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About Shiogama

a city that has grown alongside the sea

Shiogama is located in northern Japan (Tohoku) in Miyagi prefecture (see map).Shiogama, roughly in the middle of the prefecture, sits between the cosmopolitan city of Sendai and Matsushima Bay, oneof the three most famed views in Japan.
map:japan map:miyyagi

map:shiogama

Shiogama has prospered as the home of the Tohoku area’s Shiogama Shrine and as a harbour city. Shiogama served as an unloading port forthe provincial Tohoku government (Mutsunokuni) and as a port for the Date clan during the Edo period (1603 ~1867). Shiogama was a prominent national harbour city
from the Meji period (1868~1912) on and has more recently developed as a fisheries base (for fishing in both near-by and far waters .)
Shiogama is recognized as the largest unloading point for fresh tuna in Japan,as well as a city with abundant fresh seafood.
The City has the most sushi restaurants per square kilometer in Japan . The fisheries industry is strong and Shiogama leads Japan in the production of kamaboko, or kneaded fish cakes, as well as other processed fish products.
Shiogama is one of the doorways to tourism in the famed Matsuhima Bay.
In the“Narrow Roads to the Deep North", the poet, Matsuo Basho, describes traveling from Shiogama to Matsushima by boat. What is not so well known, however, is thefact that over half of the“808 Matsushima Islands" are actuallyin Shiogama. Inparticular, the inhabited Urato Islands attract many visitors who enjoy sunbathing, marine-sports, clamming, fishing, and rape-blossom viewing.

Population 62,844 Households 21,113 (Last updated on April 1st,1999)

Area 17.79 km2

Major Industries: products related to the fisheries industry, processed fish products

Access

map:location

By car: from the Tohoku Highway:

Heading North
Take the Izumi Interchange. It takes about 30 minutes to reach Shiogama after you have exited.
Heading South
Take the Taiwa Interchange. It takes approximately 35 minutes to reach Shiogama after you have exited.

By train: from Tokyo.

Take the bullet train (shinkansen) to Sendai Station.
It takes approximately 2 hours. Once in Sendai transfer to the Tohoku line or the Senseki line.

On the Senseki line get off at Honshiogama Station.
This station is the most convenient for sightseeing.
The trip takes approximately 25 minutes from Sendai station.

On the Tohoku line get off at Shiogama Station.
The trip takes approximately 16 minutes.

Where did Shiogama’s name come from?

In ancient times a god named Shiotsuchi no oji no kami, is said to have cometo Shiogama and to have taught the people how to make salt. Shiogama, meaningsalt caldron, derived its name from this legend.
Today, the ancient salt makingritual is still performed every July at the Okama Shrine in Shiogama.

Shiogama, a place famed in poetry.

In the past, the Shiogama inlet was a far away place that many people from the city (Kyoto area) dreamed about.
City people, who had not even seen the inlet、expressed such feelings in Utamakura’s, or songs.

Kokinshu #1088 Anon. In Michinoku province
Everywhere is sorrow-
But especially here in the bay of Shiogama
When I see the boats pull away

Shiogama Characteristics:

  • Important harbour: commercial port, specified fishing port, tourist bay.
  • Unloads the most fresh tuna in Japan.
  • Leads Japan in the production of Kamaboko, kneaded fish cakes, and other processed fish products.
  • Most sushi restaurants per square kilometer in Japan.
  • Highest population density in Tohoku (northern Japan).
  • First railway in Tohoku (A freight line that connected the Matsushima bay area and Sendai).
  • First golf course in Tohoku (9 hole course built in the Taisho period, 1912 ~ 1926).

Place to see:

Specialities

  • Kamaboko (kneaded fish cakes)
  • local sake brews
  • seaweed, oysters
  • “Shiogama” (Traditional Japanese snack made with salt, sugar and perilla)

Shiogama's seasonal diary:

Spring Cherry blossom viewing at Shiogama Shrine, rape-blossom fields on theUrato Islands, clamming. (JPG:98KB)

Summer Sunbathing and marine sports on the Urato Islands, Shiogama’s Port Festival, Fireworks(JPG:63KB)

Fall Foliage at Shiogama Shrine, Goby fishing in Matsushima Bay

Winter New Year’s visit to Shiogama Shrine, new local sake brew, Urato Island Oysters