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.
One night, Two days
From 41000 JPY
May ~ Oct
2 - 8 persons
Spend two days and one night as one of the islanders in the beautiful Urato Islands in Matsushima Bay!
Throw yourself into island life, soaking up the stunning scenery, savouring local flavours from blessings of the ocean and fields, and getting your hands dirty helping out with environmental conservation activities! With few young people left on the islands to carry out work of maintaining the lush natural environment, make a difference through your visit by offering your time and physical help to benefit both the islanders and those visiting after you!
Be rewarded with warm hospitality, new experiences and new connections with the locals, who will make you feel right at home!
End your visit with the ultimate ‘island time’ experience, a private lunch at Matsushima Bay’s most unique restaurant – the ‘Island Table’ – floating in the middle of the bay! Recalling the faces of the islanders and producers you have crossed paths with during your journey, enjoy a full course meal made from local ingredients produced on the islands (including rice that you helped with, of course!) paired with local sake, tea and a side of ocean breeze ~
Meet your guide at passenger terminal ‘Marine Gate Shiogama’.
Jump aboard the Urato Islands Ferry bound for Hojima.
Along the way, the ferry will stop at Katsurashima Island, Nonoshima Island, Ishihama Wharf and Sabusawa Island. Take in views of the local aquaculture – oysters, nori and wakame – as you pass through Matsushima Bay, and enjoy the scenes of island life as you watch locals and visitors ‘hop’ between the islands.
Arrive at Katsurashima island, where your guide, Nobuyoshi-san, will be waiting for you with a friendly smile, potentially with an island cat or two in tow!
Spend the morning exploring the island with Nobuyoshi-san, discovering hidden spots that only a local would know as you learn about the fascinating history and culture of the Urato Islands.
Return to ‘Katsurashima Stay-Station’, the community centre of the island, and tuck-in to a delcious ‘obento’ style lunch box full of fresh ingredients from the land and sea of Urato Islands, made with love by the ‘Urato Mother’s Club’, a group of local women working in the fisheries industry of the islands.
Fuelled-up on island blessings, it’s time to show your gratitude and get to work! There are few young hands on the islands to support the local agricultural and fisheries industries and maintain the diverse natural environment. Use your visit to make a difference by providing your time and two hands in support of environmental conservation work and activities to maintain several scenic spots on the island. Leave something behind not only for the islanders, but future visitors to enjoy!
After all that hard work, it’s time to settle down for the evening and enjoy the quiet of island life. Embrace the serenity of ‘island time’ and watch the sun go down over Matsushima Bay.
Spend the evening at your ‘second home’, chatting with the friendly owners of ‘Pension Onigahama’, one of the guesthouses on the island. Enjoy a delicious meal featuring local ingredients and a quiet glass sake in the ambient lounge looking out over the pacific.
Awaken to another beautiful day on the islands! Enjoy some ‘island time’ before breakfast and saying goodbye to the Suzukis at Pension Onigahama.
Enjoy another local experience by calling for a ‘tosen’, one of the free shuttle-ferries that operates between Katsurashima and neighbouring Nonoshima-island.
Waiting for you on the other side will be Endo-san, your next island guide! Endo-san was born and raised on Nonoshima, and knows every in and out of the island. Learn directly from him about the history, culture and lifestyle of Nonoshima, as you walk towards ‘Gakkohama’ Beach.
Having experienced the unique scenery of Urato from the land, next its time to explore on the water! Jump aboard one of Endo-san’s sea-kayaks and spend an hour or so paddling on the clear blue water of Matsushima Bay, passing by oyster farms, fishing boats and tiny islands.
Paddle around the headland and be greeted with a once-in-a-lifetime sight – a floating restaurant situated right next to the oyster farms, manned by a private local chef! Alight your kayak and take your seat, surrounded by 360 degree views of the islands and Matsushima Bay.
Recalling the faces of the islanders and producers you have crossed paths with during your journey, enjoy a full course meal made from local ingredients produced on the islands (including Togawa-san’s sasanishiki rice, of course!) paired with local sake, tea and a side of ocean breeze!
Return to shore and ‘reality’ with a new appreciation of the islands, the producers, and the future of the Urato Islands!
‘Island time’ flies by, and before you know it you’ll hear the approach of the Urato Island Ferry heading back to the mainland.
Say goodbye to the islands – but not for long. Your new friends will be waiting to welcome you ‘home’ to Urato Islands soon!