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Monday, June 24, 2024

Matsushima Journey Information • Simply One Cookbook

Uncover the wonder and attraction of Matsushima, a picturesque coastal city in Tohoku Japan. From gorgeous views to its wealthy historical past, this journey information will aid you plan your good journey to Matsushima.

a red bridge leading to an islanda red bridge leading to an island

Matsushima is a small coastal city within the Tohoku area, simply 40 minutes from Sendai Metropolis. The bay space is roofed by 260 pine-covered islands that create one of many “Three Views of Japan” (the opposite two are Amano-Hashidate in Kyoto and Miyajima in Hiroshima). This city has lengthy been celebrated as a spot of romance, spirituality, and class, drawing in lots of monks, rulers, and artists.

Even the haiku grasp Matsuo Basho was left confused when he first visited Matsushima. Its scenic magnificence and unbelievable meals now appeal to guests from everywhere in the world, making it a must-visit in case you are within the Tohoku area.

View overlooking Matsushima BayView overlooking Matsushima Bay

Throughout my go to, I launched into a cruise via the majestic islands whereas indulging in native delicacies, from recent oysters to among the finest gentle lotions I’ve had in Japan. Visiting in early February meant that some spots have been closed, however there’s nonetheless loads to do. Able to take a tour now? Let’s go!

Learn how to get to Matsushima

Matsushima is definitely accessible by each automobile and practice. From Sendai Station, it takes roughly 35 minutes by automobile utilizing the expressways, with tolls costing 440 yen a method.

By practice, board the Tohoku Line to on to Matsushima Station, costing 420 yen a method and taking roughly 25 minutes. Alternatively, take the JR Senseki Line to Matsushima Kaigan Station, which prices 420 yen a method and takes roughly 40 minutes (costs in 2024). This station is simply on the entrance of the city, so it’s a nice place to begin to discover the town, whereas Matsushima Station is extra centrally positioned.

Matsushima Bay

Upon arriving at Matsushima, you’ll be greeted by the open bay, the place you may view the mysterious islands, Godaido Temple, and Fukuurabashi Bridge resulting in Fukuurajima.

One of the simplest ways to discover the realm is to go on a sightseeing cruise. There are a number of programs to select from, with tickets accessible to buy on the pier on the day. Adults value 1,500 yen, youngsters (aged 6-12) value 750 yen, and infants (beneath six years outdated) can board at no cost (costs in 2024). The cruise lasts roughly 50 minutes, overlaying 17 km whereas touring via the mysterious pine-clad islets.

On the boat, there are three ranges. The underside two have indoor seating and out of doors viewing spots, whereas the highest ground is outdoor. Inside, many individuals have been consuming their bento lunch whereas having fun with the attractive surroundings!

Through the cruise, a neighborhood lady described the realm and all of the islands and the way they have been naturally shaped by the crashing waves.

She additionally described how Matsushima and her private life have been affected by the 2011 Tohoku tsunami. Fortunately, all of the islands in entrance of Tsushima helped defend the city, minimalizing any extreme harm.

Matsushima islandsMatsushima islands

There are such a lot of photograph alternatives all through the cruise. The primary was Nioh-jima, which resembles a Nio guardian smoking a cigar!

Matsushima islandsMatsushima islands

The second was Kanejima, an island with 4 holes via it. In the event you take the photograph on the proper time, you may see instantly via all of the holes concurrently. I solely managed three!

You can too see the oyster cages and fishing spots that supply a few of Japan’s most interesting seafood.

Simply earlier than the cruise ended, the announcer went across the boat providing native Matsuhima items. I picked up some oyster takikomi gohan (Japanese combined rice)!

Native Matsushima Delicacies

Shunkai Restaurant – Oysters and Recent Seafood

If there’s one factor it’s best to go to Matsushima for, other than the gorgeous surroundings, it’s the seafood, particularly the oysters.

Oyster farming in Matushima began within the 1600s when numerous oysters have been found alongside the cove of Nonojima Island. Matsushima is positioned alongside the Sanriku Coast, one of many prime areas for fishing. Within the Sanriku Sea, the place the Oyashio and Kuroshio currents converge, plentiful provides of plankton are created, attracting migratory fish all year long. The calm waters additionally present superb circumstances for wakame and kombu farming, in addition to for scallops and oysters. Miyagi Prefecture ranks because the second-largest oyster producer (after Hiroshima), with Matsushima being one of many important contributors.

Oyster curry breadOyster curry bread

Now, yow will discover oysters and oyster-flavored meals and souvenirs round Matsushima.

Oyster restaurant exteriorOyster restaurant exterior

I headed to Shunkai to style among the famed oysters. I made a decision on the oyster lunch set, cooked in several methods: uncooked, pickled, and deep-fried for 2300 yen. It got here with soup, rice, and tsukemono (Japanese pickles).

The oysters have been creamy, candy, and had a touch of the ocean. As they have been cooked in three alternative ways, you by no means get bored with consuming them!

Yukitakeya – Rice Crackers and Gentle Cream

Alongside the road reverse Matsushima Bay, yow will discover many memento retailers providing native Matsushima meals and items. Right here, they promote every kind of conventional Japanese-style items, from chopstick holders to massive rice crackers!

While you first stroll in, you’ll discover the counter stuffed with big spherical rice crackers dipped of their particular sauce to order.

Round rice crackerRound rice cracker

It was candy, salty, sticky, and crispy all on the identical time. It was fairly troublesome to complete on my own!

Red bean soft creamRed bean soft cream

However the gentle cream actually impressed me. In the event you’ve learn a few of my different journey posts, you’ll know I like gentle serve. The one at Yukitakeys was crimson bean-flavored, and it was so creamy and wealthy, with the proper quantity of sweetness and undertones of crimson bean. It was by far the most effective gentle lotions I’ve ever had in Japan.

Matsukama Sohonten – Sasa Kamaboko

Certainly one of Miyagi Prefecture’s native meals is sasa kamaboko (笹かまぼこ), or bamboo leaf fish cake. Through the early Meiji Period (1868-1912), there was an extra provide of flounder. Nevertheless, because of inadequate storage services and transportation, a lot of it went to waste. In response to this, folks started grinding the flounder meat right into a fish cake, which got here to be often called sasa kamaboko

At Matsukama Sohonten, you may grill your personal sasa kamaboko and luxuriate in its barely candy and never overpoweringly fishy taste. It’s an important snack to maintain you going in your Matsushima adventures!

Historic Significance

Matsushima isn’t just about meals and scenic views; it additionally holds historic significance in Japan. Date Masamune, considered one of Japan’s strongest feudal lords, constructed numerous constructions within the space, together with Zuiganji, Godaido, Entsuin, Tenrinin, and the Kanrantei Tea Home.

Curiously, Zuiganji and the Kanrantei Tea Home have been constructed dealing with the harvest full moon within the fall, reflecting Date’s fondness for the moon (his helmet even contains a crescent-shaped moon!). For these intrigued by Date’s historical past, the Date Masamune Historic Museum gives a possibility to discover additional and even attempt on a reproduction of his armor.

Pathwat lined with trees leading to a templePathwat lined with trees leading to a temple


I visited Zuiganji, a zen temple courting again to the ninth century. Date ordered the development of the present temple, which served as his household’s temple, which was accomplished in 1609. There’s a 200-meter odd walkway to the temple’s entrance, lined by towering cedar timber and shallow caves.

The hondo (important corridor) is a nationwide treasure and artistically depicts Japan’s seasonality and Date’s aesthetic sense. (Sadly, photographs and movies are prohibited.)

Intricate work on gold leaf-covered partitions elegantly depict the seasons. All through the temple, there are additionally wood carvings of legendary animals.

Within the museum, yow will discover reveals of treasures, together with unique samurai swords and a statue of Masamune.

Panoramic Views

To view Matsushima Bay and the attractive islands, you may go to one of many many commentary factors from completely different views. I headed to Saigyo Modoshi no Matsu Park as there was a restaurant I additionally needed to go to, Cafe le Roman.

Cafe interior with antique furnitureCafe interior with antique furniture

The park is called after Saigyo Hoshi, a well-known poet who, after an extended journey, arrived at a hill the place he rested beneath an important pine tree. A younger boy joined him and began questioning him with Buddhist riddles, which Hoshi couldn’t reply. Ashamed, he gave up on his journey.

The park gives among the finest views of Matsushima Bay, adorned with 260 cherry blossom timber that paint the bay in a cloud of pink. From right here, you may witness the dynamism of the bay and admire the small pine-covered islands, the crimson bridge, and the bustling fishing operations beneath.

Inside the park, I visited Cafe le Roman, a trendy café with glass partitions that can help you soak within the panoramic views whereas having fun with a lightweight meal. I had an apple tarte tatin with a spiced scorching chocolate earlier than returning to Sendai!

In the event you plan to remain till the night, the evening view can also be gorgeous. Below the twinkling moonlight, you may benefit from the serenity of Matsushima because the islands and timber solid shadows towards the evening sky.

In the event you ever end up within the Tohoku area, Matsushima is definitely price a go to!

Fascinated by meals from Sendai? Don’t miss my Sendai Meals Information and different Japan journey posts.

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