Photo by Laura Egan
Photo by Miyagi Prefecture
Photo by Roger Smith
Masamune Date (1567–1636), the founder and greatest ruler of the Sendai Domain, once looked out over his lands from the magnificent Aoba Castle. Now, centuries later, the castle is no more. The castle site now serves as a public park of sorts. Upon reaching the site, visitors will be rewarded with what is arguably the best view of Sendai City. This is also the location of the iconic statue of Masamune Date on horseback. The statue is illuminated from sunset until 10:00 p.m. most nights.
On special days, the city’s official samurai re-enactors, the Date Bushotai, are on hand to regale visitors with tales of Sendai’s samurai past and pose for pictures. The castle site is also home to a museum exhibiting armor, swords, letters, and more—bringing the history of the castle and its founder to life.