One of the many colorful wooden bridges leading to the islands
The temple looks quite weathered sitting on this small island near the waters edge, but it is still well maintained.
Lots of pine trees help to make up a nice view of the bay.
Matsushima is one of the 3 famous Japanese scenery spots.
Entry to the main temple grounds
Inside the grounds. Wonderful tall tree coverage
The map around the temple grounds.
Looking back to the entrance way through the line of trees.
One of the many restaurants in the temple grounds.
These old buildings in the temple grounds have been converted into restaurants and cafes. A very nice setting for a relaxing afternoon.
One of the older buildings acting as a Soba, Oden and Dango eating place
The area with all the temples has a nice set of paths that you can peacefully stroll down. There are not a lot of shops but the ones they have are well stocked with local gifts and plenty of charm.
Walking between temples
The roofs of these buildings are in the traditional form. They must be on stand by in case a fire ever comes through this area. It would be a shame to see it all destroyed.
Lots of nice shade and relaxed atmosphere.
One of the many stones in the gardens.
A number of nice scenes here in the temple grounds.
I liked this (mini temple?) depiction in the mossy grounds. The red against all of the shadowed green was a great scene. The Canon Powershot did not do a bad job, but I would like to see what the Nikon could have done here to get some better contrasts. I am sure that red would have jumped off the page and the greens in the foreground would have sat back a bit.
Very creative and skillful work to craft the stone wall in this way.
Looks like the character for unagi (eel) here.
Wonderful view from the car park.
The bay looked very calm on the day I visited.
One of the temples on a small island in the bay.
Fishing Boats in the harbour
Red colored bridges are a beautiful feature of Japanese gardens.
Looking out at some of the islands in the bay.
Some of the hotels and restaurants surrounding the harbour
There are over 200 small islands in the bay all dotted with pine trees.
Station and temples withing easy walking distance of each other.
View back from the station platform over the bay.
Nice blue colors on this train as I waited at the platform to ride back to Sendai.
wikipedia has a good description of some scenery walkways:
Matsushima’s seaside attractions are within walking distance of the train station and ferry pier, but the best views are from mountaintops not so easy to reach on foot. The most spectacular views are from Saigyo Modoshi no Matsu Park, a ¥660 cab ride up from the station. It is covered with cherry blossoms in the spring, but the food available there is nothing special. Other overlooks are Sōkanzan, a promontory that juts out into the bay, and Ōgitani, a hill across the coastal highway from Sokanzan.