1. Miyagi-Zao Eboshi Narcissus Festival (Zao)
When: April 19-May 31, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
The snow is long gone, replaced by hillsides full of blooming flowers. Come see 30 types of narcissus flowers with about 550,000 in total! Take the ropeway for a panoramic view of the flowers from higher ground. Some events will be held during the Golden Week holidays.
(Check the event website for the status of the blossoms)
Location: Miyagi Zao Eboshi Resort
Access: Miyako Bus from Sendai Station to Togatta Onsen, taxi (10 min.) to Eboshi Ski Resort (bus is 1230 yen each way)
Admission: 600 yen, (free for junior high school students and younger)
Details (JP): http://www.zao-machi.com/698
2. Canola Blossom Festival at Himawari Hill (Osaki)
When: April 20-May 6 , 9:00-5:00 PM
Enjoy the beautiful yellow blossoms of the canola flower (nanohana).
Date & Time: April 20th~May 6th 9:00am~5:00pm
Location: Sunflower Hill (Himawari no Oka) in Osaki City
Access: Car recommended (parking available). Nearest train station Furukawa Station (Rikuu-East Line or Tohoku Shinkansen)
Details (JP): http://www.sanbongi.jp/
3. Golden Week Bazaar (Shiogama)
When: May 3, 12:00-5:00 PM
Head to the auditorium of Sugimura Jun Museum of Art for pop-up shops which feature antique goods, fashion items, and local foods such as bread, cheese, and spices. There will also be workshops, including those for children. After the bazaar will be an evening of Indian music.
Where: Sugimura Jun Museum of Art
Access: 10-min. walk from Hon-Shiogama Station (Senseki Line)
Details (EN): http://sugimurajun.shiomo.jp/archives/5121
4. Ishinomori Manga Museum Spring Festival (Ishinomaki)
When: May 3-5, 10:00-3:00 PM
Head to Ishinomaki for an event with performances by local hero-style manga characters, yakisoba stalls and more. Perfect for families. While you are there, visit the museum for an exhibition of Heisei Kamen Rider link.
Where: Nakaze Park
Access: 15-min. walk from Ishinomaki Station (Senseki Line)
Details (JP): http://www.miyagi-kankou.or.jp/kakikomi/detail.php?id=13201
5. Hanayama Matchlock Rifle Festival (Kurihara)
When: May 5, from 1:00 PM
This festival dates from 1712 when the regional samurai ruler had riflemen fire in honor of his deceased wife. Come see matchlock rifle teams holding a demonstration with traditional rifles as well as a parade, dance performance, and more!
Location: Kurihara City Hall, Hanayama Branch area
Access: by car (parking lot available)
6. Princess Iroha Festival (Matsushima)
When: May 6, 10:00- 4 PM
Come celebrate the life and times of Princess Iroha, Date Masamune's daughter. There will be a royal samurai procession and a chance to wear kimono. There is also an opportunity for the first people who register to become a princess and take part in the procession from Tenrinin Temple (3000 yen fee)!
Location: Tenrinin Temple
Access: 5-min. walk from Matsushimakaigan Station (Senseki Line)
7. Oyakushisan Craft Market (Sendai)
When: Wed. May 8, 10:00-15:00
Booths sell a variety of handmade crafts and locally-made food (we wrote about it here)
Location: Mutsu Kokubunji Temple
Access: 5-min. walk from Yakushido Station (Sendai Subway Tozai Line)
Details (JP): http://www.oyakushisan.com
8. Kanahebisui Shrine Flower Festival (Iwanuma)
When: May 8-21, 8:30-4:30 PM
Visit this shrine to fortune for its spring festival. "9 dragon" wisteria hangs from a venerable 300-year-old tree and more than 1300 peonies of 100+ varieties enliven the shrine grounds.
Location: Kanahebisui Shrine
Access: 10-min. taxi ride from Iwanuma Station (Joban Line, Tohoku Line)
Details (JP): http://kanahebi.cdx.jp/hanamatsuri.html
9. Craft Beer Brewery Tour (Sendai)
When: Fri. May 10, 6:45-8 PM
It's not yet well known yet, but in downtown Sendai there is a small craft beer brewery "Grain Town Brewery" which makes an interesting high-alcohol ale. Meet master brewer Konno and learn about the history, culture and science that make brewing this delicious beer possible—with fresh beer tasting included. This event is open to Japanese and international visitors and residents, all are welcome.
Tickets: 2120 yen (purchase online by May 7)
Access: meet at Atago Station (Sendai Subway Nanboku Line)
Tickets (EN, JP): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/craft-beer-in-sendai-may-10-tickets-59102024747
10. Tohoku University 34th International Festival
When: Sunday May 12, 11:00-4:30 PM
The biggest international festival in Tohoku with food from all around the world, stage performances, a fashion show, and more. Purchase food tickets for 3 (three) dishes and one lucky draw!
Location: Tohoku University Centennial Hall
Access: 5-minute walk from Kawauchi Station (Sendai Subway Tozai Line)
Admission: free; food tickets 1500 yen
Details (EN): https://www.tufsa.net/tuif
11. Scenic Sendai Cycling Tour (Izumi)
When: Saturday May 18, 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
This 25km cycling tour takes you through the traditional Japanese landscape of local rice fields and bamboo groves in the Izumi area of northern Sendai. It is a great way to experience the changing of the seasons. Beginners are welcome on this course and there will be an English speaking guide.
Location: Sendai Royal Park Hotel
Tickets: 5000 yen (purchase online by May 16)
Tickets (EN, JP) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sendai-countryside-cycling-tour-tickets-52806859739
12. Aoba Festival (Sendai)
When: May 18 & 19
The Aoba Festival is a popular celebration of Sendai known for the energetic sparrow dance performed in the streets. Come see games and activities, try Sendai specialty dishes and watch parades of floats and Suzume Odori performances throughout downtown Sendai.
Details (JP): http://www.aoba-matsuri.com/
13. Swing Dance Party (Shiogama)
When: May 18, 2:00-4:00 PM
The Sugimura Jun Museum of Art and Sendai Swing Club are teaming up to send you back to Shiogama in the early '60s. Long before it was a museum, this auditorium was a place where young people gathered for evening dances. Lindy Hop your heart out as a live band performs.
Location: Sugimura Jun Museum of Art auditorium
Access: 10-min. walk from Hon-Shiogama Station (Senseki Line)
Admission: 1500 yen (drink included)
Details (JP): https://www.facebook.com/events/406268450198933/
14. Matsushima Park Festival (Matsushima)
When: Saturday May 25, 18:00-20:00 (cruise concert); Sunday May 26, 10:30-17:30; finale at Zuiganji Temple 18:00-20:00
Head to scenic Matsushima Bay for an outdoor music festival with 15 stages across the waterfront area hosting 160+ bands. This year there will be a special concert aboard a sightseeing boat on Saturday night (up to 300 people, stop by the Ishidazawa Bosai Center market before the concert for a better chance of entry), and a free concert finale Sunday night at Zuiganji Temple (National Treasure)!
Access: short walk from Matsushimakaigan Station (Senseki Line)
Details (JP): http://www.parkfes.com/outline.html
15. Earth Day Tohoku (Sendai)
When: Sunday May 26,10:00-20:00
Earth Day Tohoku's theme for 2019 is "Lifestyle with Earth" with various hands-on experiences around the theme of food, clothing and shelter. Go beyond the experience of the everyday with organic, ethical, and sustainable examples of a greener future from a variety of artisans in a fun party-like atmosphere. Bring your own plates and utensils for a reward.
Where: Nishikicho Park (Sendai)