The Track Less Travelled


Matsushima is known as one of the three quintessential views of Japan, famed for leaving the 16th Century poet Matsuo Basho lost for words with its beauty. You might think escaping from the crowds in one of the busiest countries on earth would be difficult, but if you’re after a solitary beach to relax and contemplate the beautiful islands in the bay, Matsushima is the place to be. Cross the red bridge to Fukuura island and take the first track on your left. When you find the signpost directing you to the centre or further around the island, take the unmarked track behind it instead. A few seconds later, you’ll find yourself on a shady, white sand beach with unrestricted views over the bay.

After the hustle and bustle of modern Japan, it’s a refreshing experience to visit a place that hasn’t changed since the time of the samurai. Once you’re back on the mainland, visit the waterfront stalls to buy some gyutan. It’s a local speciality of the region made from grilled beef tongue with spices. If you strike up a conversation with the locals, they’ll let you in on their secrets for preparing and seasoning the dish. They’re proud to use Australian beef, so if you let them know you’re an Aussie, you might just get treated to some of the more reserved cuts.

- Brendan D.

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