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Sendai Castle In Miyagi Prefecture - Highlights And Scenic Spots

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Sendai castle, located in the city of Sendai, was completed in 1601 during the rule of the first leader of Sendai, Date Masamune. Currently, the castle grounds is a park where you can feel the history and view the city from above.

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What is Sendai Castle?


Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association

Sendai Castle is located in Sendai in the Tohoku region and was built by the city's first ruler of the area (hanshu, *1), Date Masamune, in 1601. With the honmaru (*2) surrounded by a cliff on the east side, a forest on the west side, and a valley on the southern side, this castle is constructed using the complicated structures of nature to protect itself.

The castle is otherwise known as the Aoba Castle due to the castle being built on Mt. Aoba.

Unfortunately, the majority of the castle was lost to a great fire and only its stone walls remain today. However, if you visit the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan built at the ruins of Sendai Castle, you can find historical artifacts related to Sendai Castle and see its past glory.
*1 han: An area classification during the Edo period. Feudal lords governed the area and organizations within.
*2 honmaru: The most important section of the castle. Normally it is where the lord of the castle lives.

Basic Information About Sendai Castle

Admission Fee

You may enter Sendai Castle remains for free. To enter the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan's museum displays, it costs 700 yen per adult, 500 yen for middle and high school students, and 300 yen for elementary school students.

Hours of Operation

You can enter and leave anytime you wish at the Sendai Castle.

The museum is open from 9:00-17:00 (to 16:00 between November 4th-March 31st). Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing time and is open all year around.

Highlights of Sendai Castle


Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association

Currently, the Sendai Castle ruins are called Mt. Aoba park and are a rest stop for those touring around Sendai and also a place for people to relax. From the honmaru ruins, not only can you see the entire city of Sendai from above, but you can also see the Pacific Ocean in the distance as well. In addition to that, you can see a different view of the castle when the stone walls and the statue of Date Masamune are lit up from sundown to 22:00. For those visiting the castle at night, the restaurant inside the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan is also open until 22:00, so why not have a memorable dinner with a panoramic view of the nightscape of Sendai?

Access to Sendai Castle

From Sendai Station, get on the Loople Sendai Bus from stop 16 from the West exit bus pool and get off at Sendaijo-ato. For more information about getting to Sendai from Tokyo, please read Sendai Travel Guide: 21 Sightseeing Spots, Access, Souvenirs and More!

Events Held Around Sendai Castle

Sendai Aoba Festival


Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association

The Sendai Aoba festival is held every Saturday and Sunday of May every year. It is considered to be part of the top three festivals of Sendai along with the Sendai Tanabata Festival and the SENDAI Pageant of Starlight. As one of the highlights of the festival, you will be able to see the unique dance called the Suzume Odori where performers dance like the moment of a sparrow feeding.

You may join the festivities on the day of the celebration, so why not dance with the other performers?

Welcoming Events

Every Saturday around the Sendai Castle ruins, you can see a performance by the Date Bushotai. They are a group of men in samurai outfits that do a performance on stage with a mix of bold actions and funny, comical scenes mixed in. This is a must-see for history lovers!

Performances are from 10:30-16:00 but schedules and shows are subject to change. For more information, please look at the official site of the Date Bushotai (Japanese).

Three Things You Can Do at the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan

The Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan was constructed on the remains of the Sendai Castle and is now a place where you can see rare artifacts, try authentic dishes of Sendai, and find shops that sell local specialties.

1. Learn the History of Sendai Castle at the Aoba Castle Documents Display Hall


Photo courtesy of Aoba Documents Display Hall
Official documents, panels, and models related to the Sendai Castles are on display in addition to a replicated CG display of how the Sendai Castle and the castle town looked during the Edo period. Here, you will be able to experience what life was like during that time too. At the high vision CG theater, you can get a bird's eye view of the inside of the honmaru and experience how it may have felt like walking through the grand halls of the castle.

2. Savor the Sendai Specialty: Gyutan (Beef Tongue)


Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association

Gyutan or beef tongue is a well-known specialty dish in Sendai. The founder of Aji Tasuke, Sendai's first gyutan shop in Sendai created the gyutan grill after getting hooked on the beef tongue used in western dishes. After serving it in his store, it became widely known to the point people now associate gyutan with Sendai. At the Honmaru Kaikan, you can taste the gyutan at Date's Gyutan Restaurant or at the Japanese restaurant, Sendai.

3. Find Sendai Souvenirs Like Zunda Sweets


Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association

Zunda (*3) is a popular confectionery from Sendai with a distinctive color, sweetness, and flavor to it. Along with the smooth texture, it is made with edamame beans and contains calcium, Vitamin B1, B2, and C. Not only does it taste great, but it is also good for your health and helps beautify your skin as well. Aside from zunda sweets, you can find other great Sendai sweets such as the custard-filled sponge cake called Hagi no Tsuki which is sold at the Honmaru Kaikan.

To find the best of Sendai all at once, how about visiting Sendai Castle?

*3 zunda: A dish where edamame beans have been boiled, peeled and crushed before mixing it with sugar.

Written by


Miho Moriya


MATCHA editor and freelance writer. Born, raised, and currently living in Tokyo. Have visited over 30 countries and lived in four different prefectures. I have traveled to almost all 47 prefectures in Japan! I try to create articles that help convey the charms of a destination through words and pictures. I love forests, temples, and camels.
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