Matsushima Bay
Matsushima Bay
4

Top ways to experience Matsushima Bay and nearby attractions

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles582 reviews
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197
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270
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102
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stefaniecst
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia6,439 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Family
We came here for a visit on ryokan onsen and the view was beautiful

Matsushima (松島) is famous for its bay and ranked one of Japan's three most scenic views. The small town about 35 mins from Sendai also known for Zuiganji, one of the Tohoku Region's Zen temples.

Definitely a place to stop by sampling oysters which Matsushima are famous for.
Written March 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarkKwok
Vancouver137 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
I went from Sendai to Hon-Shiogama station, and took the one-way Basho cruise from Marine Gate Shiogama to Matsushima Pier. The cruise is one per hour so remember to time accordingly. I took the 9am cruise and there were under 10 people. Cost is 1,500 yen (extra cost for the upper deck). There was English and Japanese narrative throughout. I was glad I took this cruise as when I arrived at Matsushima Pier, there were busloads of tourist waiting to board the much bigger cruise at Matsushima Pier. Must be hundreds of them.

I later found out that if one has a rail pass, one can get 10% off the cruise by buying the ticket from JR East Travel Centre, with free upgrade to the upper deck.

The cruise itself is fine and we got to see up close many islands in strange forms.

Once at Matsushima Pier, there are attractions nearby and the Matsushima Kaigan Station is within walking distance.
Written September 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GordonAdelaide
Nihonmatsu, Japan124 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
We took the train from Sendai to Shiogama then a boat trip out through the islands to Matsushima.

After spending weeks in the cities and towns it was beautiful out on the water. The islands are generally small and low but with weathered pale cliffs and wind bent trees. Some are inhabited as they have been for centuries while others were little bigger than the boat.

We took photos as we went. Once we zoomed into these on a big screen we saw the classical views captured in the old paintings.

The trip took about an hour then we took the train from Matsushima back to Sendai
Written June 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BadgerCT
Cape Town Central, South Africa1,975 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
A very beautiful stretch of sea, and a good excuse to visit the Northern part of Honshu. Even in poor weather it’s quite pretty to see the rocky little islands covered in trees. We took the cruise from Shiogama which was pleasant and we got to see more of the islands that you’d be able to view from the Matsushima shore. The suburban train from Sendai took half an hour, the cruise (which departs every hour on the hour) another hour and we spent 2 and a half hours having a leisurely stroll around the town, temple and attached islands, including a sushi lunch. The JR train back to Sendai was another 45 minutes. The JR East Shinkansen is extremely efficient with a non-stop express to Sendai accessible on the JR pass so you could do a visit on a long day trip from Tokyo.
Written March 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DSatrio
Jakarta244 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Matsushima is one of Japan's top 3 view (Nihon Sankei). The bay is dotted with hundreds of rock islands covered with pines. Given the rocks were shapen by forces of wind and waves, the formations were unique and distinguished.

To enjoy it, the best way is to take the boat cruise (¥1500, about 1hour) which will take you through the islets.

While there, enjoy the local specialty of oysters. A full set would feature oysters cooked in different ways (raw, grilled, broiled, fried in batter, etc), which should set you back about ¥2000-2500 including rice and soup.

To get there, take the JR Senseki line to Matsushima-kaigan (not Matsushima!). The trip should take about 30mins on the local train.
Written July 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chill
Bacolod, Philippines41 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Couples
We went here by car last December. It took about 30 minutes by car from Sendai. Matsushima is an old city, quite known for its Temple and the beautiful islands. This is a nice and peaceful place to explore. There's a separate island that you can explore. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge. You can explore the island for about 20-30 minutes and costs around 200 yen per person. There's nothing much to see on that island but the air is very refreshing and clean. It soothe my nose which suffered a lot during the cold winter in Japan. There are also many souvenir shops and restaurants in this city which mostly serve oysters.

I am not sure what this place looks like on other season, but it was a truly great experience. I had a nice time taking pictures. There are also small temples in the islands where you can drop your coin, ring the bell and pray to Kamisama to grant your prayers.
Written January 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

thescarsthatsave
Sendai, Japan6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Friends
My friends and I went to Matsushima to see the autumn trees at Zuiganji. Every November they have a "Light Up" part of the grounds after dark. We arrived early, so we visited Godaido, Fukuurajima, did some shopping, and had some dinner on the second floor above the curry pan place.

We were able to get onto Fukuurajima even though it was after hours technically. We were lucky because we got to see a huge low bright moon coming up on the left and the sun going down on the right. It was very special! The sunset there is very beautiful.

I love to look for new Japanese cloths called tenugui, and there's a great store that sells those on the right side of the main as you are walking back to the station from Fukuurajima.

After trying gyutan and my husband trying oyster, two of Matsushima's specialties, we walked around the corner to where the fall trees were being lit up. It cost 500 a person and it was quite crowded when we went, but it was very beautiful. Tons of people taking pictures everywhere. Last year, there was a man playing an acoustic guitar when I went, but this year there was a man playing traditional Japanese music with a flute. It really set the mood of a place back in time in Japan.

I really enjoy meandering through Matsushima. It's a nice change of pace, especially when things begin to wind down in the evening. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and the Japanese culture.
Written November 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ritchie2013
Cork, Ireland63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Family
After 5 days in Tokyo my 8 year old son and I headed for Matsushima.Wetook the shinkansen
to Sendai [less than 2 Hours] using JR Pass and after sampling some of the cakes and pastries
available from the many outlets in Sendai station we took the JR Senseki line train to Matsushima,about 30 minutes.Just outside the railway station there is a tourist centre and the people here were so friendly and gave us plenty of advice on things to do around the area.
We headed for the nearby piers and boarded a sightseeing boat for a wonderful trip around the bay.Well worth the cost though to go out on the open upper deck there is an extra fee still well worth it and my son had a great time feeding the many seagulls that followed the boat.After the boat trip we strolled along the waterfront before crossing to one of the islands via a mighty impressive 252m long bridge.small toll to cross on the bridge was well worth it as the island was so calm and beautiful.Paths and maps made for easy navigation and the woods were such a joy to stroll through.My son enjoyed a paddle and playing on the shore not to mention running wild through the woods.Fresh air peace and quiet after the throngs of Tokyo this was the perfect way to recharge the batteries before the next phase of our trip.
After a stroll around the town we set off to find our room for the night at Ryokan Seiunkaku.
Once we had checked in we had a wonderful soak in the hot traditional bath and feeling refreshed we ventured out to find somewhere to eat.The Ryokan owner sugested a restaurant a little way down the road so off we went in search of same.As we passed the restaurant a woman came out to call us as the Ryokan owner had phoned ahead and asked her to keep an eye out for us.The food was terrific a selection of local fresh produce and even y son was happy as they did a special plate of curry and rice for him.To say I was well satisfied would be an understatement and then when it was time to leave we were told to wait a little and the woman gave us a lift back to the Ryokan.Such thoughtfulness and kindness will always be remembered,unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the restaurant.But rest assured the next time I visit I will definately call again.
After a sound nights sleep it was time to be on our way so we strolled around some more sights called at the aquarium which has an interesting collection of marine life.Followed by a small seal show for Kids and my son certainly enjoyed this.After that iewas back to the train station for the next leg of our journey.I was sorry to be leaving Matsushima and wished I could have stayed longer.But all good things come to an end.
To the people of Matsushima thank you for your friendliness and kindness I will return soon I hope.
Arigatogazaimasu
Richard.
Written May 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris G
Port Macquarie, Australia1,014 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
We usually spend a week or two skiing then spend a couple of days sightseeing. We chose Sendai as a base, which proved to be terrific with lots to see and do. Are aim was to go visit Matsushima Bay Area to visit the 250 small islands with a cruise. Two options catching the train from Sendai. One straight to Matsushima Bay and then connecting to a cruise around the islands. Or catch the train to Shiogama on the JR Sensi line and walk about 800m to a cruise around the islands ending up in Matsushima. We chose the second option and thank goodness we did. Our cruise boat, even on a Sunday, was not even half full and we covered all the main island attractions. On arriving at Matsushima we shocked to see the huge amount of people queueing for the cruise leaving from there. Go to Shiogama first!

Written March 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana T
Hong Kong, China109 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
This place has a festive feel to it. On a sunny day, you can stroll along the shoreline and there are many little places you can explore. A very popular local holiday destination. Plenty of places to eat with street food, ice cream, hand made crackers etc.

We took the ferry "cruise" which is an OK experience as most of the commentaries are very boring. Just describe the shape of the island out of imagination. Many on board have fallen asleep! Not a cheap fare: 1500 yen for 50min.

It was more interesting for me to walk across the long bridge to Fukuurajima Island and explore there. So if you don't have much time, ditch the cruise and focus on the many interesting places you can see.
Written March 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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