See and TASTE the legacy of samurai Date Masamune, founder of Sendai City! Popularly known as the ‘One-eyed Dragon’, Date Masamune was well known for his tactical skill, proactive international engagement and also his great love of food, hospitality and the arts. On this tour, first you will get a ‘taste’ of the history of the city as you walk the modern streets, stopping to try some local treats along the way. Become one of the locals yourself as you explore the sights and smells of the ‘Kitchen of Sendai’, visit a temple hidden within the bustling shopping arcade, try your hand at grilling your own Kamaboko fishcake and get lost down retro alleyways! With a full stomach and weary legs, next you’ll jump aboard Sendai’s iconic ‘Loople’ sight-seeing bus, making stops at three locations steeped in ‘Date’ culture: ‘Zuihoden’ (mausoleum of Date Masamune), the ruins of Aoba-castle and, finally, the atmospheric Osaki Hachimangu Shrine.
Meet at the stained-glass windows of Sendai Station. Tour will begin at 12:30.
Visit ‘Date no Komichi’ local produce and souvenir area of Sendai Station to sample some local Japanese sake!
Visit ‘Sendai’s Kitchen’, Sendai Morning Market. Despite its name, this market is open until 6pm and is always buzzing with local shoppers and restaurant owners searching for the freshest local produce from the many fish-mongers, vegetable and fruit stands and specialty stores. Here you will enjoy a local favourite ‘cream-croquette’ from one of the most popular market stalls.
Switching from savory to sweet, the next stop will be ‘Taikichi’ Taiyaki (fish shaped pancake with sweet filling) specialty store. You can enjoy Taiyaki across Japan, but Sendai’s ‘Taikichi’ store is famous for its unique filling flavours, including some Sendai-limited flavours like ‘Zunda-mochi’ or even beef-tongue curry!
After calling-in to another local market for some taste-testing, you will visit ‘Mitaki Fudoson’, a temple hidden within the busy shopping arcade. Hear the story of ‘Sendai Shiro’ and make a prayer for good fortune!
Drop-in to Abehei Kamaboko for some local Sendai cuisine, Sasa-kama fishcake! Shaped into bamboo-leaf shapes from the Date family crest, this fishcake is a staple snack for Sendai locals. Here you can try grilling your own Sasa-kama to enjoy it at its best – straight off the grill!
Continue through the shopping arcade to Sendai’s oldest department store, Fujisaki. After feasting your eyes on all of the tasty goods in the ‘Depa-chika’ basement, discover another mysterious shrine in an unexpected location…
Experience a time-slip into Showa-era Sendai down the back-alleys of Bunka-yokocho and Iroha-yokocho! Soak-up the retro vibes of the various hole-in-the-wall bars, restaurants and shops and take some notes for your dinner later!
And it’s off to follow the footsteps of Date Masamune himself by jumping aboard Sendai’s ‘Loople’ sight-seeing bus.
First, you will alight at the beautiful ‘Zuihoden’, mausoleum of Date Masamune and several generations of the Date family. Enjoy the scenic location and decorative architecture while you learn more about Date’s life and ambitions. (Leave on the 14:55 bus)
Your next stop will be the ruins of Aoba Castle, once the most expansive castle in Japan. Enjoy panaromic views over Sendai City and have your picture taken with Date Masamune himself! Indulge in Date’s favourite snack – Zunda (sweet Edamame bean paste) – in either a unique shake or on top of mochi rice-cake! (Leave on 15:42 bus)
Your last stop on the tour will be shrine of the Date family and spiritual heart of Sendai, Osaki Hachimangu. Walk through the shrine grounds to the main hall, a designated national treasure, to enjoy the intricate Momoyama style architecture. Make a prayer and receive your fortune! (Leave on final bus, 16:43).
Arrive back to Sendai Station. End of tour.