Sendai Tanabata Matsuri
Renowned as the 'Green City,' Sendai becomes immersed in Tanabata decorations.
© City of SendaiThis is a Tanabata event held in Sendai, the central city of the Tohoku District. Gorgeous decorations made with bamboo and Japanese paper called sasatake are put up in the arcades in front of Sendai Station and in all other parts of the city, in what appears to be a contest for beauty. Nowadays, Tanabata is generally celebrated as a national event on July 7th, but the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri is held in August in accordance with the lunar calendar, which was used before the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Similar events are organized throughout the nation, but the festival held here is the most famous of all. Unique to Sendai are the Seven Ornaments, which embody prayers for progress in studies or calligraphy, the wellbeing of one's family, good health and longevity, prosperous business, a large catch and a rich harvest.
They consist of colored paper in rectangular strips, kimono made of Japanese paper, cranes made by folding square paper, drawstring pouches made of paper, cast nets made of paper, waste baskets made of paper and streamers made of colored paper shaped into rings and joined in chains, or shaped like the brush of a broom.
The tradition of celebrating Tanabata in this region originated more than 400 years ago, around the time of Date Masamune (1567-1636) who was the warlord of the Sendai Clan, but it came to be held in the current grandiose style only after 1928, the year of the Tohoku Industrial Exposition. Although the festival had to be suspended during World War II, it recommenced soon after the war ended with the aim of reviving the city, and developed into the greatest Tanabata event in Japan as well as a major tourist event of the Tohoku District. All kinds of attractions such as fireworks, parades and concerts are also featured during this festival.
[Walk]Sight-seeing course starts from Chuo Dori, which is about 3 minutes' walk from JR Sendai Station.
Place: Entire city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, but mainly Chuo Dori, Higashi Ichibancho Dori and around Shimin Hiroba.
Dates: August 6th-8th
City: Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture