Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Matsushima Bay

Matsushima Bay, as I think I've mentioned before, is a bay full of pine covered islands. The kanji for the name kind of give this away, since they're 松-pine tree and島-island. It's one of Japan's '3 most scenic views'. I'd hate to be disloyal to Miyagi, but, well, I don't think it's exactly deserving of it's ranking. It's nice and peaceful and pretty enough, but I think Matsuo Basho must have been looking through some rose tinted glasses (or smoking something too strong) when he penned the haiku;

Matsushima ah!
A-ah, Matsushima, ah!
Matsushima, ah!

apparently because he was lost for words at the beauty! Hmmm.

 John and I had a lovely day though, wandering around the islands and exploring the edges of a nearby shrine. 

The biggest elm in Miyagi prefecture. What an accolade!

Walking over this bridge to Godaido, an island temple. Apparently you're supposed to look at the water to centre yourself before you reach the island so you can worship with concentration.

Out to sea from Godaido

Inside are 5 enshrined deities (go=五=5), but if you want to see them you'll have to wait a while...they're only displayed to the public once every 33 years! The last time was in 2006, so you've still got 27 years to wait. Bad luck.

Bridge to Fukuurajima

I love looking out to sea.

Cool rocks on Fukuurajima

Apparently crossing this bridge allows you to have new relationships...was it good or bad that we crossed separately?!

Good spot for a bento picnic lunch! 

Shrine on the island

The island is covered with walks and lovely views across the bay.

I'm all for fresh sashimi, but I think this is taking it a bit too far! 

This cheery chappy is outside Zuiganji temple. The temple itself is supposed to be lovely, but it'll have to wait for another day. It's ¥700 to get in, so we thought we'd save it for when we come with parents.

A strange tree

Caves near the temple, full of statues

Thanks for a lovely day Matsushima! We'll be back, just don't expect any haikus! 


  1. This look beautiful and so do you only you are getting so teeny tiny!!

    1. Thank you lovely! I do look it in these photos, but sitting here now my legs don't look half as skinny as they do in these photos...I think I was having a skinny day! Anyway, I'll be home in less than 6 months, and then we are having many many baking sessions. We'll both be fat in no time :)

    2. Haha i'm already working my way to fat with all the cakes I have been eating recently!!

  2. Hard to believe this area was struck by that massive tsunami last year. I'm so glad it wasn't completely devastated.

    PS: May I confirm yet again that you are totally allowed to continue wearing shorts? ;)

    1. I know it is. Apparently Matsushima escaped relatively unharmed. Only 15 people died, and the wave that hit was less than 4m high. Obviously that's still enough to cause some damage but nothing compared to what hit the rest of the coast. The biggest effect on Matsushima was loss of tourism (apparently last year it was about 10% of what it was in previous years), but everything seemed fairly busy when we went, so hopefully this year is proving better.

      PS - I'm going to have to keep wearing these ones, I have ridiculous tan lines from them!