Temple, Shrine, Island, Ocean, Matsushima, Japan
Temple, Shrine, Island, Ocean, Mastushima, Miyagi, Japan
Matsushima Bay, celebrated for some 260 bantam islands ( 島 – shima ) covered in pines ( 松 – matsu ) — hence the name — and ranked as one of Japan ‘s Three Great Views.
In 1689, Haiku poet Matsuo Basho visited Matsushima on the trip recorded in Narrow Road to the Deep North. A long-familiar poem much attributed to Basho claims to record his chemical reaction, signifying that nothing more could be said :
Matsushima ah !
A-ah, Matsushima, ah !
Matsushima, ah !
Today ‘s Matsushima is possibly a fiddling less inspire, but hush a worthwhile day trip if in the region.
The town did not suffer significant damange due to the Great East Japan Earthquake ; the tsunami damage was minimal. The temples, shrines, and sight seeing destinations are placid there and still worth the trip.
The Senseki train from Sendai is presently functional and travel to Matsushima-kaigan station is possible.
The town is only a brusque distance from prefectural capital Sendai.
Most visitors arrive on the JR Senseki Line ( 仙石線 ) connecting Sendai ( 25 minutes by express aim or 40 minutes by local ) and Ishinomaki. The most commodious station is Matsushima-Kaigan ( 松島海岸 ). The Matsushima place on the JR Tohoku Main Line is located a fair distance away from the seashore.
From Tokyo, the Shinkansen fastball train runs to Sendai for connection to the Senseki Line. The total one-way fare is ¥10,900 using the fastest, all-reserved shinkansen military service, and the travel to Matsushima-Kaigan lasts around 2 3/4 hours. There is no charge if you use the Japan Rail Pass.
Another popular option is to take the JR Senseki line train to Hon-Shiogama ( do n’t mistake it with JR Tohuku line string to Shiogama station ), connect to a sightseeing boat to Matsushima ( viewing some of the celebrated islands along the way ), then recurrence by train.
Matsushima ‘s seaside attractions are within walking distance of the train place and ferry pier, but the best views are from mountaintops not thus easy to reach on foot. The most spectacular views are from Saigyo Modoshi no Matsu Park, a ¥660 taxi ride up from the place. It is covered with cherry blossoms in the spring, but the food available there is nothing especial. other overlooks are Sōkanzan, a promontory that juts out into the bay, and Ōgitani, a mound across the coastal highway from Sokanzan.
Zuigan-ji Temple ( 瑞巌寺 ), [ 2 ]. 8AM-3:30PM ( sometimes late ). Matsushima ‘s top Zen synagogue with over a thousand years of history, but not a top choice for relaxation : tickets are sold from vending machines and guides shouting into megaphones herd tour groups through the temple, which has been turning into a museum with everything of interest partitioned off and/or packaged in glass cases. The approach with its moss-covered Kannon statues is atmospheric though. Repairs on the main temple roof started in 2009 and are projected to survive 5 or more years. ¥700. edit
Kanran-tei Pavilion ( 観覧亭 ). originally built in Kyoto by celebrated Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, this was finally moved to Matsushima by Date Tadamune in 1645 and is the largest Momoyama-style tea house in Japan. An excellent place to stop for a ¥200 cup of tea ( traditional japanese sweets included ) and a view of the Matsushima coastline.
Fukuura Island ( 福浦島 ; Fukuura-jima ). Connected to the mainland by a long bridge, the island is crisscrossed in all directions by paths small and bombastic, pave and boggy, well-trod and overgrow. A racing circuit of the island wo n’t take more than an hour and there are some very sparsely beautiful spots to be seen. An matter to anecdote, there is a local superstition that crossing the bridge with a girlfriend/boyfriend will cause a dissolution.
Ōtakamori ( 大高森 ). One of The 4 celebrated Places to view Matsushima Bay and a good place to catch the sunset over the island. The begin of the 1-km trail to the top is some 3 kilometers from the Pila Youth Hostel in Oku-Matsushima.