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Matsushima, Japan

One of Japans top 3 views...really?!

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It took a lot time just organising what we were doing in such a big city as Tokyo each day, but it took even more patience and time to work out the next stage of our travel plans in Japan. It would seem that the majority of affordable accommodation for us, in any decent location, gets booked up way in advance for the weekends. By process of elimination we headed for a night in Sendai, it was about the only dorm place we could get in our budget for a weekend.

We'd paid for a 3 week Japanese rail pass, which we acti==Your heading here...==vated on our trip to Sendai. Its turned out to be really handy as we get to travel on most JR trains across the country; including bullet trains; working out at £15 per day. The Shinkansen bullet trains are so fast, clean and efficient. We arrived in Sendai within a couple of hours.

I can't remember the name of where we were staying, but I had the worst nights sleep... not enjoyable. We'd booked into a dormitory room, which turned out to be me and Jason sharing a room with the weird, snoring owner. It was also our first experience of sleeping on the traditional Japanese futons on the floor (some of which are really comfortable and others, like this one, were solid and the room was freezing). Everywhere was clean and tidy, but the owner and hard floor made me glad we'd only booked it for one night.

There's not a lot to do in Sendai itself, but we used it as a base to get to Matsushima, which is supposed to be one of the top 3 Japanese landscape views. It's a town right by the sea with views out to sea of a series of smaller islands. You can do a boat trip there, but we decided not to as it was busy with tourists and rainy. Instead we walked around, looked in numerous souvenir shops and stopped for a bite to eat. The local specialty was grilled oysters (but I couldn't sit and eat in the oyster room restaurant, the smell of grilled oysters is not pleasant). But Jason was desperate to try them so we agreed to sit in a restaurant where he ordered tempura oysters instead. We walked up to a park on the top of a hill to try and catch a view out to sea; it was quite pleasant with the autumn leaves turning, but due to the weather it was a rather misty scene. Jason asked me to rate Matsushima and I'm afraid to say I gave it a disappointing 3/10 (Jason gave it 6/10). As it was sold as being a 'must-visit' I suppose I had high expectations, whether the dreary weather had anything to do with my low score I don't know, or maybe it just didn't compare to all the other fabulous scenes we've seen so far on our trip...Jason thought it was worth a visit.

We had a few hours in Sendai before we caught the train to Nikko (which gave me just enough time to get a little Christmassy). In the big department stores there were decorations, lights and Christmas carols playing everywhere. It made me realise how different Christmas is going to be this year.

Posted by bloorsontour 02:12 Archived in Japan

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