Sendai's Tanabatakan

A museum filled with beautiful festival decorations

By Elena Lisina    - 2 min read

One of Sendai's most well-known symbols are the beautiful decorations made of long colorful strips of paper for the Tanabata Matsuri. Tanabata festivals are celebrated all over Japan on July 7th, but in Sendai, Tanabata is celebrated from August 6th until the 8th. On those days you can see huge and richly decorated ornaments all over the city, but mostly in the roofed trading street known as Hirose Dori.

If you visit Sendai outside the Tanabata Matsuri dates, you're able to view the festival ornaments in a special museum known as the Tanabatakan, located in the eastern part of Sendai. In the big museum hall, there are all sorts of ornaments made of brightly colored paper and wood. The decorations are made with great skill and quality, something that I deeply admire. Each decoration has a ball-shaped “head” and a long “body”, the lower part of which is striped. As these decorations are placed outdoors for the festival, the strips of paper flutter in the wind and the upper part of the decoration's “body” may contain a lantern that glows in the dark.

The Tanabatakan gives you the opportunity to view all kinds of decorations, both big and small, and really soak up the festival atmosphere. Best of all, the museum is free of charge. The Tanabatakan is located next to the Kanezaki Kamaboko factory, another interesting local place to visit.

Getting there

The Tanabata Museum is 30 minutes on foot from Fukudamachi Station on the Senseki Line. Alternatively, buses are available from the JR Sendai Station, which take between 20-30 minutes.

If you're driving, free parking is available onsite.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: Matane!