Due to the continued global spread of the COVID19 virus and the associated impact upon public health and safely in Japan, reservations for all tours and experience programs will be SUSPENDED until May 2020, or until the situation improves and relevant restrictions upon travel are lifted.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Tohoku as soon as possible. In the meantime, please stay safe and well!
~ Inoutbound Sendai Matsushima Inc.
5 to 6 hours
Oct ~ May
Matsushima Bay is famous for its picturesque views of tiny islands dotted across its calm blue waters, but many do not realise that the group of larger islands – the Urato Islands – are actually home to many of Shiogama City’s townspeople, including local fishermen and oyster and seaweed farmers. The waters of Matsushima Bay are some of the worlds most fertile for cultivating oysters. So fertile, in fact, that many of Japan’s (and even overseas) oyster farms source their oyster ‘seeds’ from these very waters. In many ways, Matsushima Bay and the Urato Islands are the birthplace of the oysters that we end up on our plates all around the world.
On this tour, you can experience the life of an oyster farmer by jumping aboard a local fishing boat and watching the harvest process right in front of your eyes! You’ll also have the chance to try some huge, juicy oysters straight from the water – they don’t get much fresher than this!! Take the rest of the harvest back to shore and enjoy a seafood BBQ as you take in views over the water.
Before and after your oyster experience you’ll also have time to explore the island itself, learning more about the history and lifestyle of the people who live there and discovering hidden views of one of the most famous scenic spots in Japan!
Meet your guide in front of the ticket gates of JR Hon-Shiogama Station (JR Senseki Line) and walk together to the Marine Gate wharf (approx 10 mins).
Set off on the local ferry to Katsurajima island, one of the beautiful Urato islands – the largest among some 260 islands that dot the famous Matsushima Bay.
Take in views of Matsushima Bay and the local lifestyle of the fishermen and townspeople who live on the islands.
Arrive at Katsurajima Island and enjoy a guided walk around the island. Hear stories of the history of the island, its fishing industry and lifestyle, and take in more picturesque scenery.
Return to the wharf and be greeted by a local oyster farmer who will guide you to his fishing boat. Enjoy a short cruise across the bay to the oyster farms.
Learn about the local oyster harvesting practices as you watch the oyster farmer reel in the oyster shelves.
Next, try some HUGE, fresh, juicy and delicious oysters straight from the water!
Learn the special technique the locals use when eating fresh oysters to make the most of the flavour of the oyster without sucking in too much sea water!
Oysters do not get any fresher than this!!
Bring the rest of your freshly harvested oysters back to shore and walk to ‘Pension Starboard’, a local guesthouse, for a seafood BBQ lunch on the deck overlooking the bay!
After a relaxed lunch and some time to further explore the island, board the ferry back to Shiogama at 14:30.
Tour ends after returning to Shiogama.