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Sendai Tanabata Festival 2022

Experience One of the Major Summer Festivals in the Whole of Tohoku!

Date: 6th–8th August 2022

Location: Downtown Sendai

Sendai Tanabata Festival 2022


Sendai Tanabata Matsuri, a 3 day event and one of the largest summer festivals in all of Tohoku

Giant gorgeous bamboo streamers color the streets of Sendai from Sendai Station all the way through the arcades of Chuo-dori and Ichibancho-dori

The largest Tanabata celebration in the entire country springs to life in the streets of downtown Sendai every year on August 6th through to the 8th. While most Tanabata festivals in Japan are typically held in July, Sendai Tanabata takes place in August and is known for its displays of colorful tanabata decorations displayed across the entire downtown area of Sendai. The event is so famous, it is known as one of the 3 Great Festivals of Tohoku, along with Akita's Kanto Festival and Aomori's Nebuta Festival. Typically, the Tanabata Festival is kicked off with a large firework display on the evening of August 5th, marking the beginning of the 3 day long celebration. In addition to the colorful bamboo streamers, food stalls and carnival game booths line the bustling city streets throughout the whole downtown area.

The History of Sendai Tanabata

The Sendai Tanabata Festival is a centuries old traditional event that was passed down to today from the days of feudal lord Date Masamune, ruler of Sendai Domain. Since then, the event has spread throughout the country and is celebrated all over Japan.

Formerly known as the Star Festival, the Tanabata holiday is based on the Japanese folktale celebrating the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. The separated couple, represented by two stars in the nights sky, are only ever able to meet once a year: the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. In order to closely match this original time period and seasonality, Sendai Tanabata is held in August, rather than in July (one month added to the current Gregorian Calendar).

Tanabata (which literally translates to the 7th evening), wouldn't be complete without the 7 decorations that color the event, each filled with their own particular meaning and wishes.

  1. Tanzaku Rectangular Paper Strips  – to improve one's studies and calligraphy
  2. Paper Garments – to ward off illness and misfortune, and to improve on handicrafts
  3. Origami Cranes  – for family safety, good health and longevity
  4. Kinchaku Money Pouch – for prosperity in business, wealth, and savings
  5. A Casting Net  – for good fishing harvests
  6. A Waste Basket – for cleanliness and thrifting
  7. Streamers – for improving craftsmanship

This is the ultimate celebration of Japan's Tanabata tradition, with over two million visitors attending the festival each year. Don't miss out on experiencing Sendai culture through three days of food, fun, and breathtaking decorations!


Official Page (English Available):

Entry Fee: None

Location: Downtown Sendai

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