Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Sendai Tanabata, Part 1

Since I first knew we were coming to Sendai, I viewed tanabata as my festival. There are two good reasons why. Firstly, I love crafts and the decorations are all handmade. I knew I would love walking round them, seeing all the different ways they were decorated. But secondly, and most importantly, Sendai's tanabata festival coincides with my birthday. Whilst the main day is today (the 7th), the festival and decorations hang around until my birthday on the 8th (incidentally, I would be the luckiest person ever in China, where 8 is a lucky number, since I was born on 8/8/88). John's birthday is on Christmas Day, so the whole world gets decorated for his birthday every year, and it was nice for me to get the decorations for a change! 

Unfortunately, that annoying thing called work is going to get in the way of me enjoying tanabata to its full extent tomorrow, so I made the most of it yesterday. John and I wandered around together for a while, before he had to disappear off (birthday present buying, yay!) and I made the most of the solitude to take coo over the pretty craft work. 

Each business, shop, community group or school that wants to contribute gets one row of 4 or 5 decorations. The variety of the decorations, the work put into it and the sheer amount of them is ridiculous.

The photos in this post are trying to give you a sense of the overall scale, although it's pretty impossible to do. Most of the decorations are along a few long covered arcades (for obvious rain+paper related reasons), and the shops, decorations themselves and people prevent you seeing the whole length. But I tried! In my next post, I'll show you some of my favourite close ups! 

In the station

Off we go, along Clis Road (the main arcade and decorations spot)

I love the paper crane ones the most. Such a crazy amount of work.

These ones are decorated like Kokeshi Dolls, a traditional Tohoku doll.

Well it is the star festival after all! 

Try as I might, I couldn't hide from the crowds inside a decoration.

Heading off down a side street (you can spy John with his Tokyo bag if you look carefully!)

I know this is technically advertising Yamaha, but GO TEAM GB!! 


  1. I see what you mean about it being 'your' festival - amazing decorations. I rather wish we had timed our visit for while it was on but maybe Dad would prefer a slightly calmer Sendai!

    1. Yup, you'd have loved it, but I've taken lots of photos for you!

  2. We so need some decorations like for the next party we have!!

    1. We so do, I think we could make small ones! Let's have a Japanese style party when I'm back...I have 2 yukata now, so we can both dress up :)

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 誕生日おめでとう! Your party decorations are stunning! :D

  4. Gorgeous! They are! You too! ^^

    Happy belated birthday!