Sendai is the Tohoku region’s largest city and the largest metropolis between the Kanto region and Sapporo in Hokkaido. While it is a little sleepier than some of Japan’s bigger cities, Sendai makes up for it with some amazing food and drink. It’s also a convenient place to stay for visiting scenic Matsushima.
Getting to Sendai
Sendai is just a 90 minute ride from Tokyo on the Shinkansen. The one way fare for a reserved seat is ¥11,410. While booking ahead is generally recommended on the Shinkansen, the frequency of services to Sendai means you can usually just buy your ticket and jump on the train when you arrive at Tokyo Station. If you’re travelling on a JR Pass or on some JR East passes, your ticket is covered.
Travelling by regular train from Tokyo to Sendai is possible, but will take about 7 hours and cost about ¥6,000. Highway buses take a similar amount of time but can be reserved from about ¥3,700.
Flying to Sendai
With the convenience of the Shinkansen, flying from Tokyo to Sendai is not common. However, there are plenty of flights to other places in Japan and East Asia.
|Narita => Sendai||ANA||¥7,357 (US$68)||Details|
|Narita => Sendai||SAM Columbia||¥8,837 (US$81)||Details|
|Narita => Sendai||Skymark Airlines||¥13,295 (US$122)||Details|
|Osaka => Sendai||ANA||¥6,183 (US$57)||Details|
|Osaka => Sendai||Ibex Airlines||¥11,162 (US$103)||Details|
|Osaka => Sendai||Japan Airlines||¥21,804 (US$200)||Details|
Read our full Tokyo to Sendai transportation guide for all your options.
Getting around in Sendai
Central Sendai is quite walkable, with lots of restaurants around the station, along the Chuo-dori arcade and in the Kokubuncho neighborhood.
The Sendai Subway has two lines—the north-south Namboku Line and the east-west Tozai Line. The lines intercept at Sendai Station. IC cards such as Suica, Pasmo and Icoca can be used on the JR Lines and the subway.
There is also a tourist sightseeing bus called Loople (pronounced ruupuru) which (as the name suggests) runs a loop of sightseeing spots in Sendai. A single trip is ¥260 while a hop-on/hop-off day pass costs ¥630.
Attractions reachable on the Loople include Sendai Mediatheque and the Sendai Castle ruins. The bus leaves from the west exit of Sendai Station.