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Discovering Sendai: Anime Expo Special Edition Tour

Explore traditional and pop culture in northeastern Japan

写真提供:(公財) 仙台観光国際協会

Why Sendai?

Blessed by abundant greenery even in its busy urban centers, Sendai is known throughout Japan by its nickname The City of Trees (Mori no Miyako). The capital of Miyagi prefecture and the largest city in northeastern Japan, Sendai is a dynamic and historically significant city bursting with nature, culture, history, and tradition. On this 3-day 3-night tour, hit all of our top general-interest sightseeing recommendations, famous spots representative of Sendai, and locations associated with popular manga, anime, and games. 

Special Interest Tour

Specially designed for fans of Japanese pop culture, this tour highlights a variety of fun hands-on experiences and numerous anime, manga, and video games with connections to Sendai. From popular Weekly Shonen Jump mega-hits such as Haikyu!! or Jujutsu Kaisen, to fan favorites like Yuri on Ice and March Comes in Like a Lion, to beloved classics like the works of Ishinomori Shotaro, Pokemon, and Slam Dunk, there is something for everyfan in Sendai.

Featured anime/manga/video games include:

  • Bakuten
  • Blue Giant
  • Haikyu!!
  • The works of Ishinomori Shotaro, including: Cyborg 009, Genma Wars, Gilgamesh, Inazuman, Kamen Rider, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Sabu and Ichi’s Detective Memoirs, and the Sherlock Holmes series 
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
  • Jujutsu Kaisen
  • Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens
  • March Comes in Like a Lion
  • Persona 5
  • Pokemon
  • Sengoku Basara
  • She, the Ultimate Weapon (aka Saikano: The Last Love Song on This Little Planet)
  • Slam Dunk
  • Wake Up, Girls!
  • Yuri on Ice
 

Tour at a glance

Inclusions:

Exclusions:

We can also provide the following options for an additional fee:

Minimum number of participants

Please inquire

Maximum number of participants

Please inquire

Cost

From ¥126,000 + tax (per person, based on a group estimate with 2 guests per room)

Tour Length

3 Days, 3 Nights (with optional add-ons)

Tour availability

Year-round, please inquire

Tour Start/End Location

Sendai Station

Important notes

Dietary Restrictions:

Day 1: Exploring Sendai City

Day 1 Tour Highlights

Start your Sendai journey with a guided walking tour of the downtown area, featuring spots connected to popular anime, manga and video games in addition to points of interest related to the local culture and history. On your way, enjoy street foods including taiyaki and kamaboko.

Visit the famous Aoba Castle site. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the city from above, and see the statue of samurai warlord Date Masamune on horseback, an iconic symbol of Sendai (the castle site has been featured in numerous anime and video games, including Bakuten, Blue Giant, Persona 5, Sengoku Basara, and Wake Up, Girls!).

After your visit to the former castle site, stop by the nearby Gokoku Shrine, built to honor those who lost their lives in service to the country (also featured in Persona 5).

Take your pick for a hands-on experience:
* Plastic food sample making
* Shodo Japanese calligraphy

To finish out the morning’s activities, visit the Sendai Giant Kannon, which was the tallest statue in the world at the time of its completion (and remains in the top 10 even now). Take an elevator to the top and work your way down to the ground level while pondering on the numerous solemn statues representing the 108 earthly desires.

Part with your guide, and take a break for a self-guided lunch and tour of anime spots of special interest to you. A custom Google Map of Sendai will be provided as part of the tour package, featuring:

  • Anime/manga related points of interest (the settings of key scenes, etc.)
  • Anime/manga-related lunch/food spots
  • Other delicious lunch/food spots
  • Recommended arcades
  • Recommended shops for anime, manga, games, fan merch, and electronics

After you’ve had your fill of pop-culture pilgrimages, have a dinner of okonomiyaki prepared on a teppan right at your table. To finish off the day, enjoy some Sendai nightlife activities—cosplay karaoke at a karaoke box or gaming at a major arcade.

Relax in your accommodations. Choose from a hotel in central Sendai featuring immersive projection mapping installations or a hotel in central Sendai featured in an anime or manga.

Day 2: Manga Legends in Ishinomaki

Day 2 Tour Highlights

Board the manga/anime themed train to Ishinomaki town and walk along Manga Road toward the Ishinomaki Manga Museum. Make a stop at the Manga Shrine to pay your respects, and enjoy viewing life-sized statues of characters created by manga legend Ishinomori Shotaro along the road. Even if you are unfamiliar with his work, you will quickly recognize his impact on other mangaka and on popular culture worldwide as you stroll toward the museum.

Spend the rest of the morning exploring the gimmicky UFO-shaped museum and have a fun themed lunch at the museum café.

After lunch, enjoy a hands-on experience with an introduction to manga/anime illustration coloring techniques, using Copic markers and/or Clip Studio software. Turn your artwork into a pin or postcard to take home.

Return to Sendai City to explore Sendai’s famous yokocho, the setting of several anime/manga/movies, not to mention countless delicious restaurants. Stop for dinner at an izakaya pub in one of the yokocho.

Before heading back for the night, choose from one of the following nightlife activities:
        * Anime song bar
        * Gamer bar

Return to your hotel to relax and prepare for the next day.

Day 3: Photoshoot and Scenic Temple District

Day 3 Tour Highlights

Choose from one of the following plans for the morning, and spend a day immersed in some of the area’s most stunning scenery and crafting experiences. 

Option 1: Feminine cosplay and a peaceful Buddhist temple

Start out the morning with a cosplay experience. Choose from either Lolita fashion or J-pop idol style; after preparing you will have time to shoot photos in-studio or outside.

Following the photoshoot, explore a Buddhist temple area and try some of its famous fried tofu street food. Take a tour of the temple, guided by a resident monk, including a visit to the temple’s glorious five-story pagoda. Relax with some matcha tea and sweets at the temple teahouse. 

After soaking in the peaceful temple atmosphere, transfer to a hands-on experience—paint your own kokeshi doll, one of the traditional arts of the Sendai area. 

Option 2: Kimono wearing and Matsushima

Be dressed in a kimono by a professional kimono dresser, then stroll the temple district of Matsushima, an area known for its scenic beauty. Stop along the way for photos when you spot a good opportunity. 

Visit a temple featured in Sengoku Basara and another nearby samurai temple featuring an iconic rock garden. Enjoy matcha tea and wagashi sweets at the former teahouse of the samurai warlord “One-Eyed Dragon” Date Masamune. 

Enjoy a sushi lunch in nearby Shiogama (Sushi Capital of Japan), then transfer to a hands-on experience.  Perform the finishing steps of the chopstick making process—cutting them to a length that perfectly suits you, then coating them in a traditional pigment that’s not only colorful, but also has antimicrobial properties.

From the afternoon, travel by private charter vehicle to your accommodations for the night—a traditional ryokan inn in Akiu Onsen, a historic hot springs village known as one of Japan’s Three Royal Hot Springs.

Use the remaining daylight time to explore the onsen village, then enjoy dinner, baths, and relaxation.

Departure Day: Farewell, Sendai

写真提供:(公財) 仙台観光国際協会

Day 4 Tour Highlights

Enjoy a leisurely morning with a luxurious ryokan-style breakfast and one last dip in the hot springs before checking out. 

Take your bags with you if you want to return to Sendai Station right away, or leave them with the front desk of the ryokan to spend more time in the Akiu Onsen village. We’ll provide you with a map of recommended spots, but feel free to wander wherever you like!

Return to the station and bid farewell to beautiful Sendai (…until next time!)

Add-On Option Day 4: Samurai culture and Sengoku Basara

写真提供:宮城県観光戦略課

Day 4 Tour Highlights

After checking out of your ryokan, visit the magnificent Shiroishi Castle (featured in Sengoku Basara). Be dressed in samurai armor and take photos around the castle grounds.

Refresh with a lunch of ramen or Shiroishi umen (the local noodle specialty), then visit the former home of a family of middle-class samurai. 

Before returning to Sendai Station, visit Kessanji Temple, which was built by the lord of the castle in the 1600s and features beautiful scenery and historical monuments (and was also featured in Sengoku Basara). 

Add-On Option Day 4: Art & Creativity in Akiu

写真提供: (公財) 仙台観光国際協会

Day 4 Tour Highlights

After breakfast, spend a fun-filled morning exploring some unique museums in the Akiu area. Enjoy surrealist artworks and a carefully-displayed creepy-cute doll collection in a small museum tucked away from city hustle and bustle, and a hands-on kaleidoscope museum featuring plenty of Instagenic photo opportunities. While there, try your hand at making your own kaleidoscope.

Between museums, break for lunch at a stylish cafe inside a renovated traditional Japanese home.  

Join a T-shirt silkscreening experience—experience the silkscreen printing process for yourself and make a one-of-a-kind t-shirt to take home with you.  Return to Sendai Station and catch your train.

Reservations

You can send a booking inquiry below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm if we can accommodate your group and tour dates and contact you from there. 

Cancellation Policy

Our cancellation policy for this tour is below. Cancellation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances. 

21 days or more before date of tour

No penalty

20 days to 8 days before date of tour

20% of total price

7 days to 2 days before date of tour​

30% of total price

1 day before date of tour

40% of total price

Day of the tour

50% of total price

After start of tour or no-show

100% of total price