Matsushima (松島) is famous bay not far from Sendai. What makes this place unique is that the bay is dotted with beautiful little islands, the most famous of which has a shrine on top. You can view the islands by walking around the bay or by using traditional Japanese bridges to access the 2 main islands.
Budget travel tips
- Taking a boat cruise is not essential, but if you really want to, have a walk along the bay to check the latest prices.
Places of interest
Godaido Hall (五大堂)
This may be a small island, but the shrine on top makes it a super cool experience! The symbol of Matsushima. It is easy to access by visiting the bay.
Open: 8:30 to 17:00
Another cool island, with caves and a few religious ornaments and structures. To get here, just walk south along the bay from Matsushimakaigan station, until you see the short bridge to Oshima island.
Take the bridge over, and have a stroll around the island. It takes about 30-40 minutes to walk around, and features some nice spots to relax and take in the views. To get here, walk east from Matsushimakaigan station, then along the bay until you see Fukuura Island’s long bridge.
The bay area is full of nice parks, cafes and places to eat or get some snacks. The view over the sea and islands is breathtaking. The bay is just east of Matsushimakaigan station.
The most famous temple in town, featuring spectacular Japanese and western gardens.
Open: 8:30 to 17:00 (until 4PM in winter)
Price: 300 yen
How to get there
From Sendai station, take the Senseki Line (JR line) to Matsushimakaigan station (40 mins, 410 yen).
Hostels and Cheap Hotels
There are few cheap options in Matsushima, so consider staying in Sendai, as there will be cheaper deals there.