• Culture
  • Miyagi

Sendai Tanabata Festival

©Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

Japan's premier Tanabata festival with a history of 400 years

Every year from August 6 to 8, the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival is held over three days in the city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Recognized as one of the three major festivals in the Tohoku region, the historical festival has been continued from the era of Masamune Date (1567-1636), the founder of the Sendai domain. A crowd of visitors from both around and outside of Japan fill the streets of Sendai during this period to enjoy the gorgeous Tanabata paper ornaments adorning the city.

©Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association

Beautiful bamboo decorations made of washi paper and bamboo

The main feature of the Sendai Tanabata Festival is the gorgeous bamboo decorations newly created every year. The handmade decorations, prepared over months, are hung from huge bamboo stalks over 10 meters long, and each decoration is said to cost from several hundred thousand to several million yen. The tradition is for each shopping district to prepare a set of five bamboos with paper streamers, keeping the designs a secret until the day of the festival, and competing against each other for their lavishness. Also, be sure to look for the Nanatsu-Kazari, the seven paper ornaments each representing various wishes such as for a thriving business and good health, which can be found throughout the town.

©Public Interest Incorporated Foundation ZUIHODEN

Zuihoden Tanabata Night

Zuihoden is a mausoleum that enshrines Lord Masamune Date, the founder of the Sendai domain. Built in 1637, the mausoleum architecture conveys the relic of the Momoyama style. It was designated as a national treasure in 1931, but suffered war damage and burned down in 1945. The current building was rebuilt in 1979 and was beautifully reconstructed in 2001. During the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the opening hours are extended and a light-up event is held. The stone steps on the approach and around the main shrine are illuminated with about 1,200 bamboo lanterns, exhibiting Zuihoden in an otherworldly night atmosphere.

Site of Sendai Castle Night Event

Sendai Castle, also known as Aoba Castle, was built as the estate of Masamune Date on the hill of Mount Aoba overlooking the castle town of Sendai. It is also one of the best spots in Sendai to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. During the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the Site of Sendai Castle Night Event is held by the performers of the Date Bushoutai Samurai Warrior Group, presenting samurai performances against the beautiful nightscape of Sendai.

Location

Name Sendai Tanabata Festival
Website https://www.sendaitanabata.com/en
Address Areas around Ichiban-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi
Access Walking distance from JR Sendai Station
Period of the Event 10:00 to around 22:00 from August 6 to 8 (Until around 21:00 on the final day)
Closed None
Inquiries TEL: 022-265-8185 (Sendai Tanabata Festival Support Association)

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