On the 30th of December, I took a spontaneous trip to 松島 (Matsushima, lit. “pine tree islands”). Matsushima is one of the 日本三景 (Nihon-sankei, “Three Views of Japan“), three places said to have the most beautiful landscape in Japan, and it is just about half an hour by train away from Sendai.
I had seen the Pacific ocean from the airplane short before landing in Narita and sometimes from high buildings or mountains, but never really went to the shore, so the first thing I did was finding a place where I could touch the water. You can see the place I used almost exactly in the middle of the first photo.
The island on the left is 雄島 (Oshima). A wooden bridge connects Oshima and the main land.
A lot of old Buddhist statues and carvings can be found on Oshima.
While the island is rather small, it has a lot of nice spots and great views. I spent almost one hour there. In the picture below note the fence: It is not actually made of wood, but of concrete that has been skillfully made to look like wood.
I had another opportunity to visit Oshima on the new year’s trip. The next photo was taken on that occasion, and I’m adding it here because I think it is the best Matsushima picture I have. I’ve even uploaded it in full resolution (2560×1920) for you to enjoy! 😉
After the visit to Oshima I had lunch and then took a boat trip around Matsushima bay to see a lot more islands. During the trip some people were feeding the sea gulls, and I got lucky and took a photo just at the right moment.
All along the coast are signs that tell you where to go in case of a tsunami warning.
In the late afternoon I crossed the long bridge (about 250m, 200 Yen bridge toll) to 福浦島 (Fukuurajima). Fukuurajima is bigger than Oshima, and it got dark while I was walking around there. This last picture shows the view from Fukuurajima back to the coast and along the bridge by night.
If you want to visit Matsushima, just take the JR Senseki line to 松島海岸 (Matsushimakaigan, “Matsushima beach”), and take time to enjoy the scenery. More information here and there. I intend to go there again in spring.
By the way, this was the second of the two posts announced on new year’s. 😉 What might be next? If you have a good idea or interesting question, let me know!