Sendai Tanabata Festival

Experience one of Tohoku’s most popular summer festivals, with spectacular decorations

Every year, on the 7th day of the 7th month, japan celebrates the Tanabata festival, also known as the star festival. This festival is based on an ancient Chinese legend about star-crossed lovers, Altair and Vega, who are represented by the two stars Orihime and Hikoboshi. According to the legend, these lovers are separated by the Milky Way and can only meet on one night a year. Tanabata festivals are held all over Japan, but the biggest and most extravagant one takes place in Sendai City from August 6-8.

Sendai’s Tanabata festival is a sight to behold. The city’s shopping arcades are transformed into a vibrant and colorful wonderland, adorned with handmade decorations and streamers. These decorations, made by local artisans, are a sight to behold. They are meticulously crafted with attention to detail, and the vibrant colors add to the festive atmosphere. Walking through the arcades feels like stepping into a different world, where wishes and dreams come to life.

One of the highlights of the festival is the big streamers that hang from the arcades. These streamers, several meters tall, create a mesmerizing visual spectacle. They sway gently in the breeze, adding movement and life to the decorations. Visitors can’t help but be in awe of the sheer size and beauty of these streamers. It’s a unique experience that can only be witnessed during the Tanabata festival in Sendai.

Another not-to-be-missed event during the festival is the fireworks display. On the night before the festival officially begins, a mesmerizing fireworks show lights up the sky. The fireworks are carefully choreographed to create stunning patterns and colors, mesmerizing the spectators. It’s a breathtaking display of artistry and skill that adds to the festive atmosphere of the festival.

Now, let’s talk about how to get to Sendai to experience this incredible festival. There are several options available, depending on your preference and budget. The most convenient and fastest way to reach Sendai from Tokyo is by bullet train. The Tohoku Shinkansen will take you from Tokyo to Sendai Station in approximately one hour and 30 minutes. The bullet train is known for its speed, comfort, and efficiency, making it the preferred choice for many travelers.

If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can take a highway bus from Tokyo to Sendai. There are numerous buses available throughout the day, and the journey takes approximately six and a half hours, depending on the traffic. While it may take longer compared to the bullet train, the highway bus offers a more affordable option for those on a tight budget.

For those who value convenience and time, air travel is the best option. There are domestic flights available from Tokyo to Sendai, which take approximately one hour. However, it’s worth noting that air travel is usually the most expensive option.

Once you arrive in Sendai, you’ll be greeted by a city adorned with colorful wishes. The decorations are everywhere, from the shopping arcades to the streets and parks. Each decoration features a large paper ball with sturdy streamers hanging low enough to touch and walk through. It’s a magical experience to be surrounded by these vibrant decorations, as if stepping into a fairy tale.

What makes the Tanabata festival in Sendai even more special is the incorporation of symbolic items into the decorations. For example, a wastebasket represents cleanliness, symbolizing the importance of keeping the environment clean. On the other hand, a net is displayed in hopes of a plentiful catch at sea, representing the city’s strong connection to the ocean. These symbolic items add depth and meaning to the festival, reminding visitors of the values and traditions that are celebrated during Tanabata.

Behind the festivities lies a romantic story that has been passed down through generations. The legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi is a tale of love and sacrifice. Orihime, the weaving princess, and Hikoboshi, the cow-herding shepherd, fell in love and got married. However, their love and happiness caused them to neglect their responsibilities. As a result, Hikoboshi’s cows escaped and wreaked havoc among the heavens. To restore order, Orihime’s strict father allowed the couple to meet only once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month, if they worked hard and fulfilled their duties. This day became known as Tanabata, the day when the lovers are reunited.

The Tanabata festival in Sendai is a celebration of love, dreams, and wishes. It’s a time when the city comes alive with vibrant colors, joyful laughter, and a sense of unity. The festival brings people together, locals and tourists alike, to celebrate the beauty of tradition and the power of love. It’s an experience that will stay with you long after the festival is over.

In conclusion, the Tanabata festival in Sendai is an event not to be missed. It’s a celebration of love, tradition, and community spirit. The city comes alive with vibrant decorations, colorful streamers, and joyful festivities. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the festival offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, mark your calendars and make your way to Sendai to witness the magic of the Tanabata festival.

Address And Maps Location:

1-10-10 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken

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