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Public Transportation in Sendai

Mastering the public transportation system in Sendai is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.

Public transportation in Sendai is efficient, reliable, and diverse. The city boasts a variety of transportation options including the Sendai Subway, JR East trains, Loople Sendai buses, and taxis. With such a comprehensive network, it’s entirely possible for an expat living in Sendai to comfortably live without a car, relying solely on public transportation and walking.

Sendai Subway

The Sendai Subway system is a convenient and reliable mode of transportation within the city. It consists of two lines: the North-South Namboku Line and the East-West Tozai Line. The subway operates from early morning until midnight, making it a viable option for both early risers and night owls. Safety is a priority in the Sendai Subway, with well-lit stations and cars, and security personnel present. It’s safe for women traveling alone, children commuting to school, and for travel at night. A single ride costs between 200 and 370 yen depending on the distance traveled, making it an affordable option for daily commuting.

JR East Trains

The JR East trains provide both intra-city and inter-city services. The Sendai Station is a major hub, connecting Sendai to other cities in the Tohoku region and beyond. The trains are punctual, clean, and safe. The cost varies depending on the destination, but for local travel within Sendai, it’s comparable to the subway fare. For those looking to explore other parts of Japan, the JR East trains offer an excellent way to travel.

Loople Sendai Buses

The Loople Sendai buses are a popular choice for both locals and tourists. These buses circle around the city, stopping at major tourist attractions, shopping areas, and dining spots. The buses run every 15-20 minutes from early morning until early evening. A one-day pass costs 620 yen, allowing unlimited rides for the day. The buses are safe and comfortable, providing a convenient way to explore the city at your own pace.


Taxis in Sendai are plentiful and can be hailed on the street or booked via phone or app. They provide a convenient option for those who prefer a more private mode of transportation. The starting fare is 710 yen for the first two kilometers, with an additional charge for each subsequent kilometer. While more expensive than the subway or buses, taxis offer the convenience of door-to-door service. They are safe and reliable, with professional drivers who often go above and beyond to assist passengers.


For those who prefer a more active mode of transportation, cycling is a popular choice in Sendai. The city is bicycle-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes and parking areas. There are several places where you can rent a bicycle for the day, making it a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around. It’s also a great way to enjoy the city’s beautiful scenery.

In conclusion, public transportation in Sendai is comprehensive, reliable, and affordable. Whether you’re commuting to work, exploring the city, or venturing out to other parts of Japan, there’s a mode of transportation to suit your needs. So, if you’re an expat living in Sendai, rest assured that you can comfortably live without a car.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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