Top things to do

Buddhist Temple in Matsushima

Zuigan-ji

Tōhoku’s finest Zen temple, Zuigan-ji was established in AD 828. The present buildings were constructed in 1606 by Date Masamune to serve as a family temple. Zuigan-ji is undergoing a major restoration that will tak…
Buddhist Temple in Matsushima

Godai-dō

Date Masamune constructed this small wooden temple in 1604. Although it stands on an island in the bay, connected to the mainland by a short bridge, it was miraculously untouched by the 2011 tsunami. The temple door…
Japanese in Matsushima

Santori Chaya

Perennial local favourites from land and sea such as kaisen-don (mixed sashimi on rice) and gyūtan (chargrilled cow's tongue) feature here, along with seasonal specialities such as Matsushima's famous oysters. Seati…
Island in Matsushima

Fuku-ura-jima

You can't miss the 252m-long red wooden bridge connecting Fuku-ura-jima to the mainland. The shady trails here, which wind along the coast through native pines and a botanic garden, make for a pleasant hour-long str…
Gifts & Souvenirs in Matsushima

Matsushima Yukitakeya

Opposite the ferry terminal is this chic bakery and gift shop selling handmade jewellery and homewares, and delicious baked goodies, including hand-sized rice crackers.
Religious in Matsushima

Zuigan-ji Tōdō

The approach to Zuigan-ji is lit with candlesticks to honour the ancient shrine.
Notable Building in Matsushima

Kanran-tei

This pavilion was presented to the Date family by the daimyō (domain lord) Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late 16th century. It served as a genteel venue for tea ceremonies and moon-viewing parties – the name means ‘a pl…