Sendai Tanabata Festival, One of the Three Great Festivals

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Written by Editorial department

The Tohoku region host many festivals, including the Three Great Festivals, namely the Aomori Nebuta Festival, the Akita Kanto Festival and the Sendai Tanabata (“July 7” in the lunar calendar) Festival. Among them, the 2017 Sendai Tanabata Festival began on August 6, 2017 and lasted for three days.

Information on the 2017 Sendai Tanabata Festival

Location
Central Sendai, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
Dates
August 6, 2017 (Sunday) - August 8, 2017 (Tuesday)
Time
Depending on venues
Access
Surrounding areas of JR Sendai Station and other venues

Sendai Tanabata Festival with a History of 400 Years

Established by Date Masamune (a famous warlord of the Sengoku period) more than 400 years ago, the tradition of holding the Sendai Tanabata Festival continues to this day.

In ancient time, the festival was no more than a simple ceremony held in every household to pray for a rice harvest. But the past 90 years have seen increasingly broader participation by citizens and the festival has turned into a lavish ceremony that attracts about 2 million spectators every year. Among other things, ornate decorations in various shapes and sizes are a must-see!

Sendai Tanabata Festival
Sendai Tanabata Festival

The main attractions concentrate in central Sendai. Gorgeous decorations made with bamboo and Japanese paper called sasatake are put up in front of every shop. All being handicrafts, they include ornamental balls (kusudama), strips, streamers and thousand origami cranes, are so delicate that visitors can’t take their eyes off these decorations.

Gorgeous Tanabata decorations
Gorgeous Tanabata decorations

Photos of the Sendai Tanabata Festival

These are some photos I took during my visit to the 2017 Sendai Tanabata Festival.

Tanabata decorations on the Sendai Tanabata Festival
Tanabata decorations on the Sendai Tanabata Festival
Tanabata decorations on the Sendai Tanabata Festival
Tanabata decorations on the Sendai Tanabata Festival
Tanabata decorations on the Sendai Tanabata Festival
Tanabata decorations on the Sendai Tanabata Festival

Video on the Sendai Tanabata Festival

This is a video I produced during my visit to the 2017 Sendai Tanabata Festival.