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Transportation in Sendai

By Ferry from Sendai

December 01, 2015

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By Boat
Taiheiyo Ferry offers overnight car ferries to Nagoya (21 hrs 40 min) and Tomakomai (in southern Hokkaido) (15 hrs 20 mins) on the SS Ishikari and SS Kitakami. (Japanese).

Getting there: Ferry terminal is located a ten minute taxi ride away from the Nakanosakae Station on the JR Senseki line. The terminal is also located not far from the Sendai-ko kita interchange on the Sendai Tobu Highway. For further details, check out the ferry website.

Port History
The area surrounding the Port of Sendai was inhabited as long as 20 thousand years ago, but the city was founded in 1600 when the daimyo Date Masamune moved there from Iwadeyama. The Tokugawa Shogunate permitted Masamune to build a castle in Sendai after the Battle of Sekigahara. The word “Sendai” means “a thousand generations,” and a temple with a thousand Buddha statues used to be located in the city. Construction of Sendai Castle began in 1600, and building of the town on a grid plan followed in 1601.

The city of Sendai was incorporated in 1889 when the Han system was abolished. At that time, about 86 thousand people lived in the Port of Sendai. From 1928 to 1988, the city grew through annexation. By 1999, the population was over a million. Before World War II, the Port of Sendai was known as the City of Trees. Many homes, shrines, and temples had yashikirin (household forests) that were used for wood and common materials. Unfortunately, World War II air raids destroyed many of the trees, and reconstruction and development after the war destroyed even more. Today, the city is working to restore its greenery.

In 1964, the Port of Sendai was recognized as one of Japan’s New Industrial Cities, and construction of the waterways, breakwaters, and facilities began in 1967. In 1971, the first ship entered the Port of Sendai, and the Sendai Coastal Railway opened, linking the port oil industry facilities with the Tohoku Main Line. In 1973, the Port Council decided to build a public wharf, a wharf for ferries, and berths and to develop the Port of Sendai for general use. The ferry service between Sendai, Nagoya, and Tomakomai began that year.

In 1979, the back area of the Nakano Wharves was designated for bonded warehousing, and the Port Council planned to add offshore breakwaters and berths. In 1896, the council formed the Port of Sendai Development Plan to develop port facilities for international trade.

In 1990, a new container service began to operate between the Port of Sendai and the Ohio Container Terminal in Tokyo. In 1991, the Miyagi Prefecture warehouse at the Nakano Wharf was finished. The Port of Sendai’s Central Park was opened in 1992. In 1995, container traffic between the Port of Sendai and East Asia began.

The Port of Sendai was designated a Foreign Access Zone (FAZ), and the Miyagi Exhibition Center was opened. In 1996, the Takasago Container Terminal began operations, and regular container shipping to North America began the following year. In 1998, a feeder container service between the Port of Sendai and the Daikoku and Honmoku Container Terminal in Yokohama was initiated. Feeder container services to the Army Container Terminal in Tokyo began in 1999, and the Port of Sendai International Business Support Center (Accel) opened. In 2000, regular container services with Korea began operating.

In 2001, Shiogama Port (which includes the Port of Sendai) was made a special designated Major Port with the name Sendai-Shiogama Port. In the same year, the Takasago Container Terminal expansion was completed. In 2002, regular container shipping services to China and Korea began, and a feeder container service to Shimizu, Shizuoka, was started. In 2004, the Port of Sendai International Commerce Port Physical Distribution Terminal opened.

The modern Port of Sendai is the Tohoku region economy’s center as well as the base for regional transportation and logistics. The city’s economy is primarily retail and service sectors. Few major companies headquarter in the Port of Sendai, but there are many branch offices. The city is working to attract high-tech companies through Tohoku University.

Port of Sendai
Cruising and Travel The City of Sendai is just right. It’s not too big to enjoy, but it’s not too small. It’s near both the mountains and the sea. Its tree-lined streets are wide, and the main shopping street is covered and devoted to pedestrians. Not a tourist city, the Port of Sendai was leveled during World War II and rebuilt. It doesn’t have a lot of attractions. But there are some places visitors will not want to miss.

The Miyagi Museum of Art contains a collection of modern art, featuring the works of sculptor Juryo Sato, as well as a beautiful garden and a view of the river. The site of the old Aoba Castle is today a replica of the gate and a statue of the city’s founder, but the site once inspired poet Doi Bansui to write about the impermanence of all life, a fitting theme for the current ruins of a once-great castle.

The 17th Century saki Hachiman Shrine in the Port of Sendai is a designated national treasure containing metal ornaments and colorful designs set against the black lacquer woodwork. Check out the giant statue of Kannon (Buddhist god of compassion) outside the city. The historic Rinno-ji temple has a large and lovely traditional garden that is particularly beautiful when the azaleas bloom.

Located atop the Port of Sendai’s Mt. Yagiyama near the Benny Land amusement park is the Yagiyama Zoo with a collection of 550 animals. The Museum of the Forest of Depths of the Earth is devoted to the stone age based on artifacts found at the 20-thousand-year-old Tomizawa ruins.
The Port of Sendai’s biggest festival is the August Tanabata. The festival begins with fireworks, then the streets are decorated, and parades fill the streets. In December, visitors enjoy the Pageant of Starlight when the Port of Sendai’s two main avenues is adorned with thousands of orange lights.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Sendai by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises by searching for “Sendai” on the Cruise Compete website.


Ferry from Sendai
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Taiheiyo Ferry
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