SENDAI and MATSUSHIMA
Sendai is a city in Japan’s Tohoku Region, northeast of Tokyo on Honshu island. The remains of 17th-century Sendai Castle, built for samurai lord Date Masamune on Aoba Hill, overlook the city and include a museum of historic artifacts. The Sendai City Museum focuses on the history and culture of Japan’s Edo period and displays Masamune’s samurai armour.
Located half an hour outside of Sendai, Matsushima (松島) is famous for its bay, which is dotted by many pine clad islets and has been ranked one of Japan's three most scenic views for centuries. The small town is also known for Zuiganji, one of the Tohoku Region's most important Zen temples.
Matsushima was hit by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, but escaped major damage thanks to its protected location inside the island dotted bay. Most tourist attractions, shops and hotels reopened within a few weeks or months of the earthquake.