Tohoku Photo Gallery - Matsushima

Matsushima is another good day trip option from Sendai. Easily connected by JR in only 40 minutes, the urban environment fades into a beautiful seaside atmosphere. The protected bay is home to over 260 islands.

My first stop is an uphill climb for a view of the area from Saigyo Modoshi No Matsu Park. Over 260 cherry trees are planted here for the annual spring sakura season.

A panoramic restaurant sits at the top with the best view.

To be honest, the cherry blossoms seemed more interesting than the view. So I didn't stick around too long and rushed back downhill towards the coast.

Oshima is just off the coast but connected via a bright red bridge. Stone tablets and caves dot the island, which is sacred for Buddhists.

By now, I was getting a bit hungry, so this little restaurant near the island's entrance provided suitable seafood sustenance.

Walking along the coast, I soon emerged at Kanrantei Tea House, which faced the bay and is a wonderful place to enjoy a tea while watching the seas ripple towards you.

At this time of morning, many cruise boats were departing from the piers next door for sightseeing around the bay.

Godaido was built in the early 17th century on top of an island that is accessible by a short staircase and across 2 harrowing red bridges. It seems more exciting to get there than to admire the architecture itself.

Further inland, Entsuin Temple is a feudal family's mausoleum.

Outside, the shaded pathways also had plenty of greenery and religious symbols.

From Sendai, take the JR train to Matsushimakaigan, a small station with a few rusty lockers but you can also leave your luggage at the building on the other side of the station entrance.

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