We’ve compiled the best of the best in Tohoku - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Chuson-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Founded in AD 850, this temple's highlight is its Konjikido (Golden Hall), which was completed in 1124. The first Ou Fujiwara lord, Kiyohara...Read More

  • 2. Ho-Onji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    On the outskirts of Mt. Atagoyama is a temple district where a dozen temples are clustered. This one houses 499 statues of Buddha's disciples...Read More

  • 3. Risshaku-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Yamadera is like something conjured out of the ethereal mists of an ancient Japanese charcoal painting. Built in the year AD 860, Yamadera's...Read More

  • 4. Chosho-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Thirty-three of the Soto Sect's Zen temples line up along Zenrin-gai (Zen Forest Street), at the end of which Chosho-ji temple stands with great...Read More

  • 5. Gas-san

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Buses leave JR Tsuruoka Station at 6, 7, 10:15 and 12:46 in summer for the nearly two-hour trip (¥1,560) to the Gas-san Hachigo-me stop. From...Read More

  • 6. Godaido

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Just to the right of the ferry pier in Matsu-shima is this small temple constructed in 1609 at the behest of daimyo Masamune Date. The temple...Read More

  • 7. Haguro-san

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The climb up Mt. Haguro begins at the red Zuishin Gate (Zuishin-mon), then goes up 2,446 or so stone steps to the summit. The strenuous ascent...Read More

  • 8. Mitsu-Ishi Shrine

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Literally "the Shrine of the Three Rocks," here you will find said boulders wrapped with Shinto straw festoons. In case you're wondering why...Read More

  • 9. Motsu-ji


    A UNESCO World Heritage site, Motsu Temple's main buildings were destroyed by the fire that consumed much of the area in 1226. Nevertheless...Read More

  • 10. Osaki Hachiman-gu

    Aoba-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of the few structures left standing in Sendai after World War II, this shrine houses the guardian deity of military families. As such, the...Read More

  • 11. Rinno-ji

    Aoba-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Interested in Zen meditation? This temple, with a quintessentially Japanese garden, holds free zazen-kai (seated meditation class) on Saturday...Read More

  • 12. Yudono-san

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of a trio of Dewa peaks, 5,000-foot Yudono-san is generally the last on pilgrims' rounds. You can descend on foot in a few hours from Gas...Read More

  • 13. Zuigan-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Matsushima's main temple dates from AD 828, but the present structure was rebuilt to meet Masamune Date's tastes in 1609. Zuiganji is perhaps...Read More

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