Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, is full of vibrant city lights, cultural buildings, and amazing foods. You might have heard about Japan’s beautiful cherry blossoms in Spring, but with our post, we will convince you why Japan, and especially Sendai, is the dish best served cold in winters. From the deep snow to beautiful nature, dazzling festivals, and drool-worthy cuisine, there is nothing that this diverse city can’t offer its visitors. Check out our post on the 10 interesting things to do in Sendai, Miyagi during the winter season:
1. Get a view of the beautiful landscape of Matsushima with snow
Located near the outside of Sendai, Matsushima is popularly known for its bay, surrounded by almost 260 small pine-covered inlets that emerge from the blue sea. It is one of the three stunning views in Japan. The beauty of the bay enhances with every passing season to offer a rewarding visit to the people. Sometimes in winter, the whole area becomes snow-covered, and you’ll see snow everywhere you look. You can take the boat to see the islands or walk over the red bridge to enjoy the scenic views of the landscape.
Address: Matsushima-Cho, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture
2. Spend a romantic night at Starlight Fantasy Sendai Pageant of Starlight
Enjoy a romantic stroll through the tunnel of illumination, aptly called the Sendai Pageant of Starlight, which is one of the biggest winter illuminations of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. This winter tradition started in 1986, and every year, around 160 zelkova trees lining the Jozenji-dori Avenue gets lit up using more than 600,000 lights. During this time of the year, the snowfall adds to the atmosphere. The magical and beautiful atmosphere perfectly warms everybody’s heart. In addition to enjoying the stroll around the tunnel, you can also have some delicious snacks and drinks, attend a concert, or even go for ice skating.
Address: Jozenji Street, 2-13 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
Website: https://sendaihikape.jp/ (Japanese Only)
3. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and delicious foods at Sendai Asaichi Morning Market
Only a few minutes away from Sendai Station’s west exits, Sendai Asaichi Morning Market is a small open-air market that sells a mélange of fresh vegetables, meat, and fish. While taking a stroll around the alley on a cold morning, you can enjoy the vibrant spirits of the neighborhood. You can also have a great time chatting with shopkeepers while doing shopping. It is the place that makes the visitors wish to have a kitchen where they could cook all the fresh seafood, meat, and vegetables gotten from here. But without any work, you can get fresh and toothsome snacks from various stands like ramen, croquettes, sushi, noodles, sashimi rice bowls, etc. Moreover, many renowned restaurants buy ingredients for their dishes from here.
Address: 3-8-5 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
Website: http://www.sendaiasaichi.com/ (Japanese Only)
4. Capture the snowy landscape of Rairaikyo Gorge
Rairaikyo is a beautiful 1km hiking trail along the Natori River that sits at the entrance of Akiu Hot Springs. The charm and beauty of this trail enhance with every season. Near the entrance, the snow accumulates and covers the surrounding rocks and spots around the waterfalls. You can take the photo of the stunning landscape from the highest point of the bridge.
Address: Yumoto Teradahara, Akiu-machi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
5. Watch foxes play with snow at Miyagi Zao Fox Village
Japan is full of sanctuaries having a range of magical and super-cute animal creatures. In addition to Cat Island and Bunny Island, there is the Zao Fox Village – a fox sanctuary housing a great range of foxes, including red foxes and the rare silver foxes. In this large nature preserve, you can watch foxes play and roam freely in between. When it snows during the winter season in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, all the foxes play with each other in the snow. There are miniature fox houses where these cute, furry creatures relax. Lastly, visitors can buy their food to treat the foxes and enjoy the delicious bowl of noodles.
Address: 11-3 Kawarago, Fukuokayatsumiya, Shiroishi-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
6. Soak into the onsen and warm yourself up at Akiu Onsen
Japan is quite famous for its hot springs (onsen). Situated on the outskirts of Sendai, Akiu Onsen is a beautiful hot spring village that has lots of mountains and forests in its surroundings, making it an extremely exciting place to visit. There are so many warm baths to soak in, where you can spend a perfect winter evening with a little soaking. Soaking into an outdoor bath on a cold day is the best thing to do in winter! There are numbers of ryokans and hotels you can stay a night and also facilities that accept day visitors.
Address: Teradahara 40-7, Yumoto, Akiumachi, Taihaku-ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (Tourist Information)
7. Enjoy skiing at Spring Valley Ski Resort
Plan a perfect getaway, get out of the city, and play in the snow at one of the popular ski resorts of Miyagi Prefecture’s Spring Valley Ski Resort. It sits on the slopes of Mt. Izumigatake, which is a low mountain in the northern region of Sendai. This is a popular skiing spot for locals as well as tourists. The resort has 12 different courses where you can ski down while enjoying the natural topography. Also, you can take part in different other winter sports, including freestyle skiing, snow sledding, and snow tubing.
Address: 14-2 Takeyama, Fukuoka, Izumi-Ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
8. Izakaya hopping at Iroha Yokocho
Go back in time to the Showa Period by visiting the enclosed alley known as Iroha Yokocho. It has two long and narrow covered alleyways lined with around 100 stores offering different kinds of stuff. There are many izakayas that offer a great range of drinks and snacks to be enjoyed in this hidden, narrow alley. Some bars and eat-ins serve many local favorites that you can try from local gyutan to wine and fresh oysters to pizza. Because there is a roof, people can enjoy eating and drinking no matter how heavy snow is. It is one of the best places in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, for winter or summer, where people can enjoy snacks and drinks without worrying about the weather conditions.
Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Find more: 10 Izakaya in Sendai Tohoku for a Great Time
9. Learn and sample Japanese whiskey at Nikka Miyagikyo Distillery
Sits between the rivers and mountains, Miyagikyo Distillery of Nikka Whiskey is one of the best whiskey producers in Japan. This facility distills and stores malt whiskey and different other beverages. The distillery features a learning center where visitors can get in-depth knowledge of the place’s incredible operations. You can take the tour of the distillery for a fun and educative experience where you can see the manufacturing process and sample the whiskey made there.
Address: Nikka 1, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
10. Stay warm at Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium
When it’s too cold to walk around, it’s a great idea to do something fun inside. Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium is a wonderful spot for families that enjoy the sea and aquatic animals. There are almost 100 tanks of different sizes that comprise of beauties of oceans of the world in the area of 9,900 sq. m. What’s more, you can watch the dynamic dolphin and sea lion performances and interact with the creatures too. A range of experiences is available like feeding the penguins or taking photos with the dolphins. There is also a museum shop having different kinds of products and a food hall where you can enjoy dishes made using local produce.
Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
You may also like
- 10 Best Things To Do in Sendai Tohoku to Experience Every Attraction!
- 10 Food Finds in Sendai Tohoku for Food Aficionados
- 10 Local Foods for Your Trip in Miyagi Prefecture
- 10 places for shopping in Sendai for Amazing Deals
- 11 Best Japanese Souvenir From Sendai and Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture
- 10 Things to do at Night in Sendai Tohoku for a Memorable Experience
Thumbnail image is from Flickr
All information in this article is as of the published or updated date