Miyagi Prefecture – Sendai Aoba Festival

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Written by Editorial department

The Sendai Aoba Festival is one of Sendai’s three major festivals. It was first held in 1655, making it a festival with a long-standing history behind it.
It is an annually held festival of Aoba Shrine, which enshrines Date Masamune.
The festival is held over the course of two days every year. The first day hosts the “Evening Festival,” while the second day is the “Main Festival.”

Evening Festival (May 18th, 2019)

Music reverberates throughout the town as the “Sparrow Dance” is performed. It gets its name from the sparrow-like hops and jumps that are interspersed throughout the dance. Supposedly, the dance has its origins in an impromptu performance put on at a banquet by the stonemasons who build Sendai Castle.

Main Festival (May 19th, 2019)

Various elements of Sendai’s history parade throughout the city during the main festival, including a samurai warrior procession, mikoshi from Aoba Shrine, a children procession, 11 extravagant festival cars, the Sparrow Dance, and more!

Other Highlights


An Edo-era cityscape, as if you’ve fallen back in time, is recreated in Kotodai Park.

Mori no Ichi

Shops and stalls selling local delicacies are lined up along Citizen Square, Kotodai Park, and Ichibancho Street.
Date Masamune himself was a connoisseur of good foods, so enjoying delicious food is another great thing about this festival!

Date no Kaze Stage

On the “Date no Kaze Stage,” located in Citizen Square, you can watch children put on their adorable rendition of the Sparrow Dance, local students’ original take of the Sparrow Dance, and other traditional forms of entertainment.

Video of Sendai Aoba Festival

Basic information on Miyagi Prefecture – Sendai Aoba Festival

Miyagi Prefecture – Sendai Aoba Festival

3-7 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi
Kotodai Park, Citizen Square, Ichiban Street, and other locations
A 1-minute walk from Kotodai Park Station
May 18 - May 19, 2019
Depends on date and venues. See home page for details.