Matsushima is the area which includes Shiogama and Higashimatsushima of Miyagi Prefecture.
This area is located along the coastal region of Matsushima Bay, facing the Pacific Ocean, and the well-known characteristic of the area are the floating islands in Matsushima Bay, which have also been selected as the top 3 scenic spots in Japan.
The recommended place to view this superb Matsushima scenery is from the Saigyo-Modoshi-no-Matsu Koen Park. In the spring, 260 cherry trees are in bloom and are an excellent match with the view of Matsushima Bay. Visitors who want to see the islands of Matsushima up close can take a ride on the sightseeing tour ships. Visitors can also feed seagulls from the ship. There are also historical attractions near the pier where visitors board the ship. Take a stroll to see the Godai-do Hall and Kanran-tei & Matsushima Museum. In addition, there is a superb view from Mt.Otakamori, a beaten path on the opposite bank.
There are also many historical buildings in Matsushima. Among them, at Zuigan-ji Temple, there is a plum tree called Garyubai which Date Masamune, a military commander of the Edo period (1603-1868) brought back from Korea. Garyubai is designated as a natural monument of Miyagi Prefecture and is in full bloom in mid-April. Next to Zuigan-ji is Entsu-in Temple where the four seasons can be enjoyed in the temple’s garden. To view seasonal flowers, the Yaezakura (Double flowered cherry tree) at Shiogama-jinja Shrine, a 10 minute train ride from the closest station to Zuigan-ji and Entsu-in, is recommended. The cherry tree is referred to as Shiogama Cheery Tree and is designated as a national natural monument.
To reach Matsushima, it is convenient to take the train from Sendai, the central city of Miyagi Prefecture. It takes approximately 25 minutes by train from Sendai Station to Matsushima’s central sightseeing areas of Matsushima Station on the JR Tohoku Honsen Line and Matsushima Kaigan Station on the JR Senseki Line.