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【Miyagi】Autumn color and oysters in season at “Matsushima”2015.10.21

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As autumn advances, beautiful “koyo” draws more attention from people. “Koyo”means autumn leaves changing its color. Viewing the autumn leaves is as popular as “sakura” (cherry blossoms) viewing in the spring. Areas rich with autumnal leaves are dotted throughout the country. Matsushima is definitely a must-visit place, particularly in the autumn.

It is no doubt that it is one of the 3 most beautiful scenery spots in Japan, which are Miyajima, Amanohashidate, and  Matsushima. Matsushima is located in the center of Miyagi Prefecture. It has over 260 islands, scattered throughout the Matsushima Bay. Those islands form the picturesque scenery of Matsushima. Cruising and island-hopping is a good way to enjoy the dynamic seascape. In this area, the color of the foliage begins to turn in October, and the best time to see the autumnal colors is early to mid November. For a month starting in late October, the illumination of autumn leaves is available at some temples, such as Entsuin Temple. It is needless to say that a blend of red, gold and yellow leaves is stunning, but also the colorful foliage reflected in the pond is amazing. The natural beauty of the red maple leaves fallen on the green mossy sideways is too lovely to miss.

And there is a good news for food lovers. It is not only the autumn foliage that is impressive but also the oysters are in season from October to March in Matsushima. The Oyster Festival is held on Oyster Day, November 23rd. The festival offers various ways to savor fresh oysters. If you simply like to gorge yourself with heavenly amount of oysters, have a go at “tabehoudai” (all-you-can-eat) .

Matsushima is about an hour on the JR Senseki Line from Sendai Station. Sendai is an hour and a half on the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo. The access from the nearest station (Matsushima Kaigan Station) is easy with a shuttle bus which runs hourly.

The autumn colors and the oysters surely can be the highlights of your trip.

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