Start the day with a morning train departure from Tokyo Station, using your included bullet train ticket heading to Matsushima. You’ll depart Tokyo at 7:36am and arrive at Sendai Station at 9:10am, making one 30-minute transfer to the JR Senseki Line before arriving at Matsushima-Kaigan Station at 10:11am, where you’ll meet your guide.
Your first stop will be the city’s Kanrantei Tea House, an important historic site where you’ll observe a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at 10:30am. Admire the elegant, artful preparation steps of this uniquely Japanese ritual, held in the facility’s Goza-no-ma room that’s typically off-limits to the public. Enjoy the view of Matsushima Bay just outside as you sip your steaming cup of ‘matcha’ (powdered green tea).
Continue the day by climbing aboard a bike to begin a two-wheel discovery of some of Matsushima’s most historic temples. Pedal past ancient religious sites like Zuiganji Temple, Godaido Temple, Entsuin Temple, and the Pine Tree of Saigyo Modoshi. Before continuing you’ll have time for lunch (at your own expense) at a local restaurant featuring options including sushi, yakiniku, izakaya-style food, oysters, other seafood, and shojin cuisine (vegetarian).
Starting at 3:15pm, you’ll join a sightseeing cruise on Matsushima Bay, enjoying the city’s spectacular scenery from the water. The day ends at approximately 4:15pm at Matsushima-Kaigan Station.