Welcome home to the Urato Islands!

About the Urato Islands

The Urato Islands, located a 30-min boat ride off the coast of Shiogama City at the entrance to Matsushima Bay, are an isolated group of four inhabited islands (Katsurashima, Nonoshima, Sabusawa and Hojima), with a population of around 400 people.
Matsushima Bay, one of Japan’s three most scenic destinations, consists of over 200 pine-clad islands of various sizes, each eroded by the waves creating a beautiful landscape of interesting rock formations.
The islands of Katsurashima, Nonoshima, Sabusawa and Hojima are home to tranquil villages, where the local’s lives and unique culture have been nurtured by history and the richness of nature.

Location and Access

The Urato Islands are located between Shichigahama in the south and Miyato Island in the east of Matsushima Bay. A regular city-run ferry operates from passenger terminal ’Marine Gate Shiogama’, allowing visitors to stop-off at each island.
From the ferry, you can enjoy the scenery of local oyster and seaweed farms dotted across Matsushima Bay, and get a feel for the lifestyle of the island residents, including the students who commute by ferry, dutifully doing their homework on the water!
SImply call the ferry captain and they will pick you up and take you to the opposite shore, a unique taste of island life!

Island Life

The Urato Islands are at the heart of a group of more than 200 islands in Matsushima Bay, one of Japan’s three most scenic destinations. Each of the four islands (Katsurashima, Nonoshima, Sabusawa and Hojima) boasts its own quaint,seaside village, where people have lived for centuries, steeped in history and surrounded by rich nature. On the islands, you will find alleyways and inviting pathways just wide enough to pass through. As you pass by, the islanders will be happy to greet you with a warm welcome.