Enjoy Sendai sightseeing by “Loople Sendai,” taking you to historical spots related to Date Masamune
“Loople Sendai,” is a service of buses on a circular route that depart from and arrive in JR’s Sendai Station; it is convenient in touring sightseeing spots within the heart of Sendai-shi. The route of the bus is dotted with spots related to Masamune including Zuihoden, Date Masamune’s mausoleum decorated with pomp ornaments, the site of Sendai Castle that overlook the city center where Date Masamune’s equestrian statue can be found, a national treasure Oosaki Hachimangu Shrine which was constructed under Masamune’s order. Purchase one-day ticket that enables you to get on and off freely to enjoy the sightseeing along the route.
To the splendid mausoleum where Date Masamune rests in peace
“Zuihoden,” which can be reached by climbing the approach surrounded by cedar trees, is a mausoleum built in this place in line with the living will of Masamune. It was destroyed once by war, but was rebuilt in 1979. Zuihoden, which faithfully reproduces the appearance of the yesteryear is a magnificent and luxurious building. The honden (main hall), haiden (hall of worship), karamon gate, and etc. are all majestic, clearly possessing the characteristics of the Momoyama period’s edifice. You can visit the mausoleum which is amazing at any season, in harmony with nature; at spring with cherry blossoms, at summer with fresh greenery, at fall with autumnal tints, and at winter with snowscape.
In the back of Zuihoden, you will find Kansenden (the mausoleum of second generation, Tadamune) and Zennoden (the mausoleum of third generation, Tsunamune); they are built facing east to look towards Zuihoden. The place is illuminated between mid- and late November every year during autumn leaves’ season; you can enjoy a mystic nightscape of autumnal tints.
（Pictures provided by Zuihoden）
“Sendai City Museum” exhibits valuable items related to Date Masamune
The site used to be Sannomaru (the outermost part of castle) of Sendai Castle and was built in 1961 for storage and exhibition of material donated by Sendai Date clan (cultural property donated by Date clan). In addition to armor and battle surcoat worn by Date Masamune, the museum exhibits documents related to Hasekura Tsunenaga and his envoy to Europe in Keicho era, which was included on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, among others. These valuable exhibits amount to 97,000; in addition to permanent exhibitions, these items are displayed as required in line with seasonal replacement. Among the exhibits, the most popular one is “Black Lacquer-Armor With Five Pieced Cuirass ; worn by Date Masamune.” The armor--with a crest of gleaming narrow, golden half moon in front--is jet-black all over.
Overlooking Sendai’s cityscape from “Sendai Castle Ruins” with equestrian statue of Masamune
Sendai Castle, which used to be the residence of rulers of Sendai Domain measuring 620 thousand goku--goku means stipend--is located at the elevation of 130 m, looking down the Sendai cityscape. Although edifice such as main honmaru building does not exist, there are magnificent stone walls and restored sumiyagura (corner towers) that express the glories of yesteryear. It is also popular as a view spot to watch the city of Sendai, and with Masamune’s equestrian statue standing, for tourists, this is a standard location to take memorial pictures.
There are also museums such as “Sendai Castle Kenbunkan,” which introduces the course of Sendai Castle’s construction and the results of the excavation survey of the Castle, “Aoba Castle Shiryokan,” where CG images reproducing Sendai Castle and its castle town can be viewed. Let's enjoy exploring history by strolling around Sendai Castle Ruins.
“Oosaki Hachimangu Shrine,” created under Date Masamune’s order
“Oosaki Hachimangu Shrine” was created under Date Masamune’s order from Keicho 9 (1604) and taking over 12 years to complete. He invited the top-class artisans of the era such as Umemura Hyuganokami Ietsugu and Umemura Sanjuro Yoritsugu who were taken into the service of Toyotomi clan to build this shrine. It is regarded as the oldest existing Gongen-zukuri (style of architecture) edifice; honden (main hall) and haiden (hall of worship) in irimoya-zukuri and ishi-no-ma (a corridor connecting honden and haiden) are in a unified fashion. The enchanting shrine is filled with elaborate design, and you will never get tired of watching. It is designated as national treasure because of its value as a precious Azuchi- Momoyama era remnants.