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The seagulls’ Song in Matsushima, Timeless and Unshaken by the 311 Earthquake

Matsushima has always been famous. It was hailed as one of the three scenic spots in Japan as early as 1643; and in recent years, its name is frequently mentioned again due to the tsunami caused by the 311 Earthquake in 2011.


What is constant about Matsushima is its beauty. Take a cruise ship at Matsushima bay and sail around the two-hundred-and-sixty tiny islands which appear to float on the sea. Battered by waves over time, each islet is unique in shape. An islet with four holes. Two islets existing as twins. One in the shape of a large frog. On each islet is a miniature forest of pine trees and the shade of green shifts with the daylight. It was these islets that buffered the huge waves during the tsunami and because of this, the damage to Matsushima was not as devastating as that of its neighbours.


Let the breeze blow into your face with the saltiness of the sea and a faint scent of pine. The seagulls fly and sing as if they have been doing the same thing for centuries. The sea appears calm and carries no scars from the earthquake.
However, the area does carry its scars. There is a red bridge called “Togetsu Bridge”, which was rebuilt in 2013 after its collapse. You can no longer see the “long-life cave”, a favourite with tourists that was destroyed during 311.

At Matsushima Bay, there stands an earthquake memorial.


You can also find an earthquake gallery inside the ferry ticket office where you will witness the damage incurred during the earthquake.


And at your feet, you will find a sign that directed the locals to evacuate during the tsunami.


Situated by the sea, Mitsushima is famous for its seafood and its fish market has been rebuilt.


Enjoy their delicious seafood while having a chat with them about their experience. While you may have come here to support them, in the end you feel like you are the one being cheered up by their friendliness and cheerfulness.


Address: Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
(From official website: http://www.matsushima-kanko.com/en/)
Distance from airport: 36km from Sendai Airport
Timetable of the cruise ship: please refer to the official website
Opening Hours of Fish Market: 8am – 5pm
Official HP: http://www.matsushima-kanko.com/en/

By Eva

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