Sendai / Matsushima Full-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Sendai and Matsushima!

Sendai is a city that sits at the doorstep of the nation’s more wild side. It’s a day trip from secluded mountain retreats, rugged coastlines, and remote islands. At the same time, it’s one of Japan’s most modern and sophisticated cities with a culinary scene that will challenge and surprise.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hours tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
* Duration: 6 hours
* Starts: Sendai, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Historical & Heritage Tours




This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Sendai and Matsushima!

Sendai is a city that sits at the doorstep of the nation’s more wild side. It’s a day trip from secluded mountain retreats, rugged coastlines, and remote islands. At the same time, it’s one of Japan’s most modern and sophisticated cities with a culinary scene that will challenge and surprise.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hours tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Zuihoden, 23-2 Otamayashita, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-0814 Miyagi Prefecture

Zuihoden is also known as the Mausoleum of Date Masamune who was the first lord of the Sendai Domain.

He was also known for being a great architect and is known for having designed this building during the Momoyama Period.

Zuihoden is a riot of gorgeous wood carvings and panels as well as some pretty art work and you can also go for a walk around the grounds.

The paths are shaded by beautiful cedar trees which are also mean to be a symbol of the longevity of the Date family.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Sendai Castle Guidance House, 1_11 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-0862 Miyagi Prefecture

The Sendai Castle Ruins were the inspiration for a famous Japanese poem called ‘The moon over the desolate castle’ and this tells you all you need to know about their condition now.

The ruins also do include a model of the original gate to give you a feel of how Sendai Castle would have looked in the days of old.

There is also a small museum here that takes you through the history of the castle although don’t expect anything too grand as Sendai is not one of the cities in Japan that is best known for a complete or particularly impressive castle.

If that is what you are looking for then there are plenty of other options in other cities.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: The Miyagi Museum of Art, 34-1 Kawauchimotohasekura, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-0861 Miyagi Prefecture

The Miyagi Museum of Art is a great place to come if you want to check out some modern art in Sendai.

One section of the museum that is well worth stopping by is the gallery that features the world of local artist Juryo Sato who is known for his beautiful sculptures.

Once you have toured the museum you can also stroll through the idyllic grounds which are located next to the river and make an ideal spot for a relaxing walk.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: SS30, 4-6-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-0021 Miyagi Prefecture

If you want to get the best views in Sendai then you need to head to SS 30 Observation Lounge.

This building is actually an office block so there is not much to check out here except for two observation decks on the 29th and 30th floors.

These are free to visit and give you panoramic vistas across all of Sendai so try to come in the morning or the late afternoon when you will get the best photo opportunities from the decks.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Chiteinomori Mueum, 4-3-1 Nagamachiminami, Taihaku-ku, Sendai 982-0012 Miyagi Prefecture

The Museum of the Forest of Depths of the Earth is dedicated to telling you the story of the stone age in Japan.

On a visit here you can find out all how the Saki Stone Age would have looked in the days of old and learn more about the excavation of the Tomizawa Ruins.

The museum has a huge number of galleries and if you want to know more about the 20,000 year Saki Stone Age then this is the best place to come.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Nikka Whisky Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery, 1 Nikka, Aoba-ku, Sendai 989-3433 Miyagi Prefecture

The free tour walked a group of us through different stages and buildings of production. Even though it was only about 45 minutes long, it gave a good overview as to how and where they produce their product. My favorite part (besides the sampling at the end of course) was the barrel room where you could see rows and rows or whiskey being aged to perfection.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Matsushima Bay, Matsushima, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun 981-0213 Miyagi Prefecture

Located half an hour outside of Sendai, Matsushima (松島) is famous for its bay, which is dotted by many pine clad islets and has been ranked one of Japan’s three most scenic views for centuries. The small town is also known for Zuiganji, one of the Tohoku Region’s most important Zen temples.

Matsushima was hit by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, but escaped major damage thanks to its protected location inside the island dotted bay. Most tourist attractions, shops and hotels reopened within a few weeks or months of the earthquake.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Zuiganji, 91 Matsushimachonai, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun 981-0213 Miyagi Prefecture

Zuiganji (瑞巌寺) is one of the Tohoku Region’s most famous and prominent Zen temples, and is well known for its beautifully gilded and painted sliding doors (fusuma). Zuiganji was originally founded in 828 as a temple of the Tendai sect, and was converted into a Zen temple during the Kamakura Period (1192-1333). After years of decline, Zuiganji was restored to prominence by the feudal lord Date Masamune who rebuilt it as his family temple in 1609.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Fukuurajima, 39-1 Matsushima Senzui, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun 981-0213 Miyagi Prefecture

Fukuura Island (福浦島, Fukuurajima) is one of the few pine covered islands in Matsushima Bay that is accessible to the public. The island is reached via a 252 meter long, red painted bridge that costs 200 yen (round trip) to cross. The bridge was damaged by the tsunami of March 11, 2011 and had to undergo repair works.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Entsu-in Temple, 67 Chonai Matsushima, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun 981-0213 Miyagi Prefecture

Entsuin Temple (円通院, Entsūin) was built in 1647 next to Matsushima’s most important temple, Zuiganji Temple, to house the mausoleum of Date Mitsumune, the son of the ruling local feudal lord Date Terumune. The temple was built in mourning and is devoted to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, as Mitsumune died an untimely death at the age of 19.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Kanrantei, 56-1 Matsushima Chonai, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun 981-0213 Miyagi Prefecture

Kanrantei (観瀾亭) is a Momoyama-style tea house originally built in Kyoto by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who gave it to Date Masamune for his service. Date’s son eventually moved it to its current location overlooking Matsushima Bay. Kanrantei means “place to view ripples on water”, due to its beautiful view over the water and surrounding islands.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Godaido, Next to Matsushima pier, Matsushima-machi, Miyagi-gun 981-0213 Miyagi Prefecture

Godaido (五大堂, Godaidō) is a small temple hall on an islet just next to the pier. Due to its prominent location, it has become a symbol of Matsushima. Godaido was built in 807 and contains five statues which were enshrined by the same priest who founded nearby Zuiganji. The statues are displayed to the public only once every 33 years, and were last displayed in 2006.

Duration: 1 hour