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Matsushima Bay Area Cycling Guide: Video Introduction

This video, titled "Cycling to the Matsushima Bay Area (History and Cafe Tours)" (Cycling to Matsushima Bay Area(歴史とカフェ巡り編)), was uploaded by "Miyagi Tourism."

Matsushima Bay, located in Sendai, Miyagi is one of the three most scenic views in Japan, along with Miyajima (Itsukushima) and Amanohashidate.

The video shows three women traveling through the area by bicycle. You can see the women enjoying a cruise through Sagakei Gorge, one of the Top 3 Gorges in Japan, a footbath, and delicious food in Higashi-Matsushima.

Matsushima Bay Area Cycling – Travel Around the Beautiful Bay in Miyagi Without the Need for a Car

Image of Sendai International Airport
Photo:Sendai International Airport

The Cycling Port, Sendai International Airport is, as the name suggests, located at Sendai International Airport. Bicycles can be assembled, disassembled, and tires can be inflated for free. Luggage lockers, showers, and changing rooms are also available for a fee.

For those without a car or bicycle with them on their trip, there is also the option of renting a bicycle. The Matsushima Bay area has a cycling course that is only about 10 km (6.2 miles) long and is great for beginner-level cyclists. The best part of the bicycles is that you can take your time, enjoy the scenery, stop wherever and whenever you like, and even get some exercise.

Where to Eat in Matsushima Bay

Image of oysters, a specialty of Matsushima
Photo:Oysters, a specialty of Matsushima

If you're hungry, consider grabbing lunch at SHICHINO CAFE&PIZZA. It's a stylish cafe with a view of the ocean so it's perfect for taking Instagram photos.

The café has authentic pizza, a variety of desserts, and a café menu for a quick break. You can enjoy your meal while feeling the breeze from the terrace seats with a spectacular view of the ocean as well. If you're looking for places to stay in Matsushima Bay, be sure to check out the condominium hotel, as it's popular for overnight stays!

Gelateria Fruit Laboratory is a long-established gelato shop with 50 years of history. As the name suggests, they offer a variety of fruit-based gelato, but their milk-based gelato is also quite popular. The colorful gelato all looks so delicious that it can be hard to decide which one to get.

If there's one thing Matsushima is known for, its oysters! Hiroshima and Miyagi are the two largest sources of oysters in Japan, with Miyagi Prefecture ranking first in raw oyster harvest. The oysters in Matsushima are smaller than those of Hiroshima, but they have a concentrated, rich flavor and creamy texture. If you're a seafood lover, be sure to keep an eye out for restaurants that are selling them!

After filling up with various delicacies in Matsushima, be sure to check out a souvenir shop. At Yukitakeya (雪竹屋) you'll find products that are individually handmade and that allow you to experience Japanese culture. There are also many original products, including food and sundries, that are perfect for souvenirs. You can even enjoy freshly baked rice crackers here.
[Video] 2:05 - Yukitakeya's Freshly Baked Rice Crackers

Enjoy the Beautiful Views of Miyagi With a Matsushima Bay Cruise

Image of a cruise ship, Matsushima, Miyagi
Photo:A cruise ship, Matsushima, Miyagi

Matsushima Bay is one of the three most scenic views in Japan along with Miyajima (Itsukushima) and Amanohashidate, and is known as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Miyagi Prefecture. It's said that even the famous Japanese poet Matsuo Basho was moved to speechlessness by the beauty of the bay. The beautiful island, which Basho would have seen, still attracts many visitors to this day.

Sagakei Gorge is one of the Top 3 Gorges in Japan and is recommended for its sightseeing cruises! From the cruise boat, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Sagakei Gorge, and the panoramic view of its majestic cliffs is breathtaking! A cruise will take about 60 minutes.

The sightseeing cruise allows visitors to see the island from angles they wouldn't normally be able to. You can see the island as they would have been in the past and connect with the long history of the island.

Zuiganji Temple and Entsuji Temple – Two of the Best Places to Visit in Matsushima Bay

There are a ton of things to do in and around Matsushima Bay that you don't want to miss. Godaido Temple (belonging to the nearby Zuiganji Temple), an Important Cultural Property of Japan, is located on an island near the Matsushima sightseeing boat pier. The temple was built by the famous samurai Date Masamune, and has a famous bridge that is said to bring good luck. It is said that the bridge was built so that visitors could see the sea through the gaps in the bridge girders and keep their eyes on their feet as they made their way to Godaido Temple. The bridge itself, as well as the view of Matsushima Bay from the bridge, is great for taking Instagram photos.

Image of Zuiganji Temple, Matsushima, Miyagi
Photo:Zuiganji Temple, Matsushima, Miyagi

Zuiganji Temple is famous as the family temple of Date Masamune. The main hall, which was built by order of Date Masamune over a period of five years, is a National Treasure. The interior carvings and fusuma-e (sliding door paintings), are a sight to behold.

Image of Entsuin Temple, Matsushima, Miyagi
Photo:Entsuin Temple, Matsushima, Miyagi

Another place to visit in Matsushima Bay is Entsuin Temple, built in 1647 as the mausoleum of Mitsumune, grandson of Date Masamune. The mausoleum, Sankeiden, is located in the back of the main hall and is an Important Cultural Property of Japan. The temple is also a famous sightseeing spot as a temple for matchmaking, and has a statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy and matchmaking, enshrined just inside the temple gate.

Visitors can also enjoy the colorful autumn leaves here in the fall, or simply take a moment to relax in the lovely garden. There is also a "juzu" (Buddhist prayer bead) making experience where you can make your own original prayer beads.
[Video] 2:41 - Prayer Bead Making Experience

Kanrantei is said to be a Momoyama-style tea ceremony room that used to be in Fushimi Castle, which was given to Date Masamune by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Even today, matcha green tea and sweets are served here, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the view of Matsushima Bay.

How to Get to Matsushima Bay

To get to Matsushima Bay from Tokyo, first take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai Station (90 mins). From Sendai Station, take the Senseki Line bound for Ishinomaki to Matsushima-Kaigan Station (40 mins).

Alternatively, after arriving at Sendai Station, you can also take the Tohoku Line train bound for Matsushima and get off at Matsushima Station (25 mins), and then walk to the bay (15 mins).

Matsushima Bay Cycling Tourism Guide Summary

Matsushima Bay is full of history and delicious foods to try. If you're traveling to Matsushima, there are a variety of inns and hotels overlooking Matsushima Bay. Many of the hot springs are also available for those visiting on day trips as well, so be sure to check them out.
There is also a free footbath spot in Matsushima, but it is unfortunately closed at this time.

There are many things to see and do in the Matsushima Bay area. When you travel to Miyagi Prefecture, be sure to take a sightseeing boat ride and stop by the spots introduced here.

【TripAdvisor】 Matsushima Bay

Written By
Last Updated : Aug. 18, 2023
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
Matsushima Bay Cycling Guide: Popular Foods and Things to Do in Matsushima Bay Plus Sagakei Gorge Cruise Information, Miyagi Prefecture
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