Matsushima Bay (松島) is listed as one of the Three Views of Japan alongside with Miyajima and Amanohashidate. Located 10 kilometers off the coast of Matsushima are 260 small and large islands covered in pine trees. A sightseeing cruise is one good way to enjoy the islands up close. There are many companies that offer the service and some of them leave from Shiogama, a port city between Sendai and Matsushima. Some of the islands you can see from the cruise ship are Niojima (shaped like an animal’s head), Senganjima (Date Masamune’s favorite island), Kanejima (four caverned through island) and many more. Another way to view the bay is through Matsushima Shidaikan (four panoramic views of Matsushima). The four views refer to Ogidani, Tomiyama, Otakamori and Tamonzan, which provide amazing sceneries of Matsushima Bay. Fukuura and Oshima Island are accessible through a bridge and are open to the public. Godaido is a small temple on one of islands closest to the coast in Matsushima Bay. On Matsuo Basho’s, a famous Japanese poet, travels through the Tohoku Region he ended up on a hill overlooking Matsushima Bay. The view from that spot was so beautiful that it left Basho without words.