Matsushima is a group of almost 300 islands that lay inside a small bay in the Miyagi prefecture. Matsushima is written in Japanese using the characters 松:pine and 島:island because it turns out that most of the islands are covered by pines. The views from the mountains behind the town of Matsushima-machi are considered as one of the three most beautiful views in Japan. The other two are Itsukushima (Miyajima) and Amanohashidate.
The days we were in Matsushima we were not lucky at all. It was cloudy all day, from dawn until night. This one is the best photo I was able to take of the famous view:
The truth is that the famous panoramic view is not the most beautiful thing the islands have to offer, but walking around them and enjoying the breeze from the Pacific ocean is.
Fukuura island is accessible by foot from the esplanade at the seafront of the town.
Ukiyo-e of the Matsushima islands by Hiroshige.
How to get there from Tokyo: Take the Tohoku Shinkansen until the Sendai station. From Sendai change trains to the Senseki line which will take you to Matsushima-kaigan station.