Matsushima

Matsushima is known as one of the three amazing views of Japan. The view of the islands in the bay has continued to charm visitors since ancient times.

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The scenic view of the 260 islands of varying size has a beauty that has inspired poets to write famous poems since the ancient times. There are plenty of historic sites nearby. And there are many attractions for touring the islands.
Address
Matsushima, Matsushima-machi Miyagi-gun, Miyagi

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Picturesque scenery of the sea created from islands floating atop the bay

North of Sendai, there is Matsushima, beautiful and picturesque scenery located in an inlet along the Pacific coast. Known as one of the Three Views of Japan for centuries, this area which has been designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty has continued to capture the hearts of many travelers. There are islands, big and small, floating on top the blue waters of Matsushima Bay, and the beauty of this wonderful scenery, retained from the wildness of nature such as the brilliant pines growing lushly on the small islands and the white rock walls made from the waves hitting them, has the taste of the real Japan. Full of various expressions throughout the four seasons and the passing of time, the area leaves a special impression on visitors.

Many historic sites left at Matsushima

The highlights of Matsushima aren’t just the areas of scenic beauty on the islands floating on the sea. There remain many famous temples that were built in the old times and continue to relate a sumptuous history. The first daimyo (feudal lord) of Sendai, Masamune Date, moved a teahouse, Kanran-tei that he had acquired from Hideyoshi Toyotomi to Matsushima to be used by generations of daimyo for enjoying the cool of the evening and moon-viewing. Then, there is Zuigan-ji Temple which was established in the 9th century and later became the family temple for the Date clan; Godai-do Hall in which the statue of Godai Myoo, an image that is rarely displayed to the public, is enshrined; Ojima Island which is reached by a vermilion-lacquered bridge, and is an island of grottos where monks practice their beliefs and the dead are worshiped via memorial services; and many other historic sites which can be enjoyed through a tour of the area.

From land or sea, the view is beautiful

There are various ways to enjoy Matsushima. If you want to view that perfect sight, the Four Views of Matsushima where you can get that panoramic view of the 260 islands on Matsushima Bay and The Park of the Pine Tree that Sent Saigyo Home where you can enjoy the perfect view of flowers and islands during the season of the cherry blossoms are famous. If you want to get an even closer view of the islands, then enjoy a cruise around the islands. Also, since rental bikes are available, it’s great to ride around the Matsushima shore. And Matsushima is famous too as a moon-viewing spot, but aside from the evenings, the view during sunrises and sunsets are also exceptional. You will want to take your sweet time enjoying the changing expressions of Matsushima hour by hour.

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Reviews

2 years ago
Cute town near the sea
The town is quite small but near the sea and with many shops/ restaurants (mainly for tourists). We grilled ourselves and ate the fish cake, sasakama, which was a nice way to discover that food and know a bit more about Miyagi food.
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2 years ago
Great area with a neat history
Matsushima is great. The area was mostly spared by the 2011 tsunami because of all the small (uninhabited) islands along the coast that broke the wave before it hit the shore. As a result, a lot of the historic buildings and areas are still standing. There is plenty to do.
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3 years ago
Simply "the best"
This is just the best! If you are in Japan, this is the place you CANNOT miss! Nature, atmosphere, seafood, temples, view, and hiking, you will get all of them! I highly recommend going to Ootakamori (大高森) It is a little bit of hike (15 min), but totally worth it! The view on top of the hill is just WOW!! Nothing better than 360℃ view of Matsushima and great breeze!
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