A NEW major exhibition and event centre will open in Sendai on March 14, providing one more venue for large-scale conventions in the city.
The Sendai International Center Exhibition Building incorporates a main hall of 3,000m2 and has a capacity of 2,560 people and four 200m2 meeting halls each with space for around 200 people.
Column-free and carpeted, the main hall has been designed to meet the needs of a range of events, while the adjoining Sendai International Center Conference Building has a 755m2 main hall and 12 meeting rooms of various sizes.
The new exhibition centre will be put to use for the first time in March when it hosts the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. More than 40,000 participants are expected to attend, including government ministers from a number of nations.
“There are relatively few facilities in and around Sendai that are able to hold comparatively large-scale conventions, which is what we are primarily targeting,” said Akira Takahashi, director of Sendai city's Economic Affairs Bureau.
Sendai already has around 30 halls and exhibition facilities, as well as 25 large hotels with meeting rooms, but the operators of the new centre hope to take advantage of the proximity of Tohoku University, which is a five-minute walk away and is attracting an increasing number of conventions and events.
The centre also benefits from its location in the heart of the city, Takahashi said. A four-minute walk from the main Sendai Station, the city is just 90 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train and only 20 minutes from Sendai Airport aboard the Airport Access Train.
Delegates at events will also be able to take advantage of a number of famous hot springs, including the 1,400-year old Akiu Onsen, rated in the top three in all of Japan.