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Published: November 24th 2007
The famous haiku poet, Basho once penned this famous haiku in his breathless wonder of Matsushima:
A-ah, Matsushima, ah!
Matsuhima is considered one of the 3 views of Japan and it very famous for its over 200 pine tree covered islands that dot the Matushima Bay. My two visitors and I decided to make a day of it and get out of Sendai for Labor-Thanks Day. Matsushima is 400 yen and 20 minutes outside of Sendai via the Tohoku Main, or a little longer on the Senseki Line. Matsushima Station is a little walk from the attractions but its really a lot quicker and you can take a walk around the town before be hit with massive tour buses and tour guides waving flags. My friends and I started out our extended walk and headed through the shortcut to Zuigan-Ji. On our way up we stopped at Shintomiyama; which is a small hill that has a great over look to the bay and some of the famous islands in the bay. After our little break to look around and take pictures we headed over to Zuigan-Ji.
Zuigan-Ji is a famous temple and
small tourist complex. We happened to find the back door and got in without being trampled on by the amazing number of tourists that had braved the cold with us. We actually didn't go into the Zuijan-Ji temple itself because it was a little too expensive for us but the temple is famous and suppose to be one of the finest temples in all of Tohoku. We did go into Entsuin. Entsuin is one of the best 300 yen I have ever spent. It has a beautiful rock garden, lines of azaleas and beautiful momoji, maple, trees and ends in the oldest Western Rose Garden in Japan. The whole walk is just beautiful and the trees were still showing amazing and beautiful colors. Very worth it in my opinion.
After Entsuin we headed out of Zuigan-ji and out onto the main road to grab some famous food and see what else we can find. We found a nice since jizou temple. Jizou are the souls of dead babies and aborted fetuses. The shrines and temples are everywhere in Japan. This temple was beautiful and very moving in my opinion. The real catch was that it was localed next to
an elementary school.
We had some of the famous grilled seafood at one of the local places. We got grilled squid, ikayaki, grilled scallops, hotategai, and fried kaki, which is oysters. It was absolutely fabulous and absolutely delicious. Well worth our time. After lunch we walked around the touristy bay and headed over to Fukuujima Island. Its connected to the main land by a beautiful read bridge and a 200yen crossing fee. The island has great views of the rest of the bay and the beautiful pine trees. It is a must see place in my opinion. Everybody who comes to visit will be taken here and Yamadera. They are my top 2 places to take people list.
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