Sendai airport is truly the ‘Gateway to the Tohoku region’. The airport offers frequent flights between Sendai and international airports in Taipei, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Guam as well as domestic services from Narita, Sapporo, Nagoya, Komatsu, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Okinawa.
It is the perfect location for international and domestic tourists to start their Tohoku adventure, with plenty of convenient transport options connecting the airport to each of the six northernmost prefectures of Honshu – Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi and Fukushima.
For those traveling to (or from) Sendai airport for the first time, I have compiled some useful information to help you know what to expect!
Assuming that you’ve just arrived at Sendai Airport, let’s start by showing you how to get to Sendai Station! Then we’ll take a look around the airport itself.
Access to Sendai Station and beyond
The easiest way to access Sendai Station from Sendai Airport is by local train, on the Airport Access line. Sendai Airport Station is accessible from the second floor of the airport, through these doors:
There’s a train every 40 minutes or so to Sendai Station, so make sure you check the departure times to find a service that is convenient for your arrival time. (A useful service for looking up train times in Japan can be found here: http://www.hyperdia.com/en/)
You can purchase a train ticket to Sendai Station from the electronic ticket machines in front of the gate. A one-way trip will set you back 650 yen and take between 17~25 minutes (depending on the service). You can also charge your Suica/Pasimo/Icsca IC cards at these machines and simply tap-on/tap-off as you pass through the gates.
Although Sendai Station will be the first destination for many travelers (Sendai City being the hub of the Tohoku region and closest connection to the Tohoku Shinkansen), there are also a number of highway buses servicing the airport which will take you to major attractions around Miyagi and the surrounding prefectures of Yamagata, Fukushima and Iwate.
Check out the Sendai Airport homepage for a full list of bus services. Many people do not realise how convenient it is to access the greater Tohoku region as soon as you step off the plane in Sendai ↓↓↓
One particular bus service runs from the airport to World Heritage Site Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture, via the ever famous Matsushima Bay (one of Japan’s Top 3 scenic views!). If you are unsure of where to begin your Tohoku journey, perhaps one of these convenient bus services can be your inspiration? Many of the buses do require reservation in advance. However, if you live within Japan, these can be easy booked online or paid at your local convenience store.
Enough of outside the airport! There are a treasure trove of convenient features and facilities within Sendai Airport itself which will enrich your Tohoku travel experience.
Firstly, the size and design of the airport make it incredibly easy to get around. Departure gates are located on the second floor (just as you step off the JR Access Line), and arrivals on the first floor.
If you do have any questions or require additional information, you can find the general information desk on the first floor.
One of the friendly staff will gladly assist you! Directly across the thoroughfare is a tourist information desk where you can access a bunch of fantastic info about travel in Tohoku, as well as consult the staff with any questions or queries you may have.
As well as the information desks, you can find all that you need to prepare for your ongoing journey here. There are several ATMs, rental car desks, travel insurance office, sim-card kiosks, luggage couriers, as well as a police station if you should misplace your passport or find yourself in any major trouble!
Got some time to kill before boarding? Forgot to buy that souvenir? Not to worry! There are a plethora of great restaurants, souvenir stores and entertainment dotted around both first and second floors. Whether you’re after a light meal and coffee or a full dinner, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Once you’ve filled your empty stomach, it’s time to hit the shops! There are a huge range of souvenirs available; from snacks and treats to ‘yurukyara’ (cartoon mascot) and samurai goods to daruma dolls and other traditional Tohoku crafts!
There are also several interactive displays of different aircraft, as well as an observation deck on the roof called ‘Smile Terrace’ which gives you a panoramic view over the airport and planes below.
Tastes of Tohoku
Dotted around the airport you will also find some beautiful displays of Tohoku culture, tradition and history; Kokeshi dolls from around the six prefectures (can you spot the differences?!), Sendai Tanabata decorations and, of course, the fierce samurai lord Date Masamune.
Sendai Airport is surrounded by wide, open spaces which are perfect (and very popular!) for running. To accommodate to runners who frequent the nearby running tracks, Sendai Airport has created a ‘Runner’s Port’. Here runner’s have access to lockers, showers and changing rooms.
With the Tohoku Miyagi ‘Revive Marathon’ set to take place for the first time on October 1st not far from the airport itself, this is the perfect facility for those in training and looking to test out the running environment, without any extra hassle!
With all the tools and information required to make the most of your travel in north Japan, Sendai Airport really is the ideal gateway to the Tohoku region! Whether you are visiting from within Japan or from overseas, you can rest assured that your journey will be off to the best start.
Have you booked your flights yet?
Sendai Airport Homepage: https://www.sendai-airport.co.jp/en/