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Introducing Sendai

Despite being the largest and most commercially vibrant city in Tōhoku, Sendai is fairly compact, with well-ordered, tree-lined streets that front a ruined castle. Japanese are quick to associate the city with its samurai benefactor, Masamune Date, and its spectacular Tanabata Matsuri, one of Japan's most famous festivals.

Sendai's downtown lies far enough inland to have been spared by the 2011 tsunami; it's as lively as ever, with the best nightlife you'll find in the north. With good transportation connections, it makes a convenient base for exploring some of the more scenic areas of Miyagi and neighbouring prefectures.