Islets have long been a popular location for tourists to visit, thanks to the stunning beauty provided by their fantastic flora and fauna. Considered one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan, they are known for their pine trees and distinctive gulls.
However, if you're planning to venture out on a cruise around the islets, it's worth bearing in mind that the local authorities banned feeding our feathered friends this week (April 21st), with signs erected on sightseeing boats to this effect.
The reason, according to the Matsushima
Tourist Association, is because the bird droppings on the pines were causing the trees to whither because of their high nitrogen content.
Already, tourists have expressed disappointment that the sales of shrimp-flavoured rice crackers used to feed the gulls has been stopped, from boats, beaches and other locations along the coast.
However, if we're going to continue admiring the beauty of Matsushima
(literally 'pine island'), it seems both the birds and the tourists will have to forgo their treat.
Written by Mark Smith
Related news stories:Japanese tourists welcomed by Hello Kitty iPhone app (16th October 2012)Japanese ATMs to be revamped (12th December 2013)Foreign travel to Japan sees September surge (24th October 2013)Wearable tourist device could take off (21st October 2013)