Matsushima's glorious bay, studded with some 260 pine-covered islands, is one of Japan's Nihon Sankei (Three Great Sights). Over the centuries, the trees have been slowly twisted by the winds, while their rocky bases have been eroded by the lapping waves. The result is a spectacular monument to nature's dramatic powers.
Ishinomaki's singular tourist attraction, the Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum, reconstructed after the 2011 tsunami, matters big to manga fans. Looking like an otherworldly spaceship, this museum is packed with tributes to influential manga-ka (cartoonist) and local hero Shōtarō Ishinomori, most famous for creating the Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider series.
Naruko Onsen is famous for having nine distinct springs, whose waters have a different composition of minerals and thus different healing qualities, and for its kokeshi (traditional wooden dolls). Take advantage of the Yu-meguri Ticket (¥1300), which you can buy at the Tourist Information Center, to visit the baths at several different inns.