Pre-arrival Guidebook for International Students

Tohoku University was established in 1907 as Japan's third Imperial University, following the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. Tohoku University celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2007, and is proud to be ranked among Japan's leading universities. Tohoku University has continuously upheld its academic traditions of "Research First" and "Open Doors," and through these has produced much unique international research and many exceptional graduates.
Located on five campuses in the city of Sendai, the university is comprised of 10 undergraduate faculties, 16 graduate schools, 6 reserch institutes, 13 research centers, and an university hospital.

  • Kawauchi Campus (faculties of humanities, social sciences, and common subjects)
  • Katahira Campus (administration offices, graduate schools of sciences and engineering)
  • Seiryo Campus (faculties of medicine and dentistry, University Hospital)
  • Aobayama Campus (faculties of sciences and engineering)
  • Amamiya Campus (faculty of agricultural sciences)

We have created this handbook in the hopes that it will prove useful to international students as they prepare to enter Tohoku University. If you have questions about anything not addressed in this book, please contact the person in charge of international students in your department, or your academic advisor.

Combining the convenience of a modern city with abundant natural scenery, Sendai, where Tohoku University is located, is often called "the City of Trees."
There are events throughout the year, allowing one to enjoy each of the four seasons. The most nationally famous of these events is the Tanabata Festival, in which decorations are displayed on long upright bamboo poles in the downtown area. Other events that attract large numbers of people include the Aoba Festival, which features lively dancing, and the Pageant of Starlight, in which zelkova trees along a main boulevard are illuminated.
Sendai is also a major sports city, boasting professional soccer, baseball, basketball teams. Games draw many supporters, who come to watch the exciting games and cheer for the home teams.
There are a large number of cultural attractions too. The Sendai Cultural Foundation displays works by famous authors, such as Lu Xun, who are connected with Sendai. In the autumn, some of Japan's largest jazz and classical music festivals are held in the city, and one can hear music throughout the downtown area.
Sendai is 30 minutes by car from the historic Akiu and Sakunami spa areas. These are good places to rest and relax. There is also good access to beaches and ski areas, allowing you to make the most of your leisure time. While here, please also take time to try the fresh seafood and mountain delicacies.
Sendai is home to over 70,000 students. After visiting, Einstein said, "Sendai is a most suitable city for academic research." Indeed, its unbroken tradition of intellectual curiosity and student energy has earned Sendai a reputation as an "academic city." Your time in Sendai will be something you treasure for the rest of your life.