We awake in another industrial port and our tour guide proudly announces that he has just been interviewed by the local tv news as we are the first cruise liner to use the port.  A quick passport check as the scanners are working today despite the rain!  Yes, rain.  Indeed not just rain but significantly lower temperatures as well, we have rapidly moved from a beautiful May day as per the guide in Tokyo to a dingy,  murky May day.

In Sendai we are retreating further into Japanese history with the visits in connection with a significant leader early in the 17th Century.  There is a statue of Date Masamune at the site of Sendai Castle, which along with most other castles in Japan was destroyed at the time of 19th Century revolution.  There have been three castles in the area of growing size and importance but little remains of any of them.

Date Masamune had lost an eye to smallpox plus he wore a crescent shape on his helmet marking him out as a huge warrior.  He was also aware of the external world sending a mission to the Pope and encouraging trade (no doubt much to his personal benefit).  His personal appearance no doubt being significant in later film and other representations!

Some excavations have identified the shape of the Great Hall of the castle which is marked out on the ground but only a map of the remainder of the layout exists.  Some of the walls remain but we arrive by an indirect route as one of the walls has collapsed following an earthquake.  Most of the surrounding area is now part of the local Tofuku university which is in the top three of Japanese universities.

Our second site visit is to shrine.  By now it is quite wet so we do not join the main group to walk down to the main entrance and back.  We retreat into a room and watch a video of various festivals held at the shrine.

Back on board a light lunch and then we retreat to our cabin.  Once we set sail there is a strong whistling noise around the sliding door and we report it to reception, this will be an ongoing saga!