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Matsushima Kaigan Station

Places of interest by this waterfront station

Right by the exit from Matsushima Kaigan Station in Miyagi Prefecture you’ll find a lively area of shops and interesting places to eat. If you like crab, then try kamaboko - a kind of crab product with a slightly sweet taste on a wooden skewer. There are grills for both children and adults where you can grill your kamaboko yourself.

Further along there is a special kokeshi shop with a large window where you can watch a master making kokeshi. You can buy an unpainted one for 800 JPY and try painting it yourself. One of the walls has a display of kokeshi painted by famous people along with their photos with the master and their works.

The master at work
The master at work

Further along is the very old Zuiganji Temple with its Treasure Hall. The temple suffered a lot from the tsunami caused by the earthquake of 2011, but is now almost restored. Inside the Treasure Hall there are gorgeous golden screens and altars. The path to Zuiganji is lined with tall cedar trees and rocks with old grave stones. The temple is open everyday from 8am to 5pm with an entrance fee of 700 JPY.

Zuiganji
Zuiganji

There are two islands connected to the shore by bridges. The larger island is Fukuurajima and its red bridge stretches for 252 metres! A botanical garden with many kinds of trees and plants is located on Fukuurajima. It’s a very nice place to walk and rest with its views of Matsushima Bay. Fukuurajima is open every day from 8am to 5pm (430pm in winter). Entry is 200 JPY.

Fukuurajima bridge
Fukuurajima bridge

The smaller island is tiny but is considered to be the symbol of Matsushima. On the island there is nothing except a wooden temple called Godaido. The current building has been preserved since its last reconstruction in 1604. You can visit for free at any time.

Godaido
Godaido

Right near Godaido there is a pier for cruise boats and ships that make different tours around the Matsushima Islands. Private tours are also offered by locals.

If you walk in the opposite direction from all of the places here you'll come across one more island - Oshima, but that's another story...

Getting there

Matsushima Kaigan Station is 40 minutes from Sendai Station on the JR Senseki Line.

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Join the discussion

C Teo a year ago
Hi Elena, greetings from Singapore! Thanks for your articles which offer good info.
I am going to be in Sendai after mid Jan, and planning a day trip for Shiogama and Matsushima.
Good to learn from your other article that it is good to start from Shiogama Marine Gate, as I was not sure what is better. So my plan is to spend the morning in Shiogama, take take the ferry over to Matsushima in time to enjoy the grilled oyster lunch, then spend the rest of the day in Matsushima before heading back to Sendai. Sounds good? I remember reading that there are different courses of ferry ride. Which would you recommend? And, do I need to book/buy the tickets in advance?
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
Elena Lisina Author a year ago
Hello! Both Shiogama and Matsushima have a lot to offer as developed touristic places. The program depends on your interests and please check open hours. In Shiogama I visited Shiogama Shrine, then went to Matsushima Kaigan by boat. There is no need to buy tickets in advance - they can be bought in the Shiogama MArine Gate terminal. Picturesque Matsushima islands could be viewed only from the sea, but not from the shore! There are fish markets both in Shiogama and Matsushima-Kaigan. During my visit I took a boat in Shiogama, but if I chose the opposite way, there was huge line to boats in Matsushima-Kaigan while in Shiogama there was no any line at all. I regret I missed Date Masamune Museum in Matsushima Kaigan. It's quite near the Fish Market where you can try Matsushima Oysters. And you can return to Sendai by train, of course. There is no need to go back and forth by boat.
Elizabeth S 4 years ago
There is so much to see there in Miyagi. Your stories and photos make me want to visit.
Elena Lisina Author 4 years ago
Yes! And the best thing is that Sendai and other places are not crowded with tourists. Kyoto is great place for sure, but I was tired of the crowd there.
Kim 4 years ago
I love all of the kokeshi on display!
Elena Lisina Author 4 years ago
Some of them are painted by known actors! There are photos and signatures.