Matsushima Bay and the four best viewing locations (Shitaikan)


Unbeatable locations to enjoy views across Matsushima Bay

Along with Amanohashidate in Kyoto and Miyajima in Hiroshima, Matsushima Bay is known as one of Japan’s top three scenic views. The bay is dotted with some 260 islands of various sizes. The best locations for a panoramic view of these islands are known as the Shitaikan and each location has a nickname describing its view.

The Sokan (magnificent view) from Mount Otakamori at 105.8m above sea level offers a view of Matsushima Bay from the east. Visitors can enjoy a 360° panoramic view of Matsushima Bay while feeling as if they were at their own private water villa. The view includes the Sagakei cliffs and the distant Zao mountain range.

The Reikan (elegant view) from Mount Tomiyama at 116.8m above sea level is the highest viewpoint of the Shitaikan. Visitors can enjoy a graceful view of Matsushima Bay from the peaceful garden of Daigyoji Temple enshrining Tomiyama Kannon at the top of the mountain.

The Ikan (grand view) from Mount Tamon at 55.6m above sea level offers views of the bay and Shiogama port with its ships gracefully entering and departing.

The Yukan (spiritual view) from Ogidani highland at 55.8m above sea level provides a panoramic view of Matsushima Bay and the beautiful fan-shaped inlet spanning to the bay before you. The Yukan is also known for its stunning display of autumn leaves.

After enjoying the magnificent view from the Shitaikan, a pleasure boat ride through the islands is another popular attraction. Feeding the flock of seagulls from the boat will be one of the many local memories that will remain with you!

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