One of Japan's Scenic Trio (Nihon Sankei 日本三景) along with Amanohashidate in Kyoto and Miyajima in Hiroshima, Matsushima is one of Japan's most famous tourist spots. It is a group of scenic pine-clad islands in Matsushima Bay, often having fantastic shapes. Besides the islands, there is much more at Matsushima with important temples such as Zuiganji temple and numerous caves. An easy train ride from Sendai, Matsushima sees and endless stream of tourists.
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Sendai 仙台市Pictures of Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture.
One of the Big Three Summer Festivals in the Tohoku region, the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri is Japan's largest, grandest, and most famous Tanabata Festival. Held annually during Aug. 6-8 in Sendai's major shopping arcades festooned with huge and colorful streamers. This is the grand daddy of all Tanabata Festivals in Japan and easily ranked as one of Japan's Top Ten Festivals. I revisited this festival in Aug. 2009 and selected over 250 shots displayed here. Included are shots of the streamers being set up on the first day, Tanabata fireworks, and the evening entertainment. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Also called Aobajo or Aoba Castle, Sendai Castle was the home and administrative center of the Date clan starting with warlord Date Masamune who built the castle in 1601. Due to wartime bombing, no original buildings remain. Only the Waki-yagura turret was reconstructed in 1965. The castle site is on Aobayama, a hill overlooking downtown Sendai. A large statue of Masamune, various monuments, and a shrine now occupy the Honmaru site.
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