Is Matsushima Price Visiting?

I truthfully can’t keep in mind after I determined I wished to go to Matsushima. It was after the onset of the pandemic, to make certain; I received there virtually as quick as I might, after arriving in Kyoto to check Japanese in early 2021.

I additionally don’t keep in mind why I wished to go so badly. Whereas Matsushima is clearly one in all Japan’s “three nice views,” I’ve by no means felt too hung up on such designations when planning my very own journeys to Japan. I suppose this should stay a thriller.

Regardless, I’ve now made a number of journeys to Japan’s pine islands, so I’m greater than certified to reply the query that led you right here: Is Matsushima Bay value it?

Why Matsushima Bay is Well-known

Earlier than I handle the central matter of this publish (“is Matsushima value visiting?”), I ought to ask an much more existential query: Why is Matsushima well-known, within the first place? The brief reply is that it’s been designated as one in all Japan’s “three well-known views,” alongside Amanohashidate in Kyoto prefecture, and Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima.

The lengthy reply is that the scene—pine covered-islands dotting a wonderful bay and main all the way in which out to the horizon—has been depicted in numerous items of artwork going again centuries, lengthy earlier than its fashionable Instagram fame. Whilst you might or might not resolve to rent a Constitution jet to take you right here at a second’s discover, I wouldn’t be shocked if you happen to rapidly add Matsushima to your bucket record after studying this publish.


What to Do at Matsushima Bay

Stroll amid the islands

Native authorities have constructed pedestrian bridges that join the mainland of the Matsushima seashore to the closest-in islands, which embrace Oshima and Fukuura. This lets you get up-close and private with its magnificent pines, and see their spectacular scale and wonder first-hand.

(Or cruise via them)

One other expertise that makes Matsushima Bay value visiting? Go to one of many boat ticket places of work close to the station, and ebook a cruise that takes you thru the islands. These depart a minimum of as soon as per hour, usually at instances which are synchronized with the arrival and departure instances of trains.

Take all of it in from above

My private favourite approach to see Matsushima is from above, particularly on the Saigyo Modoshi-no-matsu viewpoint. That is about 20 minutes on foot up the hill behind Matsushima-kaigan Station, although you will get a cab right here for round ¥1,500 if anybody in your group has mobility points.

Dine on recent oysters

Is Matsushima Bay value visiting? Not surprisingly, if you happen to love seafood, the reply is a a lot clearer “sure.” Whereas oysters caught proper out within the bay are the preferred providing (I personally love them grilled, often known as yaki gaki in Japanese), you can even take pleasure in extra sweeping choices resembling kaisendon sashimi rice bowls.

Keep for sundown—or come early for dawn

Matsushima sits to the east of the mainland, so when you can’t watch sundown “behind” the islands, the afternoon gentle does paint it in a really flattering approach. Conversely, you can even come for dawn if it’s clear, though this will happen very early at some instances of 12 months—earlier than 5 AM in the summertime months!


Tips on how to Get to Matsushima Bay

Matsushima is comparatively simple to entry from in all places in Japan, although it won’t be fast, relying upon the place you begin from. Probably the most easy place to start your journey is the town of Sendai, from which Matsushima’s nearest station (Matsushima-kaigan Station—don’t journey all the way in which to Matsushima Station!) is round half-hour away on the JR Senseki Line.

Don’t plan to be in Sendai? This doesn’t imply that Matsushima isn’t value visiting—you’ll be able to journey the Shinkansen right here from Morioka, Fukushima and even Tokyo, if you happen to’re very motivated. One other approach to sweeten the deal if you happen to’re nonetheless on the fence? Cease en route at Hon-Shiogama Station and go to the underrated, centuries-old Shiogama Shrine.


Different FAQ About Visiting Matsushima Bay

Is Matsushima value visiting?

Matsushima is totally value visiting, whether or not you particularly wish to tick one in all Japan’s “three well-known views” off your bucket record, or have simply seen footage of it and located your self impressed. In an effort to maximize your enjoyment of Matsushima, I like to recommend seeing it from a viewpoint (resembling Saigyo Modoshi-no-matsu), reasonably than merely at island or water stage.

What’s Matsushima well-known for?

Matsushima is legendary for being one in all Japan’s “three well-known views,” with Kyoto prefecture’s Amanohashidate and Hiroshima’s Itsukushima Shrine being the opposite two. It’s been memorialized in numerous items of classical Japanese artwork—and, extra lately, throughout social media.

The place is one of the best place to see Matsushima Bay?

In my view, one of the best place to see Matsushima Bay is the Saigyo Modoshi-no-matsu viewpoint. That is very true if you happen to come throughout cherry blossom season, which happens right here in mid-April. It doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you come, early risers shall be handled to one in all Japan’s finest sunrises right here, so be certain to not miss that!


The Backside Line

Is Matsushima Bay value it? Definitely, if you happen to’re going to be in Sendai (or anyplace in southern Tohoku) anyway, it could possibly’t harm to make a day journey to Matsushima, or to go to within the morning for dawn if you happen to don’t thoughts waking up so early. The scene you discover is undeniably lovely, whether or not you see it at floor stage on foot or by boat, or from overhead at viewpoints like Saigyo Modoshi-no-matsu. With this being mentioned, I’m undecided you need to go far out of your approach to go to Matsushima—nicely, until you’re like I used to be years in the past, and simply really feel supernaturally drawn to it. In that case, chances are you’ll wish to rent me to plan your journey.


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