The Matsushima area comprises just over 260 small and large islands in and around Matsushima Bay in Miyagi Prefecture. It is one of Japan's three most scenic views. Its beauty has been well-known since the Heian Period (794-1185). Today Matsushima is designated a special place of scenic beauty by the Japanese government and is a prefectural natural park. Many visitors here are amazed by the incredible beauty, the sight of which has been glorified in paintings and poetry. Shidaikan is the name given to the uniquely gorgeous views of Matsushima to be enjoyed at four spots atop nearby peaks: Sokan on Mt. Otakamori, Reikan on Mt. Tomiyama, Ikan on Mt. Tamonzan and Yukan on Mt. Ogidani. On a clear night, the moonlight illuminates the water and islands in a dazzling display. A cruise boat tour around the bay provides tourists with joy by offering alluring sights not to be seen from land.
The area's many attractions include Godai-do Temple, a symbol of Matsushima where the "Godai Myo'o" (Five Kings of Wisdom) are enshrined in the form of statues. Zuigan-ji Temple is a national treasure. At Kanran-tei teahouse you can savor "macha," or powdered green tea. Visitors to Entsu-in Temple can join a workshop to make prayer beads. There is always something interesting to do in Matsushima.
Matsushima has plenty of tasty local specialties, the most renowned of which are the oysters and cow tongue. An enticing aroma floats through the air of the town due to the many establishments preparing seafood. Make sure you bring your appetite with you when you come to Matsushima!
Address: Matsushima, Matsushima Town, Miyagi County, Miyagi Prefecture
Airport: Sendai Airport