Kaisendon (raw seafood rice bowl) (Photo: Roger Smith)

Matsushima Fish Market

Top quality seafood at lower than restaurant prices

Kaisendon (raw seafood rice bowl) (Photo: Roger Smith)
Roger Smith   - 3 min read

Matsushima is famous for its seafood, especially oysters, anago (salt-water eels) and nori seaweed. Being on the Miyagi coast it also has access to excellent Sanriku seafood.

Unlike the huge Shiogama Wholesale Seafood Market, Matsushima Fish Market (松島さかな市場) is not a working fish market, but rather a convenient place for lunch, a snack, or to buy seafood to bring home and prepare yourself.

It’s a little bit tricky to find. From Godaido Temple on Route 45 walk away from Kaigan Station for a minute. Turn left into the parking lot of the Date Masamune Historical Museum. The Fish Market is hidden in the back of the parking lot.

Before you go inside the fish market you’ll see an oyster shack where you can have all-you-can-eat grilled oysters year-round.

Inside the market on the first floor is a booth that sells very reasonably priced oyster burgers (350 yen), which is perfect for a snack in the park (watch out for seagulls!) or for a picnic on nearby Fukuurajima Island. The second floor has seafood ramen as well as sushi.

Ordering sushi is a little confusing. You order and pay at the register on the first floor. There are pictures of a few dishes including the excellent kaisendon (seafood rice bowl with sliced raw fish). You will receive a number which you then take to the second floor. Have a seat at a table and serve yourself tea or water while you wait. I noticed they have outlets for phone charging there.

A person with a seafood cart and microphone will call the numbers as soon as the food is ready. If you don’t speak Japanese, just show them your number and they can tell you when it’s ready.

At the table is soy sauce in a white bottle and little wasabi packets. For a seafood rice bowl, pour a bit of soy sauce into the little tray provided, mix in some wasabi and either pour the tray on top of the rice bowl, or if you prefer, just dip in a piece of seafood at a time. Some people eat it without soy sauce to fully appreciate the flavor of the fresh seafood. It’s really up to you.

When you are done just bus your tray, separating out disposables into the trash and putting the rest on the tray return.

Hours: 8am-5pm (food service 8am-3pm, 10am-3pm for second floor food service)

Roger Smith

Roger Smith @roger.smith

Roger was inspired to move to Tohoku following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami to help support the recovery. He worked with the Town of Matsushima to make it easier for foreign travelers to visit and later was the inaugural editor for Visit Miyagi. When in Tohoku you might just find him catching ...