Reconstructing Matsushima Bay after the tsunami

BANGKOK (eTN) - Located north of Sendai, Matsushima Bay is known for its beautiful scenery and as one of the "three most scenic spots in Japan.” Over 260 splendid islands are spread all around Matsu

Reconstructing Matsushima Bay after the tsunami

BANGKOK (eTN) – Located north of Sendai, Matsushima Bay is known for its beautiful scenery and as one of the “three most scenic spots in Japan.” Over 260 splendid islands are spread all around Matsushima Bay. The islets are covered by pine trees (Matsu). According to the season and the view point, landscapes are constantly evolving, revealing new shapes and perspectives. Matsushima Bay has been a source of inspiration for Japanese poets, writers, and painters for centuries.

An historical highlight is Zuigan-ji Temple, a magnificent example of ancient 17th century Japanese architecture. However, the terrible tsunami on March 11 also had a devastating effect on historical structures as the epicenter of the earthquake was east of Matsushima. Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs reported that the officially designated “Special Place of Scenic Beauty” was seriously damaged. Destruction reached the islands, as well as the two coastal villages of Shichigahama and Shiogama.

Matsushima was unfortunately not the only treasure affected. The Agency for Cultural Affairs published a list of 353 national treasures that were hit by the tsunami. In total, Japan’s National Police Agency estimated in early April that 190,000 buildings had been damaged or destroyed due to the earthquake and tsunami.

Overlooking the Bay, Zyugan-Ji Temple was considered as the perfect man-made balance to Matsushima’s nature. The temple was built in the 9th century and reconstructed in the 17th century by Date Masamune, the first Shogun in Tokugawa and the creator of Senai city. Skilled craftsmen worked on lumber and created the main building structure in 1609 built from lumber with walls covered by gold.

No eTN Insider Tip for this article: Do you have a suggestion?

Click here to apply and nominate your destination, company or service to become THE insider tip for this or another prominent cornerstone articles on eTurboNews. You may be added to the content including a prominent link to your website as an "Insider Tip". Such articles often gain significant interest in social media and the "search world" for an extended time period. Such articles should focus on your destination or your type of services.  Not everyone applying can be approved. 
submit a news tip
Undiscovered Taipei at OTDYKH LEISURE Moscow 2019

Undiscovered Taipei at OTDYKH LEISURE Moscow 2019

Breaking Travel News

25th International Trade Fair for Travel & Tourism Taipei is a place of numerous renowned ... Read More

Airbnb Miami: Quiet neighborhood sick of shootings

Airbnb Miami: Quiet neighborhood sick of shootings

Travel Safety & Emergencies

An early morning shooting in the Venetian Islands in Miami left a man hospitalized and ... Read More

Cape Cod Beaches: Tourism almost a land apart

Cape Cod Beaches: Tourism almost a land apart

etn

Along with its elegant landscaping, this is a land of ideal summer temperatures, ranging between ... Read More

The temple sustained major damage. According to the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs, the earthquake caused some cracks in the walls. Pines surrounding the main alley to the temple were completely wisked away by waters, and an old tea house was fully destroyed. With the city of Matsushia being washed away by a 15-meter tsunami wave, some 300 tourists were evacuated to Zyugan-Ji Temple. All tourists were welcomed by monks living within the temple’s compounds. They were given food and shelter for a couple of days. As a sign of gratitude, tourists have since helped with cleaning the temple area. Renovation of the temple’s compounds started in 2009 and was due to be completed by 2016. However, it might now take far more time to get it back to its original shape as one of Japan’s most famous zen sites.

In Matsushima city, inhabitants hope that life will slowly get back to normal by early May, once all damage has been cleaned. Prior to the tsunami, the city was populated with 15,000 inhabitants and was one of the most visited tourist areas. According to data from 2007, Miyagi Prefecture – where Matsushima Bay is located – recorded 710,000 foreign arrivals. Over 50% of all overnights were from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

CATEGORIES