Matsushima has been boasting of its beauty, since the Heian period,
and is designated as a national special scenic beauty and a prefectural natural park.
A lot of people who visit this place were moved by its beauty and admired it by drawing pictures or
The views from four directions, north, south, east and west entices people with the beauty of a
different scene from each perspective. A perfect balance between the contrast of colors created by
green pine trees and the figurative beauty produced by small islands floating on the large sea is
kept, and its beauty is unchanged from whichever direction.
You can enjoy the changing scenery of big and small rocks one after another such as Nio island,
Kane island, and Katsura island by "Regular cruise around the bay".
You can see branches of pine trees and rock surface in islands close-up by "Demand responsive small
You can enjoy the oyster stew from December to March by "Regular course around the bay from
Matsushima to Shiogama". You can enjoy masculine scenery peculiar to the rias coast, which is in
contrast to feminine scenery within the bay by "Cruise around Oku-Matsushima and Saga-kei valley".
You can choose according to your purpose and time.
It is the greatest Zen temple in Ohshu area established by priest Jikaku Taishi Ennin in the
fifth year of Tencho, and is the family temple of the lord of Sendai domain Masamune Date.
Masamune completed the current building in 1609 taking five years in total.
In construction, 130 skillful craftsmen were gathered from all over the country,
and construction materials were also obtained from Mt. Kumano.
These efforts showed his enthusiasm as the winner in Ohshu area.
Especially, the paneled door, the fan light, or gorgeous paintings on the sliding doors and the
alcove are regarded as perfection of artificial beauty that represents Japanese natural beauty.
* Due to repairs, the Hondo, Chumon and Onarimon are unavailable for viewing until around March 2016.
It is said to be established by Tamuramaro Sakanoue in 807.
It is called Godai-do because priest Jikaku enshrined Godai Myohoh (Buddhist statue) afterward.
The current building was rebuilt by the lord of Sendai domain Masamune Date who invited the
carpenters from Kishu when the Zuigan-ji Temple was rebuilt,
and is the oldest Momoyama style construction in existence.
Symbolic landmark of Matsushima (National important cultural properties)
It is one building of Fushimi-Momoyama Castle. It was given to Masamune by Hideyoshi,
reconstructed in the Edo period, and then Tadamune reconstructed it in this place.
It was used by the successive lords of domain as a place to enjoy the cool of the evening and
the moon. The taste of the green powdered tea while enjoying the views of Matsushima makes
people feel the passage of time. (Prefectural important cultural properties)
Matsushima moon scenery - Did you see the streak of road that glittered in gold between islands
of Matsushima? On day near full moon, there is gold wave that moonlight draws for about two
hours after the moon has appeared. It is like a moon road.
When the moon begins to rise in the vicinity of the highest point, the sea puts up silver wave,
changes into the silvery white world, and begins to draw the shadow of islands and the pine trees
beautifully. We can also experience the elegance of the hazy moon, the increscent and the
decrescent which Basho sought.
Photo: Hironori Ashikaga
If you want to taste the plump milk-white body of oysters, we recommend eating them raw.
It is suitable for various other dishes such as oyster rice, oyster stew, tempura and so on.
Oyster season is from October to March.
The Matsushima Koren is a 700 year old tradition famous for being the delicacy of Michinoku.
The origin of the cracker came when Sister Kouren grilled the rice crackers from rice flour worshipers offered to Kannon-do Temple while she gazed at the plum blossoms blooming near the eaves of her late husband Kotaro's house.
Currently, the 43rd descendant is manufacturing the rice cracker following the traditional method.
This cracker is made from non-glutinous rice produced in Miyagi, famous for its rice.
The Matsushima Koren without additives is 10 cm long and 4cm wide.
When you eat this hand-grilled rice cracker, you recall the kindness of Sister Kouren.