Sendai Tanabata Festival

A star festival with gorgeous “Tanabata” streamers decorating the city

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A popular summer festival with splendid elegant Tanabata streamers hanging from above as if they were falling from the sky. Visitors are invited into a world of dreams decorated by episodes from the romantic tale of “Tanabata”.
Business Hours

Aug. 6th - Aug.8th of every year
Address
Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai, Aoba-ku, Honchō, 3 Chome−9 
Phone
(022) 265-8185

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About

3000 Tanabata streamers greet you

The 400-year-old Tanabata Festival that the first lord of the Sendai domain, Masamune Date, took part in is one of The Three Great Festivals of Tohoku and attracts more than 2 million people annually. This festival which is famous for its grace has around 3000 colorful Tanabata streamers made of bamboo and washi paper draped everywhere around the city of Sendai, the largest number in Japan. In particular, the area around Sendai Station and arcade streets such as Ichibancho and Chuo Avenue have the brightest large-scale streamers which delight the eyes of visitors.

A romantic love story in the starry sky

The Tanabata is a festival that celebrates the well-known tale of love between a woman living in the world of stars who was an excellent weaver and a young man who loved farming. The couple fell in love which led them to seemingly neglect their work and art, thereby incurring the wrath of the weaver’s father, the Sky King, who forbade them to meet ever again. However, once a year on the night of the Tanabata, the lovers are allowed to meet once. The romantic tale adorns the festival and the Tanabata continues to be celebrated as a custom to pray for the improvement of art and a good harvest.

Many events to celebrate at the Tanabata Festival

Plenty of events are held during the time of the festival. On the eve of the festival, there is a fireworks festival whose 16,000 explosions marvelously light up the summer night sky. At the Omatsuri Hiroba (Festival Plaza), a variety of events are also held there, and the place is filled with enjoyable art workshops and stage performances. There is also a food court serving regional cuisine where you can enjoy the food of Sendai. You will also want to visit the historic site of Zuiho-den, the mausoleum of Masamune Date, which is away from the center of the city but also has a number of events. During the festival, the Zuiho-den Tanabata Night is held, and at the final resting place of Date, there is magical illumination by bamboo lighting.

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Reviews

2 years ago
Japan's biggest festival was as grand as expected
I went to Sendai's Tanabata Festival because I heard that it was Japan's largest scale festival, but it was even more lively than I expected. The place was jam-packed with people, but there were beautiful decorations all over the place that put you in the festival mood just by looking at them! Before heading back, I stopped by a popular store to try some beef tongue and it was amazing! It was so meaty and juicy! The beef-tail soup was so tender and delicious. I definitely want to come back to Sendai again during another season!
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