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Matsumshima

 

It is said that the greatest haiku poet of all - Matsuo Basho - was almost lost for words when he first encountered Matsushima when he visited in 1694. He later declared that his arrival there had been the happiest moment of his life.

Matsushima has long been a favourite destination for Japanese due to its beautiful scenery and is one of Japan’s Three Nihon-sankei or ’Great Sights’, together with Miyajima in San-yo region of Chugoku and  Amanohashidate in the Kansai Region. Matsushima-wan (or Matsushima Bay) is dotted with numerous islands both large and small and mostly covered with pine trees.

Today the reality is that it is crowded and noisy most of the year with the bay filled with brightly painted tourist boats  - far better to travel slightly further east to escape the crowds where impressive seascapes are still available and the accommodation is better.

The bay is less than a one-hour train ride from the city of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, the largest city in the Tohoku region.

 

 

 

 
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