Photo of Sendai

About Sendai

A vibrant city characterised by tree-lined avenues, castle ruins and ancient shrines perched in the shadow of westerly long-dormant volcanoes, Sendai is the capital of the Miyagi Prefecture. Known by locals as the ‘City of Trees’, this is a community of verdant open spaces and a rich culture. This identity is reflected in our pick of the best places to stay in Sendai: intimate, historic and inviting.

The city was founded in 1600 by Date Masamune, a powerful samurai nobleman, who built the once-imposing Sendai Castle and is now commemorated at the Zuihoden Mausoleum. Set atop stone steps within the forest, this ornate landmark is not to be missed. Culture aficionados will also be fascinated by the haunting remains of Sendai Castle, on Mount Aoba, and the accompanying exhibition. The Sendai City Museum details local history, whilst the Akiu Craft Park offers brilliant workshops in doll-making, painting and other traditional crafts. The Osaki Hachimangu Shrine is beguiling.

Round off busy days of discovery with restful soaks in the Sakan onsen baths or tours of the Miyagikyo Distillery, famed for its Nikka whisky. You’ll find that the best places to stay in Sendai fill up fast during the annual Aoba Festival, which includes a colourful traditional parade in May.

The Best Places to Stay in Sendai

For Traditional Charm

  • Bansuitei Ikoiso is a charming, traditional ryokan near the centre of the city. Pick this place for classic Japanese interiors with tatami matting, paper lanterns and futon beds. Lounge in the hot springs, taste regional dishes or hire bicycles to explore the city. Ideal for quiet couples and history buffs.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Tokyo's Haneda International Airport or to Narita International Airport and travel to Sendai by one-hour bullet train. Alternatively, fly directly to Sendai International Airport.
  • You may want your own car if you place to venture beyond the city limits. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • With temperatures peaking at around 27°C, summers are best for exploring the city and enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking or mountain biking in the hills. The changing red, yellow and golden leaves of autumn, however, make this the most picturesque time to visit. Winters are cold but generally dry.

Still Not Sure?


Monthly Weather in Sendai

Best Hotels in Sendai

  • Bansuitei Ikoiso Sendai 18 rooms from £84

    Hideaway  -  An intimate hideaway for couples or friends in the heart of the city, offering a traditional ryokan experience
    Local markets  -  Stroll through the bustling Asaichi market for a flavour of authentic Sendai life
    Local exploring  -  A centrally located hotel, perfect for exploring the sights on foot or bicycle
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the picturesque ruins of Sendai Castle on Mount Aoba
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyParking

    A charming boutique property boasting a central city location. Japanese style rooms feature tatami mats, futon beds, paper lanterns and shutters. Sample authentic Sendai cuisine in the atmospheric restaurant and unwind in the healing hot spring baths. An ideal base for city exploring. See More

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  • Saryo Souen Sendai 26 rooms from £533

    Total relaxation  -  Enjoy a soothing soak in the hot spring bath, known for its high therapeutic efficacy or treat yourself to a relaxing massage
    Local exploring  -  Explore the local village and nearby sites including Rairai-kyo Gorge, a picturesque walk alongside Natori River close by
    Traditional  -  Rooms feature Japanese style decor, including tatami mat flooring
    Local markets  -  Akiu village is a short drive; here you can find a range of local food and produce, including a farmers' market
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenViewsParking

    An idyllic hotel for those seeking peaceful solitude in Sendai. Traditional rooms feature tatami mats and timeless decor, plus lovely garden views. The restaurant serves delicious cuisine from the Tohoku Region, plus there's an exquisite Japanese garden and open air hot spring baths. See More

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