What to Do in Matsushima

Sitting just half an hour outside Sendai, Matsushima known for is its beautiful bay, which draws visitors for near and afar, but spend some time here and you’ll soon realize the town has even more to offer. The area is home to some of Tohoku’s most incredible natural sites and fascinating history. If you do find yourself in Miyagi Prefecture a visit to Matsushima should be on the cards. Here are just a handful of great ways to truly immerse yourself in this stunning town.

  • 01

    Zuiganji Temple

    What to Do in Matsushima

    What to Do in Matsushima

    Zuiganji Temple is one of Tohoku Region's most famous and prominent Zen temples, and an unmissable stop off on your Matsushima journey. Originally founded in 828 as a temple for worshippers of the Tendai sect, the temple was renovated and repurposed to become a Zen temple during the Kamakura Period which was between 1192-1333. Following years of neglect and decline the temple was restored to its former glory by feudal lord Date Masamune, who rebuilt to structure to make it his family temple in 1609. Aesthetically stunning, the temple is an encapsulation of the natural beauty that surrounds Matsushima.

    Zuiganji Temple
    rating

    3.5

    3 Reviews
    place
    Miyagi Pref. Miyagigunmatsushimamachi Matsushima Chounai 91
    phone
    0223542023
    opening-hour
    [Jan.]8:00-15:00(Gates shut …
  • 02

    Date Masamune Historical Museum

    Date Masamune Historical Museum

    Date Masamune Historical Museum

    If you even spend just a short moment in Matsushima and the neighboring city of Sendai, chances are you’ll come across the name Date Masamune an uncountable number of times. A powerful feudal lord, who lived from 1567 until 1636, Date Masamune and his family are regarded as the main figures who shaped the area to what it is today. Here at the Date Masamune Historical Museum you can learn everything there is to know about this fascinating and omnipresent figure.

    Michinoku Date Masamune Historical Museum
    rating

    4.0

    70 Reviews
    place
    Miyagi Pref. Miyagigunmatsushimamachi Matsushima Fugendou 13-13
    phone
    0223544131
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00
  • 03

    Godaido Temple

    Godaido Temple

    Godaido Temple

    Towering over the stunning Matsushima Bay, the Godaido Temple is another sacred site worth checking out while you’re in the area. First founded in 807, the building that stands today was also reconstructed by Date Masamune in 1604. Thanks to its prominent location sitting on an islet overlooking the bay, it’s become an iconic symbol of Matsushima and where the town’s natural beauty and rich spirituality meet. The temple also houses five famous statues that were enshrined by the same priest who founded Zuiganji Temple. These statues are incredibly elusive, only being shown to the public once every 33 years. The last time they were displayed was in 2006.

    Godaido Temple
    place
    Miyagi Pref. Miyagigunmatsushimamachi Matsushima Chounai
    phone
    0223542023
    opening-hour
    8:00-until Sunset
  • 04

    Boat tours

    Boat tours

    Boat tours

    One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Matsushima is to partake in one of the area’s many boat tours. Whether you’re planning on coming to the area or are already in Matsuhima there are a number of routes you can take. One of the more popular routes is from Shiogama. If you’re travelling from Sendai, take Senseki Line from Sendai to Shiogama then hop on the cruise boat to Matsushima. This trip will take you around the bay and allow you to get up close with many of the over 200 islands that are scattered throughout the area. From there you can return to Sendai via Matsushima Kaigan Station.

  • 05

    Fukurajima Island

    Fukurajima Island

    Fukurajima Island

    Once you’ve explored Matsushima’s coastal side, it’s time to go inland and discover Fukurajima Island. Though it’s quite small, this impressive inlet is overflowing with stunning natural beauty. Filled with over 300 different species of flowers, plants and trees, its network of walking paths and several scenic overlooks offer some of the most incredible sites you’ll ever see in the Tohoku area.

    Fukurajima Island

    Fukurajima Island

    Fukuura Island
    rating

    4.0

    176 Reviews
    place
    Miyagi Pref. Miyagigunmatsushimamachi Matsushima

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