7 Day Trips from Sendai – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Are you looking to explore beyond the bustling city of Sendai? Embark on exciting day trips from Sendai to discover the hidden gems of the Tohoku region. From serene hot springs to historic temples and breathtaking nature, there are plenty of options for unforgettable adventures just a short journey away from Sendai. Join us as we uncover the best day trips from Sendai that will leave you in awe of Japan’s beauty and culture.

Matsushima Bay

Travel tips

  • Distance from Sendai: 15 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 30 minutes
  • To get to Matsushima Bay from Sendai, take the JR Senseki Line from Sendai Station to Matsushima Station. From Matsushima Station, you can walk to the bay or take a short bus ride.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Matsushima Bay

Exploring Matsushima Bay: Things to do

Matsushima Bay is a must-see destination near Sendai, known for its picturesque beauty and unique attractions. One of the top activities to do in Matsushima Bay is to take a boat cruise around the bay, offering stunning views of the countless small islands covered in pine trees. The bay is also famous for its oysters, so make sure to try some fresh seafood while you’re there.

For history enthusiasts, visiting Zuiganji Temple is a must. This historic temple dates back to the 9th century and features beautiful architecture and serene gardens. Another interesting spot is the Godaido Hall, a small temple located on an islet connected by a red bridge, offering panoramic views of the bay.

Nature lovers will enjoy strolling along the waterfront promenade, taking in the fresh sea breeze and admiring the scenic views. Matsushima Bay is also a great place for bird watching, with various species of seabirds and migratory birds making the bay their home.

Overall, Matsushima Bay offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Sendai region.

Yamadera Temple

Travel tips

  • Distance from Sendai: 20 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1 hour by train
  • To get to Yamadera Temple from Sendai, take the JR Senzan Line from Sendai Station to Yamadera Station. From there, it’s a short walk to the temple.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Yamadera Temple

Exploring Yamadera Temple: Things to do

Yamadera Temple, also known as Risshaku-ji, is a historic Buddhist temple located in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. This ancient temple is renowned for its stunning natural surroundings and serene atmosphere, making it a must-see destination for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the top things to do at Yamadera Temple is to climb the 1,015 stone steps that lead up to the main hall. As you ascend the steep staircase, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The climb can be challenging, but the sense of accomplishment and the panoramic vistas make it well worth the effort.

Once you reach the main hall, take some time to explore the temple grounds and admire the beautiful architecture of the various buildings. Don’t miss the Konponchudo Hall, which houses a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Healing. Visitors can also participate in traditional Buddhist rituals, such as lighting incense sticks and offering prayers for good fortune and health.

After exploring the temple complex, take a leisurely stroll through the lush forest surrounding Yamadera. The tranquil setting is perfect for quiet contemplation and meditation, allowing visitors to connect with nature and find inner peace.

Overall, Yamadera Temple offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and spiritual significance, making it a must-visit destination for travelers looking to experience the rich history and tranquility of rural Japan.

Akiu Onsen

Travel tips

  • Distance of Akiu Onsen from Sendai: Approximately 12 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 30 minutes by car
  • How to get there from Sendai: Take the JR Senzan Line from Sendai Station to Akiu Station. From there, transfer to a bus heading to Akiu Onsen. The journey takes about 40 minutes.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Akiu Onsen

Exploring Akiu Onsen: Things to do

Akiu Onsen, a charming hot spring town just a short drive from Sendai, is a must-see destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The town is renowned for its soothing hot springs, which are said to have healing properties due to their mineral content. Visitors can indulge in a traditional Japanese onsen experience by soaking in the therapeutic waters while taking in the picturesque surroundings.

Apart from the relaxing hot springs, Akiu Onsen offers a range of activities to enjoy. Nature enthusiasts can explore the lush forests and scenic hiking trails that surround the town, providing a perfect opportunity to unwind and connect with nature. The Rairaikyo Gorge, with its stunning rock formations and crystal-clear streams, is a popular spot for sightseeing and photography.

For those interested in Japanese culture, Akiu Onsen also boasts historical attractions such as the Akiu Great Falls, a majestic waterfall that is a symbol of the town’s natural beauty. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the riverside promenade to admire the cascading waters and serene atmosphere.

In addition to its natural and cultural offerings, Akiu Onsen is home to charming ryokans and traditional Japanese inns where guests can experience authentic hospitality and savor delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re looking to unwind in the soothing hot springs, explore the scenic surroundings, or immerse yourself in Japanese traditions, Akiu Onsen offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Zao Fox Village

Travel tips

  • Distance from Sendai: Approximately 20 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1 hour by public transportation
  • How to get there: From Sendai Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shiroishi Station. Transfer to the Rikuu East Line and get off at Shiroishi Zao Station. From there, take a taxi or bus to Zao Fox Village.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Zao Fox Village

Exploring Zao Fox Village: Things to do

Zao Fox Village is a captivating destination that offers a unique wildlife experience for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. The main attraction of the village is the opportunity to observe and interact with adorable foxes in a natural setting. These curious creatures roam freely in the village, creating a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that is both charming and educational.

Visitors can feed the foxes, take photos with them, and learn about their behavior from knowledgeable staff members. The village also houses other animals such as rabbits, goats, and ponies, adding to the diversity of the experience. Walking through the picturesque surroundings of Zao Fox Village, guests can enjoy the serene beauty of the forested area and appreciate the harmony between the animals and their environment.

In addition to fox-watching, visitors can explore the village’s gift shop, where they can purchase souvenirs and fox-themed merchandise. There are also opportunities for refreshments at the on-site cafĂ©, allowing guests to relax and recharge before continuing their exploration of the village.

Overall, Zao Fox Village is a must-see destination for anyone seeking a memorable and engaging wildlife encounter. Whether you are a fan of foxes or simply enjoy being in nature, this charming village offers a delightful experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Shiogama Shrine

Travel tips

  • Distance from Sendai: 8 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 30 minutes
  • To get to Shiogama Shrine from Sendai, take the JR Senseki Line from Sendai Station to Hon-Shiogama Station. From there, it’s a short walk to the shrine.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Shiogama Shrine

Exploring Shiogama Shrine: Things to do

Shiogama Shrine is a historic Shinto shrine located in Shiogama City, just a short distance from Sendai. This shrine is renowned for its connection to the sea and is dedicated to the deity of safe sea voyages and abundant fishing.

One of the must-see activities at Shiogama Shrine is to witness the traditional rituals and ceremonies that take place throughout the year. Visitors can observe priests in traditional attire performing sacred rites, offering prayers for the safety of fishermen and seafarers.

Another highlight of Shiogama Shrine is the stunning architecture of the main hall, which features intricate wooden carvings and a distinctive roof design. The serene atmosphere of the shrine grounds provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it an ideal place for quiet contemplation and reflection.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the nearby Shiogama Fish Market, where you can sample fresh seafood and local delicacies. The market offers a glimpse into the region’s rich maritime culture and is a great place to experience the flavors of the sea.

Overall, Shiogama Shrine offers a unique insight into the spiritual and cultural heritage of the region, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper understanding of Japan’s traditional beliefs and practices.

Naruko Gorge

Travel tips

  • Distance from Sendai: 50 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • How to get there: From Sendai, take the JR Tohoku Main Line to Furukawa Station. Transfer to the Rikuu East Line and get off at Naruko Onsen Station. From there, take a bus to Naruko Gorge.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Naruko Gorge

Exploring Naruko Gorge: Things to do

Naruko Gorge is a hidden gem in the Tohoku region of Japan, known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant foliage. The gorge is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. One of the top activities to do in Naruko Gorge is hiking along the picturesque trails that offer breathtaking views of the ravine and surrounding forests. The changing colors of the leaves during autumn make it a popular spot for leaf-peeping and photography.

Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Naruko River, which runs through the gorge, and take in the serene atmosphere of the lush greenery. The area is home to several hot springs, providing a perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of exploration. Don’t miss the chance to try the local specialty, Naruko Onsen Manju, a delicious steamed bun filled with sweet red bean paste.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, there are opportunities for river rafting and canoeing in the Naruko River, offering a unique perspective of the gorge from the water. Birdwatching is another popular activity in the area, with a variety of bird species to spot among the trees and cliffs.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in nature or an active outdoor experience, Naruko Gorge offers something for everyone. Plan your visit to this enchanting destination and immerse yourself in the beauty of Japan’s natural landscapes.

Hiraizumi

Travel tips

  • Distance of Hiraizumi from Sendai: 60 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • To get to Hiraizumi from Sendai, you can take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Sendai Station to Ichinoseki Station. From there, transfer to the JR Tohoku Main Line and get off at Hiraizumi Station. Alternatively, you can take a direct bus from Sendai Station to Hiraizumi.

Exploring Hiraizumi: Things to do

Hiraizumi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a hidden gem in the Tohoku region of Japan that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. The town is renowned for its historic temples and gardens, which date back to the Heian period. One of the must-see attractions in Hiraizumi is the Chuson-ji Temple, known for its stunning Konjiki-do Hall, a golden pavilion that symbolizes the opulence of the Fujiwara clan.

Visitors can also explore the serene Motsu-ji Temple, with its beautiful Pure Land garden that exudes tranquility. Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds and admire the ancient stone pagodas and lush greenery that surround the temple. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Hiraizumi Museum of History provides insights into the town’s past and its significance in Japanese history.

Nature lovers will appreciate the scenic beauty of Hiraizumi, especially during the cherry blossom season when the town is blanketed in pink hues. The Genbikei Gorge offers a picturesque setting for a relaxing walk along the river, with towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters creating a peaceful atmosphere.

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local delicacies in Hiraizumi, such as Wanko Soba, a traditional noodle dish served in small bowls for a unique dining experience. The town’s charming streets lined with traditional shops and cafes provide a perfect backdrop for leisurely exploration.

Overall, Hiraizumi is a destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit for travelers seeking an authentic Japanese experience off the beaten path.

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