Shiogama (} or ) is a port town in Miyagi Prefecture located between Sendai and Matsushima. The city supports a large fishing industry, and a significant portion of Japan's tuna and swordfish catch is processed along Shiogama's waterfronts. Its vibrant fish markets, such as the publicly accessible Shiogama Fish Market, supply fresh seafood to nearby Sendai, Tokyo and elsewhere. Not surprisingly, Shiogama is famous for its local seafood, especially its sushi, and boasts the highest number of sushi restaurants per capita in Japan.

The city derives its name ("salt furnace") from an ancient method to harvest salt by boiling seawater in large kettles. The ritual is still performed every July at Shiogama Shrine, an important shrine at the center of the town. The shrine is also a popular cherry blossom spot with a large variety of cherry tree varieties.

Shiogama is often combined with a visit to nearby Matsushima, as the two cities are connected by the popular sightseeing cruises via Matsushima Bay. A common route is to take the JR Senseki Line from Sendai to Shiogama, then the cruise boat to Matsushima, before returning to Sendai, or the other way around.

Top spots in Shiogama

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Scenic Ride

Matsushima Bay

Matsushima Bay's famous pine clad islets.
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Access

How to get to Shiogama

From Sendai   (how to get to Sendai)

Take one of the frequent local or rapid trains along the JR Senseki Line from Sendai to Hon-Shiogama Station. The one way trip takes about 25 minutes and costs 320 yen.

From Matsushima   (how to get to Matsushima)

Sightseeing cruises operate between Matsushima Pier and Marine Gate Shiogama, a ten minute walk from Hon-Shiogama Station. The one way cruise cost 1500 yen and take about 50 minutes. There are hourly departures in either direction by multiple companies.

Alternatively, take the JR Senseki Line between Hon-Shiogama and Matsushima Kaigan Stations. The one way trip takes about ten minutes and costs 200 yen. There are two departures per hour.

How to get around Shiogama

Shiogama is served by two train lines from Sendai, the JR Senseki Line and JR Tohoku Line, that run through the city on separate tracks without meeting. Hon-Shiogama Station on the Senseki Line is the most convenient station for tourists, within walking distance of both the shrine (10 minutes) and the cruise ferry terminal (5 minutes). Shiogama Station on the JR Tohoku Line, on the other hand, is neither very central nor convenient for accessing most of the city's attractions, except maybe Shiogama Shrine (15 minute walk from the station).

There is a convenient loop bus, named Shionavi, which connects the stations with all of Shiogama's main tourist spots, including the Shiogama Fish Market. Buses run hourly in both directions and cost 100 yen per ride.

Page last updated: July 23, 2016