Most viewed - Matsushima 松島
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Matsushima is a 30-40 min. train ride from Sendai on the JR Senseki Line.408 views
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Even the pointer markings where the train doors will open have a photo.198 views
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Matsushima Kaigan Station184 views
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Map of Matsushima near Matsushima Kaigan Station. Places of interest include Ojima island, Matsushima boat cruise, Godaido island, Fukuura island, and Zuiganji temple.112 views
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I show you photos of the boat cruise first. There are many boats coming and going in Matsushima Bay. You have to decide which cruise to go on.112 views
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Shrine on Ojima84 views
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Torii to a shrine on Ojima island, Matsushima84 views
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Kanejima78 views
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Matsushima Pier. There are boats which go around the Matsushima islands and return to Matsushima. Others go to Shiogama (toward Sendai) or a longer route toward Oku Matsushima.76 views
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The boat passes by numerous pine-clad islands of Matsushima.71 views
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Another famous and unique island in Matsushima is Niojima, shaped like a Deva King found at the gate of Buddhist temples. 仁王島69 views
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THis is one of the more famous Matsushima islands, named Kanejima with three holes. 鐘島68 views
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Next to the boat pier is this building selling cruise tickets. No reservations required. You can buy a ticket even 5 min. before departure. 67 views
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THe Nio Maru boat which I rode for the cruise. For an extra 600 yen, you can go on the first-class upper deck. I waited until it got sunny later in the day, then went on the cruise. The islands look better when it's sunny.67 views
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Most boat cruises cost 1400 yen, taking about 50 min. Boats leave almost every 30 min. The boat cruise is the main and most popular activity at Matsushima.64 views
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Inside Nio Maru's lower deck. Comfortable and air-conditioned. The places of interest are explained in Japanese and English during the cruise.64 views
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The sea gulls follow where there's food, and the tourists are happy to toss junk food at them.64 views
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THe name "Matsushima" of course means "Pine Islands," so you may hear "Matsushima" in other places in Japan wherever there are pine-clad islands. 61 views
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From Matsushima Kaigan Station, almost everything is within walking distance. If it were cherry blossom season, you could proceed first to Saigyo Modoshi-no-Matsu Park on a hilltop behind the station.60 views
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Nio Maru at Matsushima Port.60 views
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These birds fly very close, within arm's reach.60 views
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Godaido 五大堂60 views
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Way to Godaido.60 views
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Sankeiden hall at Entsuin temple is an Important Cultural Property. This is a mausoleum for Date Mitsumine. 三慧殿60 views
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Matsushima Kaigan Station59 views
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As each boat leaves, sea gulls follow.59 views
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Godaido is another famous and storied icon of Matsushima. In any painting or depiction of Matsushima, Godaido is always there.59 views
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Godaido is also noted for wooden carvings of Eto zodiac animals. Cock.59 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Matsushima from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series.59 views
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First time I saw a train station sign on the platform with a photo on it.58 views
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Nearby is Godaido temple on a small island close to shore. 58 views
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Godaido temple in Matsushima. This building was built in 1604 by Lord Date Masamune.58 views
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Tourist info next to Matsushima Kaigan Station.57 views
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Welcome to Matsushima. Getting out of Matsushima Kaigan Station.57 views
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They even sell bird food on the boat.57 views
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Famous for centuries, Matsushima has inspired many haiku poets like Matsuo Basho and painters.57 views
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This was my favorite island in Matsushima.57 views
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The first bridge to Godaidojima island.57 views
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Inside Sankeiden hall which also has a painting of a rose.57 views
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Altar inside Sankeiden with a statue of Mitsumune.57 views
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Face to face with a bird. "Hey, any food for me??"56 views
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Original letter written by Lord Date Masamune from a battlefield.56 views
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This odd-loking building calls itself Matsushima Castle. I saw nobody there so decided not to enter.56 views
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Second bridge to Godaido.55 views
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Godaido was first erected in 807 called Bishamondo. We cannot go inside. Important Cultural Property.55 views
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Sanseido hall for three saints. 三聖堂55 views
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Matsushima would also be interesting to geologists.54 views
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Matsushima Rest House is next to the pier, where you can buy cruise tickets or just rest on chairs. Tourist info counter also provided.54 views
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Monkey54 views
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Matsushima Kaigan Station on the JR Senseki Line. This is the closest to Matsushima's main attractions. Note that there is also a Matsushima Station. Don't get off there.53 views
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Route 45 running parallel to the shore. Busy road with shops and restaurants.53 views
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Godaido enshrines five statues representing the Mikkyo teachings of Shingon Buddhism.53 views
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Godaido 五大堂53 views
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Map of Fukuura island. Points 3 and 5 are worth seeing. You have to leave the island by 5 pm or (4:30 pm during winter months).53 views
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About Zuiganji temple caves.53 views
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About Enmei Jizo, the Guardian Deity of Lnogevity.53 views
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Ojima island is accessible by a red bridge.53 views
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Boar52 views
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Another noted building in Matsushima is Kanrantei, perched on a low hill. Now it is a rest place where they serve tea.52 views
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Fukuura island offers nice walking trails and a few lookout points from where you can see other islands.52 views
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Nice walking path on Ojima52 views
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On the right side toward Zuiganji are these huge caves.51 views
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Fukuura island is larger than the other islands, and can take a good 30 min. to walk around it. If you don't feel like walking anymore, you may want to skip Fukuura. Most tourists don't go there, but I thought it was worth a visit.50 views
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Bentendo Hall on Fukuura island.50 views
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Zuiganji temple's Hondo main hall. This building is a National Treasure. No photography allowed inside. Zuiganji is a Zen temple built in 828. This building was rebuilt in 1609 by Date Masamune.50 views
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Near the boat pier is this a large park called Chuo Hiroba.49 views
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Chuo Hiroba, where tour groups meet.49 views
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Cave of graves.49 views
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Entsuin is most noted for its Japanese-style garden designed by Kobori Enshu. The garden is said to have been moved here from Date's Edo residence.49 views
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Entsuin"s caves49 views
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Ojima is dotted with numerous little caves and stone carvings of Kannon. 49 views
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Gate to Zuiganji temple.48 views
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Graves inside a cave near the temple entrance.48 views
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Inside Entsuin's Hondo hall called Daihitei. It used to be the summer home of Mitsumune. Dedicated to Kannon, Goddess of Mercy.48 views
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Ojima is a small island, but larger than Godaido.48 views
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Original buildings and layout of Kanrantei. 47 views
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About Kanrantei47 views
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Samurai armor and the Date crest47 views
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Way to Zuiganji temple. Matsushima also has a number of notable temples, and Zuiganji is the most famous, being a National Treasure. A short walk from the boat pier.47 views
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At the Zuiganji temple entrance is a statue of Enmei Jizo, the Guardian Deity of Lnogevity.47 views
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Date Mitsumune died at age 19 in Edo Castle, rumored to have been poisoned. His talents and abilities were feared by the Tokugawa.47 views
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Daihitei hondo main hall of Entsuin. 大悲亭47 views
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Ojima island is the third island worth visiting in Matsushima.47 views
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Ojima island at Matsushima47 views
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This island is actually part of Zuiganji temple.47 views
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way to Godaido46 views
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About Godaido46 views
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Folding screen with a painting of Matsushima.46 views
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The second island to visit is Fukuurajima, a short walk from the boat pier. The island with the long red bridge is Fukuura island. You can't miss it. 福浦島46 views
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Bridge to Fukuura island is named Deai Hashi. 出会い橋46 views
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Unless you want to swim to the island, you have to pay 200 yen to cross the bridge to Fukuura. Walk through the gift shop/restaurant and pay the toll to access the bridge.46 views
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Monument for railroad workers.46 views
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Kuri was the Zen kitchen. You can go inside, but only in the entrance way. Nothing much to see.46 views
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Near the Hondo hall is this building called the Kuri.46 views
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Next to Zuiganji is Entsuin, another noted temple in Matsushima even though it is not a National Treasure. A Zen (Rinzai school) Buddhist temple. Small admission charged.46 views
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Map of Entsuin built in 1646 by Date Tadamune, second lord of Sendai (after Masamune). He built it for his deceased son Mitsumune.46 views
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Entsuin's Rose Garden バラの庭46 views
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It was early AUg. and hydrangea was still in bloom in Entsuin.46 views
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Ojima caves46 views
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Matsushima46 views
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Entrance to Kanrantei.45 views
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Inside Matsushima Museum45 views
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Fukuura island45 views
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Bentendo Hall on Fukuura island.45 views
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These Zuiganji temple caves were used to store the ashes of the deceased. THere are numerous Kannon statues and carvings. You see these caves, large and small, all over Matsushima.45 views
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Notice the steps on the left.45 views
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Entrnce to Zuiganji temple.45 views
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Zuiganji Art Museum is right acros the Kuri.45 views
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Way to Sankeiden at Entsuin temple.45 views
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Rose Garden and Daihitei.45 views
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Monuments and stones45 views
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Kanrantei44 views
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Inside Kanrantei where you can relax and have tea for a fee.44 views
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Path to Zuiganji's main hall. Admission charged.44 views
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Renovations have already begun with adjacent buildings. I visited in Aug. 2009.44 views
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Room built into the rock.44 views
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Haiku poem by Basho. No doubt that he visited this island too.44 views
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View from Ojima44 views
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Back to Matsushima Port.43 views
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View of Matsushima from Kanrantei. The boat pier is straight ahead.43 views
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View of Matsushima from Kanrantei. 43 views
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Folding screens43 views
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Near Godaido is this onument for Japan's Scenic Trio (Nihon Sankei) which are Matsushima, Amanohashidate (northern Kyoto), and Miyajima (Hiroshima). 日本三景43 views
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Lookout point on Fukuura island.43 views
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Bridge from Fukuura island back to mainland.43 views
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Wooded path to Zuiganji.43 views
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From Sept. 2009, Zuiganji's Hondo main hall will be closed for major renovation. The construction offices are on the left.43 views
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Entsuin43 views
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Matsushima Green Hiroba is a waterfront park.43 views
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View from Ojima.43 views
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Lookout point43 views
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Kanrantei42 views
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View from Fukuura island.42 views
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This cave is marred by graffiti. Hope the offenders get cursed by the deceased.42 views
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Zuiganji lantern42 views
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I got to see the main hall before it was to be closed for several years for renovation. The Hondo will be renovated for the first time since it was built 400 years ago.42 views
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The building will be disassembled and reassembled. They expect to find some hidden historical artifacts during the process.42 views
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Matsushima Monument near Godaido41 views
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Matsushima Museum at Kanrantei. 39 views
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Kawara roof tiles.39 views
 
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