According to the English tourist map of Matsushima, Fukuurajima, “...is a natural garden covered with 300 kinds of trees and wild grasses, providing an atmosphere of complete bliss for roaming the island.” You read that right. Complete bliss. How could you miss it? Matsuo Bashō, one of Japan's most celebrated haiku poets, a man with complete mastery over language, was speechless when he came to Matsushima. You can be assured Fukuurajima played a part in that.
Fukuurajima is a combination of three words: fuku meaning luck, ura meaning inlet or bay, and jima (actually shima before a sound change) meaning island. I have chosen to translate Fukuurajima as the lucky inlet for this article, as I could not find an official translation.
The small island can be toured in about 2 hours. It is best done late in the afternoon to catch the sunlight illuminating everything on the island in gold and yellows. Fukuurajima should be visited in early spring for cherry blossoms, early fall or autumn colors, after a good snow storm and in the middle of summer for green foliage. There is a tea shop and many places to sit and enjoy the view. At ¥200 this place is a bargain for anyone looking for the definition of natural beauty.
Read more about Fukuurjima in the accompanying article here.