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Matsushima, a short train ride from Sendai on the northern Pacific coast, is considered one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. Matsushima Bay contains over 250 small rock islands shaped by the ceaseless slapping of waves and pine trees misshapen by the winds. (Matsu means pine and shima means island.) Many say that Matsushima reminds them of a large, life-size bonsai garden. The best way to see these islands is by a sightseeing boat, which will provide you with up-close views. The small town is also known for Zuiganji, one of the Tohoku Region’s most important Zen temples. A historical temple, Zuiganji was founded in 828 and restoration began in 1604 until its completion in 1609. Haiku poet Matsuo Basho wrote his famous haiku in Zuiganji.
Matsushima was hit by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, but escaped major damage thanks to its protected location inside the island dotted bay. Most tourist attractions, shops and hotels reopened within a few weeks or months of the earthquake.
The largest city in the Tohoku Region known as
A classic Japanese hot spring spa village in Tohoku Region.
Island inhabited by mostly cats
Best known for Matsushima, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan.