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


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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.

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Monthly Weather in Sendai

Best Hotels in Sendai

  • Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East Sendai (Miyagi) 282 rooms from AU$144

    Local exploring  -  There is direct access to Sendai train station so it's the perfect location for exploring further afield
    City Style  -  Sleek rooms, plush bathrooms, elegant communal spaces and wonderful views adds up to a chic city stay
    Value chic  -  Reasonable rates for a charming stay in stylish surroundings
    Great walks  -  Enjoy strolling through nearby Tsutsujigaoka Park with its Japanese garden and Nishikicho Park in cherry blossom season
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessViewsNo pets

    A sophisticated hotel in downtown Sendai. Rooms are stylishly decorated with sumptuous soft furnishings and subtle lighting. The bathrooms are spacious and plush; some with jetted tubs. There's an elegant restaurant, bar and terrace with stunning views. A relaxing escape close to the city buzz. See More

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  • Taoya Akiu Sendai (Miyagi) 148 rooms from AU$356

    Groups  -  The Special Room is perfect for groups as it has three separate rooms and can accommodate seven people
    Local exploring  -  It's an ideal location to explore nearby waterfalls, shrines and nature parks
    Sights nearby  -  Space fans should head to nearby Sendai City Astronomical Observatory and experience the scale of the universe
    Great walks  -  A walk through Iwara Gorge Rairaikyo is a must with spectacular scenery all year round
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    Set in Taihaku Ward, this hotel offers spacious and stylish rooms. For those who love to lounge, there's a chilled-out lobby, library and bar, plus a sitting room with a fireplace looking out to the garden. Open-air, indoor & private baths complete the relaxation picture for a truly tranquil stay. See More

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  • Sakunami Onsen Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo Sendai (Miyagi) 118 rooms from AU$751

    Total relaxation  -  There's lots to do without leaving the hotel — relax in chill-out hammocks, read in the library or go for a swim
    Romantic Break  -  Book the King Suite for a private open-air bath, sauna and gorgeous views from the balcony
    Sights nearby  -  It's a short drive to Akiu Otaki Falls which is nestled in a lush valley close to a temple
    Great walks  -  Mt. Kamakurayama with its breathtaking views is a short drive away
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Set in leafy grounds by the Hirose River, this adult-only hotel offers an all-inclusive stay. Elegant rooms are warm and comfortable; the cosiness continues with the snug lounge featuring a piano and fireplace. Outside there's a lush garden, terrace, and pool with wonderful views. Grown-up bliss. See More

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  • Saryo Souen Sendai 26 rooms from AU$1001

    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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