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Most viewed - Sendai 仙台市
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Held annually during Aug. 6-8, the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri is Japan's largest, grandest, and most famous Tanabata Festival. Commonly called the Star Festival, Tanabata Matsuri features large colorful, streamer decorations (called take-kazari).583 views
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JR Sendai Station on the west side (Nishi-guchi). This is the main side. There is a tourist information office inside the station where you can pick up maps and pamphlets, maybe in English too.359 views
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You could write a wish on the paper and hang it on the bamboo branch. I wrote "Live long and prosper."297 views
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City of trees on a main road in Sendai.277 views
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In the Shimin Hiroba was also this space.259 views
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Street lamp239 views
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My YouTube video of Sendai Tanabata featuring the festival eve on Aug. 5, 2009 when they had fireworks and the morning of Aug. 6 when they were setting up the Tanabata decorations. 238 views
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Hip hop236 views
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Many girls (and kids) dressed in yukata (cotton kimono) came to see the Tanabata Festival. Her facial reaction was typical.231 views
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Hirose River, teeming with wildlife.218 views
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Sendai Castle's Waki-yagura turret at the site of Otemon Gate. Reconstructed in 1965. We cannot enter it. 脇櫓215 views
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The take-kazari bamboo decorations were marvelous. A myriad of designs and variety. Paper was the main material used to make all these decorations, unlike the predominant plastic found at other Tamabata Festivals in Japan.208 views
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Waki-yagura turret at Sendai Castle.205 views
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Statue of Lord Date Masamune at Sendai Castle's Honmaru. 205 views
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On the morning of Aug. 6, the first day of Sendai Tanabata, shop owners started to set up their tanabata bamboo decorations from around 8 am to 9 am.204 views
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My YouTube video of Sendai Tanabata featuring Tanabata decorations and seeing the evening entertainment (Awa Odori, Tanabata dancers, etc.) on Jozenji-dori during 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. 194 views
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Statue of Lord Date Masamune at Sendai Castle's Honmaru. One of the most popular and famous samurai of all time.186 views
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Tiny origami paper cranes. Guess how many paper cranes there are? Over 1 million.185 views
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View from Sendai Castle's Honmaru. Sendai has over a million people. On clear days, you can also see the Pacific Ocean.184 views
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If you look closely, you can that see one of his eyes is blind.184 views
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This was my second time to see Sendai Tanabata. The first time was quite some time ago. I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed.172 views
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A short walk from Jozenji-dori is the Shimin Hiroba (Citizens' Square) where there was a stage for more entertaining performances by numerous groups. The program started at 6 pm and ended at 8:45 pm.164 views
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Inside Sendai Station's west side. A great greeting for visitors to Sendai during Tanabata Matsuri.149 views
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In Sendai, famous daimyo Date Masamune had the warrior and merchant classes observe the Star Festival. 148 views
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Eye-catching trio of yukata-clad girls.147 views
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The festival is said to have originated from a Star Festival in China. According to Chinese legend, east of the Milky Way there was a Heavenly King whose daughter worked as a weaver. However, when she married a herdsman, she quit weaving. 140 views
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This decoration had little owl-shaped paper balloons. These girls are blowing air into the balloons with a straw. Sendai Tanabata.137 views
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Lucky Alex...129 views
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Route of the Sendai Loop bus. Get off at Sendai-joshi to see Sendai Castle. The bus will take you all the way to the top of the hill where the castle is. Much easier than walking up.127 views
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Map of Sendai Castle site. It's quite a large site, with museums and other facilities occupying the former castle site. The Honmaru (partially hidden) is on the right of the map.126 views
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Many of the Tanabata streamers are quite commercial, with sponsors prominently displayed on the streamers.125 views
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The yukata has become quite modern. You no longer have to put your hair up when wearing one.124 views
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It's nearly impossible to define or describe an outstanding decoration, but you know it when you see it.123 views
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This angered her father who banished the herdsman to the other side of the Milky Way. He allowed the two to meet only once a year on the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month (according to the lunar calendar). 121 views
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I arrived in Sendai on Aug. 4, 2009, two days before the festival, and Sendai Station here was already decorated with these huge tanabata streamers. Very impressive.120 views
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Entrance to Tsutsujigaoka Park in Sendai, Miyagi. The park is near Tsutsujigaoka Station on the JR Senseki Line, one stop from Sendai Station.120 views
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On Aug. 4, two days before the start of Tanabata Festival, the shopping arcades already had these bamboo poles with ropes set up.119 views
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Sendai International Center118 views
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Miyagi-ken Gokoku Shrine in Sendai Castle. Emperor Hirohito as well as Crown Prince Akihito (current emperor) visited this shrine to pay their respects. 宮城縣護國神社117 views
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People who wear yukata know how to enjoy each of Japan's seasons.115 views
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The pedestrian overpass connected to Sendai Station is also decorated.115 views
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Attaching the ball to the body of the decoration.114 views
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Waki-yagura turret at the site of Otemon Gate.114 views
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Statue of Hasekura Tsunenaga, a samurai retainer of Date Masamune who sent him to the Vatican in 1613. 支倉常長114 views
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Small museum in Honmaru showing results of excavation work and stone wall reconstruction. 113 views
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This is the Hapina Nakakecho arcade. "Hapina" stands for "Heartful Amenity Place Interfaced Natural Arcade." It also refers to "happy." When the Japanese create a new name, they love puns.112 views
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Korean performers.112 views
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Sendai Castle's Honmaru.111 views
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These people are spreading the wings of the origami cranes.110 views
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Inside Sendai Station, heading to train platforms.110 views
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Statue of Lord Date Masamune at Sendai Castle's Honmaru. Very popular for picture-taking.110 views
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Subway train in Sendai.109 views
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About the Otemon Gate.109 views
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Miyagi-ken Gokoku Shrine enshrines Miyagi Prefecture's war dead since 1868. There are over 56,000 war dead.108 views
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Bottom of the paper cranes.107 views
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Pieces of bamboo hung from the ropes on bamboo poles.107 views
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Morning rush hour at Sendai Station. People heading for the exit inside Sendai Station.107 views
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Kamikaze suicide fighter pilot memorial next to a war museum within the shrine.106 views
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During the Tohoku Industrial Expo in 1928, the forerunner of today's Tanabata Festival was held. Sendai merchants strived to uphold the tradition, resulting in today's elaborate and gaudy Tanabata decorations.105 views
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Sendai Tanabata Fireworks on Aug. 5, 7:30 pm to 9 pm. It was impressive. The theme was "Ring of Love."105 views
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Sendai Castle site's torii. The torii is here because there's a Shinto shrine in Honmaru.105 views
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According to the legend, the original date of Tanabata is July 7 according to the lunar calendar which is about a month behind the calendar we use today. Some places hold the festival on July 7 to match the original, numeric date.104 views
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Nishi Park in Sendai is full of people on fireworks night.104 views
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Stone wall at the site of Otemon Gate.104 views
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Honmaru northern stone wall.104 views
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Inside Sendai Station is a large information booth where you can obtain maps and pamphlets of Sendai and Tanabata Matsuri.103 views
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The area has these nice multi-lingual plaques explaining the points of interest with a map included.103 views
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Map of the original Sendai Castle also called Aobajo or Aoba Castle since the castle is on Aobayama or Mt. Aoba. Sumo fans might know the name Aobajo, a sumo wrestler from Sendai active in the 1980s.103 views
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The weaver is represented by the Vega star and the herdsman by the Altair star. As a prayer to produce better arts and crafts, the Imperial Court and the warrior class paid homage to these two stars from ancient times. This practice spread to the masses.102 views
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The shopping arcades on the west side of Sendai Station is where the Tanabata decorations are. The main arcades where you can see the streamers are basically on two arcade roads: Chuo-dori and Ichibancho-dori. They intersect at a T-intersection.102 views
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Local cheerleaders included these kids.102 views
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Tanabata decorations outside S-PAL, a shopping complex next to Sendai Station.102 views
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Tanabata decorations at the entrance of Sendai Station.102 views
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Site of Nenomon Gate. This leads to Sendai City Museum in the castle area called Sannomaru. 子門102 views
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About the Waki-yagura turret.102 views
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Next to the Honmaru northern stone wall is this large torii gate and steps going up to the Honmaru, the castle's central keep. This place in front of the torii was a parking lot before. Glad that parking is no longer allowed here.102 views
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Sample stone work on a castle wall.102 views
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Monument for the war dead.102 views
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Sendai City Loop bus goes to the major tourist spots in Sendai. Most convenient to get to Sendai Castle. 250 yen per ride or 600 yen for a day pass.101 views
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Trains in Tohoku have a door open/close button to save on air-conditioning or heating.100 views
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Statue of Hasekura Tsunenaga acros the road from the Waki-yagura.100 views
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From the city, this is what the castle site looks like on Aobayama. You can see the lookout deck.100 views
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Monument for Doi (Tsuchii) Bansui who created the song, "Kōjō no tsuki" (荒城の月 lit. "Moonlit castle ruins") which is about Sendai Castle. 土井 晩翠100 views
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One bamboo pole has several decorations and each one hangs on a rope.99 views
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Setting up Tanabata bamboo decorations.99 views
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Tanabata Matsuri is held in many parts of Japan, usually in shopping arcades to draw customers. The more famous ones are in Hiratsuka in Kanagawa and Asagaya in Tokyo.99 views
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Goshikunuma Swamp is a moat of Sannomaru.99 views
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As you climb up the Aobayama, you pass through the sites of former gates. This one was Nakanomon Gate. 中門99 views
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View from Sendai Castle's Honmaru.99 views
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These decorations cannot be massed produced, all one of a kind.98 views
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It rained sometimes during the Tanabata Festival since the Tohoku region was still in the rainy season.98 views
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This is Sun Mall Ichibancho. This Ichibancho-dori road is also straight, but consists of three seamless shopping arcades: Sun Mall Ichibancho, Brand Dome Ichibancho, and Ichibancho Yon-chome.98 views
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Female lover in heaven98 views
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Outside Sendai Station, they are constructing the Tozai subway line due to open in 2015.98 views
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Sculpture in Sannomaru.98 views
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It's also possible to walk to the park from Sendai Station, about 20 min.98 views
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The decorations can cost thousands of dollars or even tens of thousands of dollars (US$). (Hundreds of thousands of yen or a few million yen.) 97 views
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Origami paper cranes is actually one type of Tanabata decorations. Many decorations had paper cranes as you can see here.97 views
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Kids loved to jump and try to touch the streamers.97 views
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During the morning of Aug. 6 the first day, a team of judges wearing a white cap and yellow shirt proceed through the decorations for judging. Dressed in pink is the back is one of the three Sendai Goodwill Ambassadors (not Miss Tanabata).97 views
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Organizations who made the 1 million+ paper cranes. About 25,000 people from all over Japan from age 5 to 103 made over 1 million paper cranes. That's an average of 40 cranes per person.97 views
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Origami paper cranes.96 views
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This road was filled with people as well for the fireworks.96 views
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You can see Tanabata in various locations (smaller scale) in Japan such as Hiratsuka in Kanagawa held around July 7 and Asagaya and Fussa in Tokyo around Aug. 7.96 views
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The streamers can also be quite hypnotizing if not captivating.96 views
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Climb further and you'll reach large stone walls, called the Honmaru northern stone wall. 96 views
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View from Sendai Castle's Honmaru.96 views
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After the festival ends, many of these decorations are discarded. But some are donated to a shopping arcade in Fukuoka (Kyushu). 95 views
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About the Honmaru northern stone wall.95 views
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The crowd take pictures in front of this Outstanding Award decoration.94 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.94 views
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By 10 am on the first day of Aug. 6, most all of the Tanabata decorations were set up. Large crowds soon followed.94 views
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Write your wish on a paper tag and affix it to the bamboo branch.94 views
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Inside Sendai subway train.94 views
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About the sample stone walls.94 views
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Also in the Honmaru area is Gokoku Shrine decorated here during the Tanabata Star Festival in early Aug. 宮城縣護國神社94 views
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The Chuo-dori arcade is about 750 meters long. Although this arcade is a straight and continuous road, it is actually consists of three seamless arcades named Hapina Nakakecho (ハピナ名掛丁), Clis Road, and Marble Road Omachi.93 views
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People were amazed at these cranes. This is one type of streamer you won't see at other Tanabata Festivals in Japan.93 views
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Interview by local TV.93 views
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The decorations are given awards such as the Gold and Silver Awards. The winners are announced later in the day, and the winning decorations are tagged with the awards. This is the Gold Award.93 views
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This large tanabata bamboo was being set up on Aug. 4.93 views
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Gold Award + Outstanding Award.93 views
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Hoisting up the bamboo support pole.93 views
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Peace message.92 views
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It says "No More Hiroshima."92 views
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Corner of Honmaru northern stone wall.92 views
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Waki-yagura as seen from afar.92 views
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Votive tablets for sale at Gokoku Shrine. Special tanabata ones during early Aug.92 views
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These photos were taken in early May 2012.92 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.91 views
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Sendai's shopping arcades were obviously designed for tanabata decorations. There are eyelets or hooks for ropes on the ceiling.91 views
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Lookout point on Sendai Castle's Honmaru.91 views
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Silver Award. Besides awards for individual decorations, awards are given to the shopping arcade as a whole for the bext decorations.90 views
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Attaching ropes. The decorations will later be attached to these ropes.90 views
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Closeups of one of the best take-kazari of 2009.90 views
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On the evening of Aug. 5, the Tanabata Festival Eve, a fireworks display is held at Nishi Koen Park. Here are many girls in yukata waiting for friends at Sendai Station to see the fireworks.90 views
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The original Otemon Gate was here, between the Waki-yagura on the right and stone wall on the left.90 views
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Honmaru is a large flat area overlooking central Sendai. This was where the castle palace was, the castle lord's actual residence.90 views
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These are original Edo Period stones removed when the stone wall was renovated. These stones could not be reused.90 views
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Sample stone work on a castle wall.90 views
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Kids writing their wishes.89 views
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No smoking in the shopping arcades.89 views
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This was the 34th Tanabata Decoration of Peace. Aug. 6, the first day of the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri, also happens to be the anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.89 views
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Hapina arcade89 views
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Fujisaki's decoration is at the T-intersection between Chuo-dori and Ichibancho-dori.89 views
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A nice long row of weeping cherry trees at Tsutsujigaoka Park, Sendai.89 views
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The walls also have eyelets/hooks for ropes to support the bamboo poles.88 views
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Another crowd favorite was these streamers made of tiny origami paper cranes. 88 views
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The decorations usually arrive in huge plastic bags, especially the outdoor ones. This is the Fujisaki decoration.88 views
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Perhaps she wished for a rich husband.88 views
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Sendai Castle marker88 views
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Male lover in heaven87 views
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When the decorations are unpacked or unraveled, they are freshened up. 87 views
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Date Masamune87 views
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Types of tanabata decorations.87 views
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Extravagant Award87 views
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Marble Road Omachi87 views
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Tanabata appeals to all ages, from little kids to grandmothers.87 views
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Triangular stones are used.87 views
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Drilling86 views
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Many decorations are really advertisements. But others have no ads and they are splendid. Keep in mind that the Tanabata Festival was started by local merchants, so it has commercial roots. It's not a religious event.86 views
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On escalators in Sendai, they stand on the right side. (Not on the left side as in Tokyo.)86 views
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Bus stop outside Sendai Station.86 views
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Regular-size paper cranes.85 views
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In Sun Mall Ichibancho, a traditional kami-shibai picture card story was told.85 views
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Sendai subway station85 views
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Poster for the new Tozai subway line in Sendai to open in 2015.84 views
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Subway stations on the existing subway line in Sendai.84 views
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Folk History Museum. Didn't have time to enter.84 views
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I was too late for the Somei Yoshino trees.84 views
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Bottom view83 views
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Tokushima Awa Odori dancers at Sendai Tanabata Matsuri Festival.83 views
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Travel photos (Matsushima)83 views
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This one was clearly a crowd favorite, and not surprisingly, it won the Outstanding Award.83 views
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Ichiban-cho Yon-chome arcade is outdoors.82 views
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Puppets81 views
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Also here is a cramped enclave of many little bars and shops.81 views
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At night.81 views
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The varieties of cherry blossoms in the park.81 views
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For people outside Japan wanting to make tanabata decorations for a Japan event, let these photos give you some design ideas.80 views
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Koi fish made of tiny balls stuck onto the paper.80 views
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There is no longer a Tanabata Parade in the evening. Instead of a parade, there are various performances at several areas on the main street of Jozenji-dori during 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm every evening during Aug. 6-8.80 views
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Sun Mall80 views
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Grassy lawn in the center of the park.80 views
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International decoration79 views
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North Korean abductee, Megumi79 views
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