Zuihoden is reminiscent of the Tokugawa mausoleum in Nikko in its elaborate beauty expressed in the Momoyama style of architecture.
The original, ornate 17th century buildings were destroyed by US bombing in World War II but completely restored in 1979. In 2001, the buildings were restored again to make them more closely resemble the original structures and included the addition of lion mask sculptures to the columns of the buildings and tiles and dragon heads at the four corners of the roofs.
Set at the top of a flight of steep stone steps within a forest, the site also includes the impressive mausoleums of Date Tadamune and Date Tsunamune, the second and third successors to the father of the Date clan.
Other Date clan descendants are buried in much plainer tombs and graves.
It was Masamune who founded Aoba-jo (Sendai Castle) in 1602 and subsequently the city of Sendai grew from these beginnings to be the power base of the powerful Date clan throughout the Edo Period (1600-1867) of Japanese history and is now the largest city in the Tohoku region of northern Japan.
On his death in 1636, Masamune left instructions for the building of his tomb which was completed in 1637.
The Kansenden is the mausoleum of Date Tadamune (1599-1658), Masamune's son. After its destruction in World War II it was restored in 1985.
The Zennoden is the mausoleum of Date Tsunamune (1640-1711), Masamune's grandson. After the bombing of World War II it was restored in 1985 and again in 2007.
The Zuihoden Museum displays personals artifacts of the Date clan as well as items excavated after the war time bombing, including family skeletons and hair. Other exhibits include weapons, combs, lacquer boxes and documents.
23-2, Otamayashita, Aoba-ku
Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0814
Tel: 022 262 6250
Admission: Adults 550 yen (100 yen discount with the Loople Bus Pass); high school students 400 yen, elementary and junior high school students 200 yen.
Hours: 9am - 4.30pm February 1 - November 30; 9am - 4.30pm December 1 - January 31; Closed December 31 - January 1.
Access To Zuihoden
From the West Exit of JR Sendai Station, take the Loople Bus to stop number #4 - Zuihoden-mae bus stop. Sendai city bus #705 and Miyagi Kotsu buses to the Otamayahashi bus stop are also convenient for Zuihoden.
Alternatively from Omachi Nishikoen Station on the Tozai Line of the Sendai subway Zuihoden is a 15-20 minute walk.
Zuihoden & Aoba-jo Map
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