Top things to do

Top Choice Bar in Sendai

Peter Pan

A music-loving father-and-son team runs this lounge-room-vibe 'rock' bar. Dad provides the soundtrack with his extensive, alternative-rock vinyl collection, while his son busies himself with the clientele. Coffee, b…
Top Choice Historic Building in Sendai

Zuihō-den Mausoleum

The mausoleum of Date Masamune sits majestically atop the summit of a tree-covered hill by the Hirose-gawa. Built in 1637 but destroyed by Allied bombing during WWII, the current building, completed in 1979, is an e…
Top Choice Vegetarian in Sendai

Ohisamaya

Vegetable curries, macrobiotic tofu and fresh, colourful salads are the highlights of this delightful, minimalist cafe, which rotates its menu regularly from a library of cookbooks on display. The occasional fish pr…
Buddhist Temple in Matsushima

Zuigan-ji

Tōhoku’s finest Zen temple, Zuigan-ji was established in AD 828. The present buildings were constructed in 1606 by Date Masamune to serve as a family temple and the Hondo (main hall) has been beautifully restored to…
Cultural in Sendai

Sendai Tanabata Matsuri

The Tanabata Matsuri celebrates a Chinese legend about two stars: Vega, a king’s daughter, who fell in love with Altair, a common herder. The king disapproved, so he formed the Milky Way between them. Once a year ma…
Arts & Crafts in Sendai

Kogensya

Buy handmade wares from all over Tōhoku at this elegant, perfectly curated shop. It's a lovely spot to pick up high-quality souvenirs for gifts (which will be beautifully wrapped while you wait). It's right on the c…
Music in Sendai

Jōzenji Street Jazz Festival

Hundreds of buskers from across Japan perform in Sendai’s streets and arcades. Book your accommodation way, way in advance.
Museum in Ishinomaki

Ishinomori Mangattan Museum

This popular manga museum's otherworldly spaceship structure survived the tsunami largely intact, while the collection has since been restored and rejuvenated. The work of influential manga-ka (cartoonist) and local…
Sweets in Matsushima

Shodako

One the 2nd floor, with huge windows overlooking the bay, this light-filled, minimalist cafe specialises in castella, a moist, sponge-like cake originally brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century…
Craft Beer in Sendai

Craftsman Sendai

When there's a global trend, like craft beer, the Japanese are never far behind. This small Craftsman outlet (a few are popping up around Japan) combines casual Italian dining (tapas plate ¥1450) with Japan's indepe…