Sendai is famous for the samurai “Masamune Date”, Gyu-tan, or Zunda. But I should mention about figure skating here because Yuzuru Hanyu, and Shizuka Arakawa, who got the first prize in the world competition, grew up in Sendai.
Sendai, the birthplace of figure skating in Japan
It’s said “The history of figure skating stretches back to prehistoric times.” And I see it was born in Europe, then it was spread all over the world.
In Japan, Sendai is the birthplace of it. It seems that the beginning was around 1890 when a foreigner living in Sendai skated.
There are various stories about the history in Japan, but the most common one is that Americans who came to Japan as missionaries and teachers taught Japanese.
There’s a swamp in Sendai which is called “Goshiki-numa”, and it’s famous as the place they did.
*There’s Goshiki-numa in Fukushima prefecture, but it’s not the same.
The swamp became ice rink in winter in that time, so people can enjoy skating there. (It’s impossible anymore because it doesn’t freeze enough.)
Famous skater from Sendai
Yuzuru Hanyu is really famous figure skating star. He has lots of fans all over the world. He was born in Sendai and grew up here.
Shizuka Arakawa is also famous player. She is the 3rd Japanese for World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She wasn’t born in Sendai but spent her childhood, like more than 15 years.
Their achievements are amazing. And they also helped Tohoku a lot, especially when the Tohoku disaster happened. I’m sure their actions encourage people even in difficult situations.
And I’m proud of them as the person who has a connection with Sendai.
Monument of the star players
You can see the monument of them at 国際センター駅(Kokusai center eki : International center station).
There are glass panels and handprints, so you can see how big their hands are too. 🙂
And Goshiki-numa is also close to the station. It takes about 10 minutes to get there.
Sendai walking course
Here is my suggestion about walking around Sendai with watching skating history.
【It takes about 1.5 hour】 Get off at 国際センター駅(Kokusai center eki : International center station) https://goo.gl/maps/tWg38ZEywaPGFdjW8 --> The monuments in front of the station https://goo.gl/maps/Aq6VQkRuQJV2Wmgc7 *walk less than 10 mins --> The swamp "Goshiki-numa" https://goo.gl/maps/jB2t77xugo3Lbr4h6 *walk about 10 mins --> Sendai(Aoba) castle ruins. https://goo.gl/maps/rTZCHqqxNyXEdiJA8 There are a shrine, museums, and some souvenir shops. Also, you can enjoy the scenery of the central area in Sendai. Gyu-tan(beef tongue), Sasakamaboko(Fish cakes), and Zunda/Zunda shake are popular in Sendai and you can enjoy all of them here. If it's clear sky, you'll see a huge buddha in Northwest direction. *walk about 15 mins --> 国際センター駅(Kokusai center eki : International center station) Or you can walk toward Sendai station from Sendai castle ruins. It would take about 30 mins.
In addition, if you wanna have a seat and relax after walking, there are some good cafes around there.
▼At the station
cafe mozart Metro 【https://goo.gl/maps/f6GmqMtgTB1fjfxs6】They have terrace, so it would be nice in warm weather.
▼On the way to Sendai station, and close to the Goshiki-numa
Gengo chaya【https://goo.gl/maps/Gt8CgGjczPrfrqqB6】You can enjoy Japanese sweets, such as Anko, Zonda, or Anmitsu.
Echoes【https://goo.gl/maps/818RXg6rnMFQLVQL6】They serve several kinds coffees, and have bench.
Thank you for reading!
Hope you enjoy your time in Sendai 🙂