Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nihon Sankei

(PICTURE: The tourist welcome site at Matsushima.)

Nihon Sankei means "Three Great Sights of Japan." In Japan, like the title, there are three places that supposedly stand out above all the others. The three places are:
1. Matsushima.
2. The floating torii of Miyajima island.
3. The sand0spit at Amanohashidate.

Recently I checked off one of the three sites by visiting Matshushima. Matsushima Bay is sort of like Halong Bay in Vietnam. The Japanese version has 250 pine-covered islands that have been moulded by wind and rock formations. I know I'm going to sounds like an annoying high school girl bragging about her boyfriend but...Halong Bay is about ten times cooler than Matsushima. In fact, I wasn't really a fan of Matsushima at all and it has disuaded me from seeing the other two "great sights."

The problem with Matsushima is that I felt like I was in a tourist trap. Hundreds of tourists were wrangled onto giant ferries and taken on a fifty minute boat ride around a bunch of islands. It was picturesque but doesn't even rank with the beauty of some of the local places Paula and Yuya have take me to.

(PICTURE: One of the islands of Matsushima Bay.)