaiseki) while utilizing fine Sendai produce. The restaurant also has a teppanyaki grill counter seats where visitors can enjoy fine Sendai beef. The view from the 37th floor is pretty impressive. Lunch is buffet style. Reservations essential (to avoid disappointment). lunch starts from 3234 yen. Dinner courses start from 6930 yen. A la carte is also available..
- Oden Sankichi (おでん三吉), 4-10-8 Ichiban-cho, Aoba-ku. Mo-Sa lunch and dinner.. This restaurant specializes in oden, a Japanese fish stew of sorts with ingredients slowly simmered for hours if not days in a soy broth. Goes well with beer or sake, and especially popular in winter. Bowl of oden ¥500.
- Mitsukoshi Food Court. The department store food court is an excellent place to sample Sendai's specialties.
- Kaki Toku (かき徳), 4-0-1 Ichiban-cho, Aoba-ku. M-F 11:30AM-2PM, 5PM-8PM; Sa 11:30AM-8PM; Su 11:30AM-9PM. Special hours on holidays.. Miyagi and Hiroshima are famous for oysters, and Kaki Toku, which has been running since 1927, is one of the area's most renowned oyster restaurants.
- Kameki Sushi (亀喜寿司), 6-12 Shintomi-cho, Shiogama, . W-M 11AM-9PM. Some locals believe it is the best sushi restaurant in Japan. Uses exclusively locally caught fish. No credit cards. ¥5,250 for a full course.
- Zunda Mochi (ずんだ餅). This is available at Sendai station via Zunda Saryo (1 store on the 1st Floor, 2 on the 2nd Floor), Hikoichi (彦いち) along Sunmall Ichibancho, and in the Mitsukoshi Food Court, among others.
- Morning market (仙台朝市商店街振興組合), 4 Chome-3-28 Chuo, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0021. M-Sa 9AM-6PM. A market with ~40 stands, featuring fresh produce, fresh seafood and sushi, and a limited amount of prepared foods (mostly fish, but some fried foods, candy, and more). There's at least one restaurant in the form of a vending machine-order noodle shop, but that may be it. Referred to as a "morning market" but technically runs most of the day.
- Kyushu Danji Sendai (九州男児 仙台), 1 Chome-7-1 Chuo, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0021. For the more adventurous, you can get horse prepared a variety of ways here, their most popular and advertised being sashimi, from 3 (1280 Yen) or 5 (1980 Yen) types (mostly different cuts, but some different preparations, like roasted horse tongue).
There is "Shushi road" in Sendai station. At there you can enjoy delicious Shushi in unexpensive price.
- Palinka, +81 22 213-7654, . Excellent Italian restaurant near Zuihouden (the mausoleum of Date Masamune). Lunch: 11:30 - 14:30; Dinner: 18:00 - 21:00. Palinka has occasional concerts on weekends.
- Namaskar, +81 22 257-7702, . Authentic Indian restaurant with two locations. One in the BiVi building (opposite Yodabashi Camera) directly behind Sendai station, on the 4th floor. There they offer an extensive and reasonably priced buffet lunch on Sundays from 11AM-3PM. The other is on Minamimachi-dori. There they occasionally show Indian films and music videos on a large screen and carry a buffet lunch on Saturdays.
- The Taj, 7F Sakurano Dept.Store 1-9-33, Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi 980-8466 (Aoba-dori, near Sendai Station), ☎ (022)227-5320 ([email protected], fax: (022)227-5330), . 11:00 - 21:00. Very good little Indian restaurant. Lunch: 850 yen.
- Tirol, Great Italian on Clis Road, or just west of Izumi-chou Subway Station in the north.
- Hummingbird, Italian in Hotel Universe on Ichibancho-dori. Known for its fresh pasta.
- Benitora, Chinese dishes (spicy). Located to the north of the AER building by Sendai station. Cross the pedestrian bridge and look for the big red kanji (means 'red tiger').
- Heichinro, an upscale Chinese restaurant on top of the AER building.
- Yuki Kitchen Consultant's Biologic Restaurant Potimaron (vegetarian and macrobiotic), 30-11-1 Kongosawa, Taihaku-ku. +81 22 244-6275.
- Fredrick Pantry, 3-10-1F, Kitame Machi. +81 22 715-8950 - a shop and small restaurant specializing in organic and vegetarian food.
- O-hisama, (From Sendai station walk towards E-beans. Continue walking straight so that you pass the Monterey Hotel. Walk until you see an underpass on your left. Turn right there (a beef tongue restaurant is at the corner). Walk straight for a minute or two. The place is just after a CoCo curry shop. O-hisama restaurant has vegetables for sale out front.), ☎ (022) 224-8540. 11:30-2:30...5:00-7:30 Saturday open only lunchtime, Closed on Sundays. Vegetarian/Organic restaurant Small place. Atmosphere is very warm and the food is awesome.
- T's Tantan: Vegan Chinese noodles. In the basement of S-Pal, Sendai Station.
10：00-22：00, TEL: 022-721-6527
Due to the numerous universities located near the city center, the nightlife in Sendai is excellent for a city of its size. Several small dance clubs on or around Chuo-dori fill with incredibly energetic young people most nights of the week. Kokubunchō (国分町) is the main entertainment district. Full of restaurants, izakaya, bars, hostess bars and strip clubs.
- Ha'penny Bridge, (Near the east exit of Sendai Station.). M-Sa 5PM-11PM. A Guinness pub.
- Vilevan, (On Clis Road near Sendai Station.). A jazz bar. Free live jazz on Saturday nights.
- Ernie's Bar, 1st floor Social Building, Sendai-Shi, Aoba-Ku Kokubuncho 2-1-11 (Near Hotel Richfield.). Tu-Su 6PM-5AM. A good bar in Kokubuncho frequented by foreigners with whom one can have a decent conversation. The owner and manager, Ernie, creates a cozy and relaxed atmosphere with his own mix of funky jazz, soul and house.
- One More Time, Aoba-ku, Ichibanchou 1-13-20 (Walk south on Ichibancho Street one full block after the pedestrian section ends. It's across the main street from the Idemitsu gas station.), ☎ +81 22 221-1960. 6PM-1AM. An American-style bar filled with 1950's americana, but surprisingly few foreigners. Music ranges from Elvis to Janis. The owner and his son both speak decent English and instantly make you feel right at home.
- Wadi Halfa (わでぃはるふぁ), 2-2-2 Omachi, Aoba-ku, ☎ +81 22 225-5241. This cafe often has live performances of Indian or African music.
- E'z Bar 2-12-19 daisankyoritsuBld. B1 kokubuncho-aobaku. This place is a little hard to find but worth the search. It's within 5 minutes of the big Don Quixote store in Kokubuncho, so don't go too far when you're looking for it. The owner, Hatakeyama-san, speaks perfect English as he lived in New Zealand for a year. Half the fun of ordering a cocktail at this place is watching the bartender cut a block of ice down for your drink!
- LUXS Sendai Tachimachi 14-3 パリスビル B1 +81 022-216-3921  Night club with great sound system, VIP room, and cash bar. Live DJs play popular dance music. Occassionally has scheduled celebrity guest visits or performances. Men 3000 yen, Women 2000 yen, but you get 1000 yen off if you show them you are following their LINE, Twitter, or Facebook SNS accounts. The discount can be applied multiple visits.
- Kento's Kokubuncho 2-10-23 丸伊プラザ６F +81 022-225-2722  Mon-Fri: 18:30-2:00; Sun/holidays: 18:30-00:00" Live American 50s-style rock'n'roll played by the Japanese house band every night. Inside there is a bar, good selection of Japanese and non-Japanese food, and dance floor. Guests are seated at tables and can stay as long as they would like. Fun and exciting.
- Ceskoya (チェスコ屋) Ichibancho 2-7-9 第七丸昌興業ビル 6F +81 090-2996-9333  International pub with more than 50 kinds of beers. A variety of events each and every week from stand-up comedy, live music, club nights, pole dancers, cultural nights, etc. Safe and fun atmosphere. Great to meet Japanese or non-Japanese. Friendly bar owner is Chezh and speaks English and Japanese.
- Sendai Rockza Kokubuncho 2-11-4 +81 022-213-7177  A strip show theater with a creative and artistic performance feel. No lap dances, no drunks allowed, and the dancers know how to entertain. Think a mix of elegant and erotic. Couples can go into together. Customers are only allowed to watch and not socialize, so keep this in mind when planning your night. Detailed rules and information on the website.
- LaLaToo Kokubuncho Kokubuncho 2-9-36 +81 022-797-0565 成瀬カントリービル B1F  A sexy Las Vegas style show performed by "new-half" transgender dancers. Standard plan or option for 90 min all-you-can-drink. Make sure to arrive before showtime. 5000-12000yen for a night you will never forget! Tipping is not common practice in Japan, but you should bring 1000 yen notes as tipping is common here (but not required).
- Club Shaft Dai 3 Yoshiokaya Bldg, Kokubuncho 2 chome 10-11 +81 022-722-5651  6PM-late. A DJ /Live Band Club and sports bar pub founded by Julian from England. Great atmosphere. World food and beers. Can hire for wedding, birthday parties etc. Check the website for event information.
- Don Quijote Aoba-ku, Tachimachi 15-17 +81 022-217-7911  24 hour store that people tend to hang out if bored, out of money, or can't sleep. Great selection of imported foods and drinks, and tax-free shopping for tourists.
Many downtown fastfood restaurants and karaoke shops are open until the early morning.
- Rinno-ji Temple (輪王寺), 1-14-1 Kitayama, Aoba-ku. +81 22 234-5327 (bus: “Kitayama - Shiheimachi line,” get off at “Rinno-ji mae”). Zazen (meditation) meetings are held every Sa 6:30PM-8PM. Instruction is given in English and participation is free. Wear loose fitting clothing.
- Sendai Language School , SLS Bldg.5F 1-16-23, Ichiban-cho, Aoba-ku. +81 22 266-8181, Fax: +81 22 266-8182.
- Sendai International Relations Association (SIRA)  arranges non-profit Japanese classes at various locations in the city .
- CHEERS, Kasugamachi 3-8, Kasugacho Fain Biru 303 (Near Nishi-koen, on Jozenji-dori, above the Volkswagon showroom), ☎ (022) 711-1880 ([email protected]), . 10:00 - 22:30.
- Miyagi guest house, Yadoya-Hagi, 2-1-35 Kakyouin, Aoba-ku,sendai-shi (North from the station about 10 minutes), ☎ +81 22 7788 965, . checkin: 1500; checkout: 1000. A no frills dormitory up the hill from the station. The swiss man working there is very hospitable and friendly. 2500.
- Sendai-Dochuan Youth Hostel, 31 Kitayashiki, Onoda, Taihaku-ku (About 5km from downtown.), ☎ +81 22 982-0014, .
- Maple Sendai Youth Hostel, 1-9-3 Kashiwagi, Aoba-ku, ☎ +81 22 234-3922 (fax: +81 22 234-3923), .
- Sendai Chitose Ryokan/Youth Hostel (旅館仙台千登勢屋), 6-3-8 Odawara, Aoba-ku (From Sendai station, take the East exit pedestrian walkway to the main road and turn left. Go straight for a good 15 minutes, past a church on the right, then a bus terminal on the right. When the road ends, turn left and there should be a Tsuruya Drug store on the left. Take the second right.), ☎ +81 22 222-6329 ([email protected], fax: +81 22 265-7551), . checkin: before 10:00 pm; checkout: 9:00 am. Run by a nice family. Has a small indoor garden and ample facilities such as free wifi and on-site drink vending machines. The Tsuruya Drug store down the street sells convenience foods and is open until 10 am. Showers open 7-9am and 7-11pm. Dorm beds from ¥3,990, Japanese-style 6-tatami-sized rooms from ¥4,590 (the "economy pack plan"). Meals extra.
- Holiday Inn Sendai, 1-4-1 Shintera, Wakabayashi-ku (6 min from Sendai Station.), ☎ +81 22 256-5111, . Opened in 2001, this modern, fairly pleasant business hotel is within walking distance of Sendai station (at least if you don't have much luggage). Rooms are small but comfortable, and the breakfast buffet is a notch above the usual. Single room ¥6,500.
- Hotel Sendai Plaza, 2-20-1 Hon-chou, Aoba-ku, ☎ +81 22 262-7111 (fax: +81 22 262-8169), .
- Hotelcoms Annex Sendai, 2-8-11 Chuo, Aoba-ku, ☎ +81 22 221-8111, . Room sizes are above average for a business hotel, each room are equipped with a private windows PC and LCD TV. Single room ¥5,000.
- Hotel Metropolitan Sendai, 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, ☎ +81 22 268-2525 ([email protected], fax: +81 22 268 2521), .
- Sendai Royal Park Hotel, 6-2-1 Teraoka, Izumi-ku.
- Hot springs
- Akiu is about 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station (West Exit Bus Pool). Sakkan (a hotel) is right next to the bus stop.
- Sakunami is about 20 minutes by train on the Senzan Line from Sendai Station.
- Naruko is popular hot springs in Sendai.
- Matsushima, located about 40 minutes away by local train (Senseki Line), is a bay full of tiny pine covered islands and is recognized as one of the three most beautiful views in Japan.
- Kinkasan, 60 km away at the tip of the Oshika Peninsula, offers light hiking and lots of deer. Walk up the mountain to see monkeys. Stay at the shrine on the island and participate in the morning service (6am).
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