Art Hunting Inside Sendai Station

History and beauty wait for those who seek it

By Justin Velgus    - 3 min read

Train stations are busy places but you'll also find a sense of harmony if you slow down and keep an eye out. In my personal observations, train stations, more than airports or even art museums, dedicate nearly all their art pieces to highlighting the history and attractions of the region. This is the case of Sendai Station in Miyagi Prefecture, a transfer point on my daily commute.

While not overloaded with artistic works or hidden finds, there is an enjoyable amount of art spread throughout the three floors and basement of Sendai Station. Keep a lookout for Sendai City founder Date Masamune or the city's legendary lucky god, Sendai Shiro. Fun pieces like an Anpanman statue and manga art featuring Cyborg009 characters make walking around the station on rainy with kids a fun impromptu activity as well.

Note that to see some of the art, you'll need to pay a small amount to pass through the ticket gate leading to the train lines.

List of photos with captions

  1. What's up? The ceiling of Sendai Station represents tatami rice mats, a nod to "Ohiroma," a now gone large-scale building at the castle site.
  2. The famous second floor "stained glass" meeting spot features Date Masamune, Tanabata decorations and a Matsushima temple.
  3. A gorgeous scene of Matsushima Bay on the third floor next to the north shinkansen entrance. The special local stone was recovered in Ishinomaki City after the tsunami triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
  4. Various locations among the restaurant areas on the third floor feature traditional handicrafts displays--art and advertisement for the souvenir shops!
  5. A statue resembling the one found at the site of Sendai Castle popped up last year. I will let you hunt it down for yourself!
  6. Traditional fabric decorating a first floor entrance.
  7. "Lucky God" Sendai Shiro wearing a JR train employee uniform.
  8. Sendai's lucky god is outside the station office on the first floor.
  9. A random artificial waterfall among the souvenir and restaurants in the station basement floor.
  10. Basically every restaurant has their own artistic display of plastic food to draw in customers.
  11. The NewDays convenience stores in the center of the station feature Date Masamune motifs.
  12. Japan's beloved superhero "Anpanman" greets visitors at the east exit pedestrian deck. Go down the escalator and cross the street to follow a line of Anpanman character statues all the way to the Anpanman Museum!
  13. A relief of an old artwork showing the "sankin kotai" system. This law of “alternate attendance” forced feudal lords and their samurai and assistants make the long march to Edo (Tokyo) and back regularly. It can be found on the No.2 train platform.
  14. Among the crowd marching is Sendai's historical sumo champion Tanikaze!
  15. A Kamen Rider helmet acts as an advertisement for the manga museum in Ishinomaki City.
  16. A row of lockers is decorated with characters from the manga/anime Cyborg009. See more of them at the manga museum in Ishinomaki City.
  17. Vintage restored train and train station signs are sure to please any train super fan in this mini exhibit hiding off to a side area inside the ticket gates.

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Justin Velgus

Justin Velgus @justin.velgus

Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is the Miyagi Prefecture Partner for Japan Travel and a longterm contributor since 2012 with a focus on the Tohoku region.  Justin has written extensively for JT, and other publications such as VisitMiyagi and Sake Today, amassing over 350 published articles introducing the travel and culture of the region. Justin's wealth of experience and knowledge comes from studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and promoting sake overseas for the government of Fukushima. Now Justin helps with inbound tourism and regional promotion while also enjoying his role as a volunteer tour guide in Sendai, the gyutan capital of the world.