How to travel between Sendai and Tokyo
Sendai is connected with Tokyo by the JR Tohoku Shinkansen. Hayabusa, Hayate and Komachi trains take 100 minutes to travel between Sendai and Tokyo and require seat reservations. Yamabiko trains have some unreserved seating and take about two hours. The one way journey costs approximately 11,000 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass.
By local train
By local trains along the JR Tohoku Line, the one way trip from Tokyo to Sendai takes about seven hours and typically involves about three to four transfers of trains. The regular fare is a relatively expensive 6050 yen, however, with a Seishun 18 Kippu you can do the trip for as little as 2410 yen.
By highway bus
Multiple bus companies, including Willer Express, offer direct highway bus service between Tokyo and Sendai during both the day and night. Travel duration is about 5.5 hours. Regular one way fares start around 2500 yen. Online reservations can be made through Willer and Japan Bus Online.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
The most convenient way to travel around Sendai as a tourist is by Loople Sendai, a loop bus connecting most of the city's sights. Sendai also has some JR train lines, two subway lines and a bus network (operated by Sendai City and Miyagi Kotsu).
The Loople Sendai is a tourist specific bus service that runs in a one-hour, clockwise loop around the city. It stops at Zuihoden, Sendai City Museum, Aoba Castle and other sightseeing spots and departs from Sendai Station every 15-20 minutes from 9:00 to 16:00. A Loople day pass costs 630 yen, otherwise one ride costs 260 yen. The Loople day pass is not valid on regular city buses.
From Sendai Station, the JR Senzan Line runs north of the city center and provides access to Rinnoji Temple, while the JR Senseki Line runs to Matsushima, 35 kilometers northeast of the city center. The one way trip to Matsushima takes 40 minutes and costs 420 yen.
Sendai has two subway lines, the Namboku Line (running north-south) and the Tozai Line (running east-west) that meet each other at Sendai Station. The Tozai Line offers access to the base of Aoba Castle, but otherwise the subway lines are not particularly useful for tourists.
Sendai Airport is located about 20 kilometers southeast of the city center and can be accessed directly by train (15-25 minutes, 660 yen) from Sendai Station.
Sendai's local IC card, the Icsca card, as well as Suica and nine other IC cards can be used on virtually all means of public transportation in the Greater Sendai area, including subways, buses, the Loople Sendai bus, JR trains and the trains to Sendai Airport.
Passes and Tickets
Two similar passes are available to tourists in the Greater Sendai area. Both of them provide unlimited use of the Loople bus, the subway, most Sendai City buses, certain Miyagi Kotsu buses and JR trains in and around Sendai, including the trains to Matsushima, Yamadera and the airport, and the buses to nearby hot spring resorts:
- Sendai Area Pass (1 day, 1320 yen)
The Sendai Area Pass is valid on only one calendar day and can only be used by foreign tourists. It cannot be used by residents of Japan. The only place to purchase the pass is JR Sendai Station.
- Sendai Marugoto Pass (2 days, 2720 yen)
The Sendai Marugoto Pass is valid on two consecutive calendar days and can also be used by residents of Japan. It is available for purchase at many stations and sales locations in central Sendai, as well as at major JR stations in eastern Japan.
Sendai Guest House UMEBACHIGuest House Umebachi offers dormitory-style accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Guests can rent bicycles to tour the area and relax at the outdoor terrace. JR Nigatake Train Station is a 10-minute walk and JR Sendai Train Station is a 15-minute drive away. The air-conditioned dormitory-style rooms feature bunk beds on hardwood floors. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. Amenities such as toothbrush and towels are available for an extra cost. Luggage storage is available for an extra charge and a coin-launderette is on site. Guests can relax and watch the flat-screen TV in the shared lounge and use the on-site PCs. A simple complimentary breakfast with toast and coffee is served. Guests can enjoy drinks at the bar space as well. Umebachi Guest House is a 15-minute drive from Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi (formerly Kleenex Stadium Miyagi) and Jozenji Dori Avenue. Sendai Tosho-gu Shrine is a 20-minute drive away.View on Booking.com
Hotel Metropolitan Sendai EastOffering a fitness centre free of charge, Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East has direct access to Sendai Station. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Featuring views of the city, all rooms have air conditioning, a desk, safety deposit box, TV, refrigerator and hairdryer. The private bathroom comes with towels, slippers and free toiletries. The 24-hour front desk offers free luggage storage and currency exchange services. Guests can relax in the shared lounge area. A drinks vending machine is available on site. The on-site restaurant serves a breakfast buffet using local ingredients, lunch and dinner. There are several restaurants, cafes and convenience stores within a 5-minute walk from the property. Sendai Museum is a 15-minute train ride from Hotel Metropolitan Sendai East. Sendai Castle and Zuihoden are a 20-minute drive from the property, while Sakunami Hot Spring is located an hour away by car.View on Booking.com
Almont Hotel SendaiOpen from August 2017, Almont Hotel Sendai is nestled just a 5-minute stroll away from JR Sendai Station. The hotel features free WiFi, a restaurant and private parking is offered on site. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. All rooms include a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find slippers, free toiletries and a hairdryer. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. Sakunami Hot Spring is 24 km from Almont Hotel Sendai, while Sakuraoka Daijingu is 1.3 km away. The nearest airport is Sendai Airport, 14 km from Almont Hotel Sendai.View on Booking.com
The Westin SendaiSet on 28-36th floors of Sendai's tallest building, The Westin Sendai offers a luxurious accommodation just a 10-minute walk from JR Sendai Station. Guests can work out in the free-use gym or receive rejuvenating massages at the on-site salon. 2 restaurants and a bar are available on site. Wi-Fi is provided at an additional charge. Fitted with chic furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows, rooms come with modern facilities like satellite LCD TV. A fridge, an electric kettle and minibar are included. The large en suite bathroom has a bath tub, a shower booth and free toiletries. Sendai Westin Hotelfs 24-hour front desk can arrange luggage storage and laundry services. The Flow Spa offers a variety of treatments, sauna and a relaxation lounge. Souvenir items can be purchased at the gift shop. Stylish Restaurant Symphony serves sophisticated Western cuisine, while traditional Japanese dishes can be savoured at Ichimuan restaurant, which is located on the top floor. Horizon Lounge & Bar offers afternoon tea, light meals and evening drinks. The Westin Hotel is a 10-minute drive to Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi (formerly Kleenex Stadium Miyagi), and a 20-minute drive to Aoba Castle Park. Sendai Airport is located a 50-minute drive from the property.View on Booking.com
Hotel Vista SendaiOpen from April 2016, Hotel Vista Sendai is located just a 4-minute walk from JR Sendai Station. It boasts an on-site restaurant and rooms with modern decor. Free WiFi and private parking is available at an additional charge. Air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a 32-inch flat-screen LCD TV. A fridge, air purifier, electric kettle and slippers are also provided. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries like toothbrushes and shampoo. Trouser presses, irons and extra blankets are available for use at the 24-hour front desk. Dishes prepared with fresh local seasonal ingredients can be savoured for breakfast. Tohoku University is a 14-minute walk from Sendai Hotel Vista. Make a visit to attractions in the area like Miyagi Baseball Stadium, a 6-minute drive away. Osaki Hachimangu Shrine is a 20-minute drive away while Sendai Airport can be reached within a 40-minute drive or train ride.View on Booking.com
Richmond Hotel Premier Sendai EkimaeRichmond Hotel Premier Sendai Ekimae offers a 24-hour front desk and simply decorated accommodation. This awardee of TripAdvisorfs 2014 Certificate of Exellence is located just a 3-minute walk from JR Sendai Train Station. Free WiFi is available in all areas. Air conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen TV and a Tempur-Pedic pillow. Each are fitted with a refrigerator, an electric kettle and a green tea set. En suite bathrooms come with a bath, a hairdryer and free toiletries. Sendai Ekimae Richmond Hotel Premier offers daily maid service, concierge service and room service. A coin launderette, meeting/banquet facilities and vending machines can also be found on site. The Premier Lounge serves breakfast consisting of freshly baked bread, eggs, fruits and other breakfast items. Room service can be ordered from a Japanese restaurant located on the B1F of the property. Aoba Castle is a 15-minute drive away, while Osaki Hachiman Shrine is a 10-minute drive from the property. JR Sendai Station is a 3-minute walk and Hirosedori Subway Station is a 6-minute walk from the hotel. Sendai Airport is a 30-minute subway ride away on Sendai Airport access express train and Matsushima is a 40-minute train ride away.View on Booking.com
Sendai Royal Park HotelSurrounded by lush gardens, Sendai Royal Park Hotel is a resort hotel that offers elegant accommodation with European d?cor and free WiFi. Guests can enjoy rejuvenating beauty treatments at the hotelfs beauty salon. Free pick-up shuttles are available from Sendai and Izumi-Chuo stations. The hotel is located a 15-minute drive from Izumi Chuo Station, and a 30-minute drive from JR Sendai Station. The Sendai Izumi Premium Outlet shopping mall is just a 1-minute walk, and Izumi Park Town Golf Club can be reached within a 5-minute drive. Sendai Airport is a 40-minute drive. Guests can enjoy shopping at Izumi Park Town Tapio, located a 3-minute walk away. Each room at Sendai Royal Park Hotel features warm colours and large windows, and comes with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge and a minibar. An electric kettle and tea bags are also provided. Some rooms feature a balcony and views of the garden. Activities at Sendai Royal Park Hotel include yoga in the garden and cycling. Guests can borrow bicycles to explore the local area, or relax with massages in the guest room. The 24-hour front desk can handle luggage storage and currency exchange. Guests can have breakfast on the garden terrace or enjoy a picnic breakfast in the garden. Teppanyaki restaurant Nanatsumori offers Sendai wagyu steak, while Chinese restaurant Keikaen offers Cantonese dishes with fresh ingredients. The on-site restaurants features views of the garden, which is lit up at night.View on Booking.com
Tenza Hotel at Sendai StationTenza Hotel at Sendai Station is set in Sendai, 2 km from Sendai City Community Support Center and 2.2 km from Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a continental breakfast. Sakuraoka Daijingu is 2.3 km from Tenza Hotel at Sendai Station, while Sendai International Centre is 2.7 km away. The nearest airport is Sendai Airport, 13 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Dormy Inn EXPRESS Sendai SeasideBoasting spa facilities and free-use hot springs baths and sauna, Dormy Inn EXPRESS Sendai Seaside features free WiFi throughout the property. Free private parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Nakanosakae Station is a 5-minute drive or a 20-minute walk from Dormy Inn EXPRESS Sendai Seaside. At the economy hotel, the rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, fridge and electric kettle. Pyjamas are provided by the property. The bathroom features a high-tech toilet, hairdryer and toothbrushes. Trouser press is available on site. Staff at the 24-hour front desk can help guests with queries that they may have as well as offer luggage storage service for free. Coin-operated launderette can be found at the hotel as well as karaoke facilities are available on site for guest's entertainment. A buffet breakfast is served every morning at the on-site restaurant "Hatago". The property has a drinks vending machine on site. Sendai Station is a 40-minute train ride and walk away from the hotel. The hotel is set 15 minutes walk away from Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium, while Mitsui Outlet Park Sendai Port Shopping Mall is just a 5-minute walk away. Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi is a 40-minute train ride away, while Sendai Stadium is a 75-minute train ride away. Sendai Airport is 25-minutes away by airport limousine bus from Dormy Inn EXPRESS Sendai Seaside.View on Booking.com
Hotel Keihan SendaiHotel Keihan Sendai features air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TV in the Aoba Ward district of Sendai. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Attractions in the area include Sendai City Museum, 1.9 km away, or Zuihoden, set 2.6 km from the property. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Popular points of interest near Hotel Keihan Sendai include Sendai City Community Support Center, Sakuraoka Daijingu and Sendai International Centre. The nearest airport is Sendai Airport, 14 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com