Matsushima is a thirty minute train ride from Sendai and is one of the “Three Views of Japan.” Most tourists who go to Matsushima take a boat cruise among the 260 tiny, pine and seagull covered islands. I’ve done that twice. I highly recommend it.
But once you’re done with the boat cruise… now what?
Go to the Matsushima Fish Market.
The Matsushima Fish Market is a two story building that offers over 1,500 different types of seafood, from raw sashimi to their specialty: the oyster burger. For the non-seafood lovers, they offer several different types of Gyutan (牛タン) cow tongue.
I opted for the cow tongue. It was delicious.
I also had a bite of the oyster burger (350 yen), which was a sliced oyster croquette on a bed of lettuce in a roll of bread.
The Matsushima Fish Market has two floors. The bottom floor offers a variety of samples, packaged and sauteed fish, freshly caught fish, and a couple restaurant-style counters you can order food.
The second floor has rows of hardwood picnic benches for customers to eat lunch or dinner. You order downstairs; food is prepared fresh. Once your order is complete, they bring the food upstairs for you.
They also provide small plates so you can all share.
All along the walls of the Matsushima Fish Market they had pictures of notable (huge) fish they had caught in Matsushima, as well as “before” and “after” pictures of the tsunami.
Price-wise, Matsushima Fish Market is very affordable. The fresh food is delicious, the packaged omiyage gifts (like pickled vegetables or fish toppings) are worth your money. I ended up not buying souvenirs , not because I didn’t want to, but because I spent so long sampling the omiyage that I ran out of time to decide.