A couple weeks ago, my son and I visited the city of Sendai.  It’s just to the north of us, a little over an hour away by regular train.  (Fifteen minutes by bullet train.)  Sendai City feels like such a big, congested city to me.  A mini Tokyo.  I enjoy going there, but I also enjoy returning to the relaxing peacefulness of Fukushima City.

How do Japanese cities rank in terms of population?  According to this chart,  Tokyo is number one.  Of course.  Did we have any doubt?

  1.  Tokyo
  2. Yokohoma
  3. Osaka
  4. Nagoya
  5. Sapporo
  6. Kobe
  7. Kyoto
  8. Fukuoka
  9. Kawasaki
  10. Saitama City
  11. Hiroshima City
  12. Sendai City

So you can see that Sendai is the twelfth most populated city in Japan.  It’s the largest in Tohoku.  It has about a million people.

How does Fukushima City rank in Japan?  It’s seventy-fifth.

Koriyama City is also in Fukushima Prefecture, but it’s ranked sixty-fifth.  So it’s the biggest city in Fukushima Prefecture.

Many cities in Japan have what is often called an International Center.  It’s an office that helps foreigners with their needs, and provides services for them.  Find yours in your city!

I wanted to find the International Center in Sendai City.



I took the subway to International Center Station.  Smart choice!  Stepping out of the station, the International Center Building was in front of me.  However, the International Center is a large building and I was on the side with the exhibit halls.


They were having a toilet exhibit.  I said to my son, “I have to go!  I have to go!”   He said no.  He is not interested in poop.  Plus there was a very, very long line of young children with their parents.   And they all had to go.


We walked around to the other side of the building and found the right place:  International Exchange and Information Area.   This is a place that assists foreigners.  I didn’t need assistance—I just wanted to look around and see what the place was like.  I was not disappointed.  It was large and, compared to Fukushima City’s office, quite fancy.


They have a whole area of Japanese language study books.


A library for foreigners.  The one in my city is a library of books that have been donated.  I frequently get rid of English books by giving them to the International Center.


English, Chinese, and Korean newspapers.


You can tell from the photo it is quite posh.


Outside, there was an exhibit of Sendai’s sister cities.


Dallas is a sister city of Sendai!  Whoo hoo!  My mom and dad live right outside of Dallas and I was born near Dallas, so this is exciting for me.