Matsushima Bay Cruises 松島島巡り観光船
Follow Basho's regular route to Matsushima, or cruise through the islets in the bay
To truly appreciate the beauty of the picturesque Matsushima Bay, get off the shore and step onto a boat. There are two main ferry service options that operate year-round, with roughly one ship an hour for each route.
How to Get There
You can get to the bay by train and boat.
From JR Sendai Station, take the JR Senseki Line to Matsushima-Kaigan Station. Take a boat across Matsushima Bay to Matsushima to get to the cruises.
Relax and commentary will lead the spotting
Most visitors ride the Shimameguri Kankosen Kigyo Kumiai boats departing from the center of the tourism area. Use your provided map and listen to the bilingual commentary to learn about the interesting names and trivia behind some of the 260 weird rock formations and islets that dot the bay.
Your seats will be right at water level and looking through glass. Splurge and pay extra if you want an open-air seat on top of the boat.
Follow the famous poet's route
A lesser-known service is a ferry running between Matsushima and the nearby fishing town of Shiogama. The view is different, but equally as impressive. Try the Shiogama to Matsushima route to travel the same route haiku poet Matsuo Basho used when he visited Matsushima by rowboat.
Return to Sendai by train. For the Shiogama departure, walk 15 minutes to Marine Gate from Honshiogama Station. The Matsushima leg is a five-minute walk from Matsushima-Kaigan Station. Staff can point you in the right direction.