What is O-bon?
Bon is a Japanese Buddhist tradition where Japanese families honor the spirits of their ancestors. They place lanterns outside their homes to guide the spirits home. In Matsushima at the holiday’s end, they help the spirits find their way back to the spirit world by floating paper lanterns into the sea.
On the final night is Osegakie, an event dating back hundreds of years where priests from Matsushima’s renowned Zuiganji Temple are joined by top Buddhist priests from across northern Japan. They make a special procession from Zuiganji to the bay where they perform a special ceremony and fill the air with the sound of their chants.
Access and Contact
Matsushima has pay parking lots and a free lot here: https://goo.gl/maps/d86WWgg3kvS2
However, parking spaces are limited and the roads will be crowded, so taking the train is highly recommended.
Matsushima is a 25-40 minute train ride from Sendai.
Central Park is a 10 minute walk from Matsushima Kaigan Station (JR Senseki Line) or a 20 minute walk from Matsushima Station (JR Tohoku Line.)
There are trains to Matsushima regularly throughout the day.
Return train service to Sendai after the festival:
from Matsushima Kaigan: 7:45pm, 8:10pm, 8:53pm, 9:14pm, 10:24pm, 11:08pm
from Matsushima Station: 7:40pm, 8:16pm, 8:39pm, 8:56pm, 9:09pm, 10:12pm