An old monument from the Nara Period (eighth century) that is counted as one of the three oldest monuments in Japan. The monument has an inscription of 141 characters, describing the distances from the capital Nara and from other districts, as well as the details about the establishment and reconstruction of Tagajo Castle. Also known as the Tsubo-no-ishibumi monument, which often appears in Japanese poetry. Matsuo Basho, a famous poet from the Edo Period, visited this place and expressed the excitement he felt when he encountered this monument in his book Oku no Hosomichi.
A temple established along with Tagajo Castle. The temple buildings are arranged in the same way as Dazaifu Kanzeonji Temple, and it is highly likely that the name of the temple was Kannonji Temple. This is the second historic park developed in Japan.
The museum displays Jomon earthenware, stone artifacts and accessories excavated from Satohama shell mounds, among the largest shell mounds in Japan. Hands-on learning programs (making a fire, making magatama stone beads, etc.) are also available. Furthermore, the museum offers programs to learn about the situation during and after the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as the relationship between tsunami and prehistoric Jomon people revealed by the shell mounds. These programs are recommended for seminars and school excursions.
Hanabushi Shrine stands in a quiet place commanding an ocean view through pine forest. It is considered to have been established approximately 2,400 years ago. A "Kokufu-kuriya no in" stamp, which had been used by the Tagajo Provincial Government, was discovered in the shrine. The shrine is the real-life location of a TV anime program, and many fans visit this place as a "pilgrimage."
Tagajo Castle was established in 724 by Ono Azumahito, and the Mutsu Provincial Government and a navy base were located there. In the center of the huge castle area (approx. 900 m x 900 m) was the government, the center of political affairs and official ceremonies. It is one of Japan's greatest historic sites, along with the site of Nara Palace (Nara Pref.) and the site of Dazaifu (Fukuoka Pref.).
Formally named "Shoto Seiryuzan Zuigan Enpuku Zenji," this is a Zen temple belonging to the Myoshinji sect of the Rinzai school. In 1609, Date Masamune completed this temple after a five-year construction work, and designated it as the family temple of the Date clan. The main hall, kitchen and some other areas are designated as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.
Godaido Temple is the symbol of Matsushima. In 807, Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro built it as Bishamondo Temple, enshrining a Vaisravana Buddha statue when he went on an expedition in eastern Japan. Later, Ennin (aka Jikaku Daishi) enshrined Godai Myoo (Five Great Myoo) statues in the temple, which is why the temple is now called Godaido. The Godai Myoo statues are open to the public once every 33 years; the next opening will be in 2039.
A temple built to pray for the soul of Date Mitsumune (legitimate grandson of Date Masamune; who died young at the age of 19). On the premises is a National Important Cultural Property, Sankeiden Mausoleum, treasured by the Date clan for 350 years. A small shrine in the mausoleum features a picture of a rose, which was allegedly brought to Japan from Europe by Hasekura Tsunenaga. Entsuin Temple is known as a "rose temple" with a garden themed on that rose. There are four gardens (including the rose garden) on the premises, where visitors can enjoy seasonal beauty. Visitors can also try making their unique praying beads by selecting the beads they like. Near the main gate is enshrined a kannon (Goddess of Mercy) for matchmaking, visited by many people from across the nation seeking a good match in finding a partner, job or school. They write their wishes on a kokeshi doll, and dedicate it to the kannon.
It is said that Kanrantei was originally a tea ceremony room in Fushimi Momoyama Castle and was bestowed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to Date Masamune, then relocated to this place by Date Tadamune (Masamune's son) without change to any part of the room. It is dubbed as a moon-viewing palace. The painting on the sliding doors is designated as an Important Cultural Property by the national government, while the building is designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by the prefecture. A moon-viewing event is held around the harvest moon season. Why not indulge in romantic pursuits in a traditional Japanese manner?
The 252-meter long vermillion-lacquered bridge is known as a matchmaking bridge. It is believed that one can find a good match after crossing this bridge. Across the bridge is Fukuurajima Island, a prefectural nature park. On the island, you will find Bentendo Hall, an observatory and an arbor, among other facilities. It is a perfect spot for strolling around while enjoying the view of Matsushima Bay with seasonal flowers and greenery.