A path where you can meet smiles And the beauty of nature: Michinoku Coastal Trail

A new path has opened in Tohoku.

Its name is “Michinoku Coastal Trail.”
It is a very, very long path that runs along the majestic Pacific Ocean. Here, you can experience the bounties of both forest and sea.

Nature, born from the bonds between forest, village, river, and the sea, and the stories spun therefrom, are the beauty that exists only on this trail.
People’s lifestyles are passed on through this trail, and we hope they will ultimately be passed on into the future.

Paths become paths when people walk on them.
The “Michinoku Coastal Trail” will also become a path when the people who live in Tohoku and the people who visit Tohoku walk on it together.

Try walking in Tohoku, along this trail.
Walk side by side with Tohoku progressing towards rebirth.

Route Information

The Michinoku Coastal Trail is a long trail that follows the Pacific coast from Hachinohe City in Aomori Prefecture to Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture.
“Michinoku” is the ancient name of the Tohoku area, and is still familiar as a nickname.
The biggest attraction is the abundance of spots you can experience dynamic views of the ocean.
There are a great variety of sights to see, like the most beautiful cliffs in Japan, the marvelous scenery of the rias coastline, the sheer abundance of the world's third largest fishing grounds and more.
Enjoy a time you will never forget as you follow the trail while feeling the sea breeze and the compelling beauty created by nature.

Hachinohe SectionAomori Prefecture

From the undulating sunken rocks to the white sands and green pine trees, this route meanders around the Tanesashi coastline whose magnificent scenery varies constantly. The abundant fauna and flora that change with the seasons, such as the black-tailed gulls and rugosa roses, are also an attraction. The gentle path, with few differences in elevation, continues on.

Hashikami SectionAomori Prefecture

From Oja Railway Station near the coast, this route passes through the shopping area and rural hills, climbs and descends Mt. Hashikamidake, with a height of 740 meters, and goes to the Kominato Coast. Points of interest are the nostalgic shopping district reminiscent of the middle of the previous century and the mysterious giant trees, as well as Mt. Hashikamidake, which is known for its Rhododendron kaempferi and spring water. It is a route packed with the three attractions of rural villages, village woodlands, and seashores.

Hirono SectionIwate Prefecture

This route passes through Hirono Town, famous for its sea urchins, abalone, and sea squirts. In addition to enjoying the various sea foods when they are in season, you can learn about the history and techniques of the fishing industry at Shukunohe fishing harbor (the “Cultivation Fishing Harbor”), Taneichi High School, famous for Nanbu Diving, and other places. Although there is a route with few ups and downs that follows the coastline, there is also a path that crosses a stream near the Nakano Shirataki waterfall.

Kuji SectionIwate Prefecture

This route passes through forests to Samuraihama near the coast, then to the Kosode Coast and Kuji town center (a side trip route), known for its ”Ama” female divers and fantastically-shaped rocks. There is an abundance of sightseeing spots where you can see views of the raging waves pounding the rock beds, sea birds raising their chicks, and television drama locations. There are also places connected to the famous Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

Noda to North Fudai SectionIwate Prefecture

The picturesque scenery and tranquil landscape of such places as Tofugaura and the Tamagawa Beach make this route very soothing. The activities and food, such as experiencing salt making, exploring mine shafts, and enjoying the exquisite scallops, are extremely satisfying. You’ll need some stamina as there are many sloping sections along the coast, as well as hiking through village woodland. If you swing by the rear shrine of Unotori-jinja Shrine, the mountain road rises up to 424 meters.

South Fudai to Tanohata SectionIwate Prefecture

This section goes along a rugged coastline with steep cliffs. Beaches, steep ups and downs, tranquil forests, pitch-black manually-dug tunnels: this route is filled with adventure. This section, with some of the best views in the Sanriku area (Kurosaki, Kitayamazaki Cliffs and Unosu Cliff) is sure to please hiking and mountain climbing enthusiasts.

South Iwaizumi to North Miyako SectionIwate Prefecture

This route travels through the “Ocean Alps” forest near the coastline. From Kumanohana Viewpoint, Masaki Viewpoint, and Sanoiwa Park, a view overlooking wave-eroded caves, peninsulas, and giant rocks opens out. Although there are many ascents and descents, you will never tire of these panoramas.

North to Central Miyako SectionIwate Prefecture

This route winds up and down through the “Ocean Alps” of Miyako City. This route lets you experience the contrast between the dynamic scenery of the blow hole that blasts sea waters up to 30 meters and the 60 meter cliff face of the Anegasaki Viewpoint, and the beautiful, calm landscape of Jodogahama Beach.

Otsuchi SectionIwate Prefecture

This section is filled with unique spots. A well-known kids’ puppet show setting was modeled after Horai Island, which is lovely and small, different from the powerful cliff islands common in Sanriku. Otsuchi Town has many springs, and in the clear waters of Gensui River you can see freshwater three-spined sticklebacks close up. There are other things to enjoy in the area, like hiking up Mt. Kujirayama and exploring the history of Shiroyama Park.

Kamaishi SectionIwate Prefecture

This route travels the historic roads of the coastline and the Sanriku Hamakaido Path along the headlands of the rias coast and through the Kamaishi city area. From the headlands, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Sanganjima Island, Senjojiki, and other sights. In addition, this route shows you the history of the nature and townships of Kamaishi while you travel around the iron museum and other places.

North to Central Ofunato SectionIwate Prefecture

This route winds along the Sanriku Hamakaido Path through Kuwadai Pass and Rasei Pass, and around the headlands of Ryorizaki, which boasts dramatic cliffs. In the meantime, spots with unique traditional culture such as Yoshihama village and Ryori Daigongen, and symbols of restoration that include the Sanriku Saiko Shopping District are dotted about the area. Don’t miss the famous seafood, such as abalone and scallops.

Central to South Ofunato SectionIwate Prefecture

This route follows the ridge of Ryori Pass, passes through Ofunato port, and winds through the picturesque scenery of the Goishi Coast. The sights continue along this route, with verdant Ryori Pass and Fudonotaki Waterfall, Ofunato Port, which boasts the largest port in the prefecture, and the Goishi Coast, with its wild scenery of consecutive fantastically-shaped rocks, islands, and caves.

Rikuzentakata SectionIwate Prefecture

Feel the threat of the nature that brought about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami as well as the strength of recovery from that disaster on this route. There are many monuments of the 2011 tsunami including the “Miracle Pine Tree” especially in the area around Takata-Matsubara pine forest, which was hit especially hard by the disaster. Also enjoy scenes from the livelihoods of local people, such as the oyster rafts used for fishing in Hirota Bay and the apple orchards of Yonesaki-cho.

North Kesennuma SectionMiyagi Prefecture

Enjoy all kinds of ocean scenery on this route. There are highlights aplenty: Dairiseki Coast, where the marble rocks stand out against the gradual inlet’s blue waters. Karakuwa Peninsula, with its enormous, unusually-shaped rocks washed in by tsunamis. Oshima Island, with its white sands and cobalt blue ocean. The city center is packed with stores and markets selling fresh food and local products, so you’ll have no trouble finding a spot to take a break or buy souvenirs.

South Kesennuma SectionMiyagi Prefecture

See Iwaizaki for rocky beaches, and Oya Beach for sandy shores: in this section, you can not only enjoy the scenery but get up close and personal with the ocean itself. In another special part of this route, you can learn more about not just the ocean but about the history of local industry with places like the Hajikami salt pan remains and Oya mine remains. This section connects to the Minamisanriku section with Mt. Tatsugane, famous for its Azalea blossoms.

Minamisanriku SectionMiyagi Prefecture

This route goes through Minamisanriku Town, which wraps around Shizugawa Bay. To Mt. Tatsugane along its “Gyoja no Michi” religious path, through Iriya with its beautiful rural scenery and Tokura along the coastline, all the while gazing at Shizugawa Bay and all its islands. The view is especially good on top of Mt. Tatsugane, where in late May you can look down on Shizugawa Bay over the Azalea blossoms.

Onagawa SectionMiyagi Prefecture

Walk through beautiful downtown Onagawa Town and mountain ridges while enjoying the view of the ria coastline. The hot springs facility and foot bath in Onagawa Station will sooth your tired muscles after hiking. You can shop for souvenirs and have your fill of seafood on the street in front of the station, so this section is also good for day trips.

Ishinomaki North Oshika Peninsula SectionMiyagi Prefecture

Start from Mangokuura with its thriving nori seaweed and oyster cultivation and walk along the beach of Oshika Peninsula following the pilgrimage route to Kinkasan Island. Nearby is where the ship San Juan Bautista set sail for Europe in 1613 under orders from Date Masamune. You can learn more about its history at the local San Juan Bautista Museum.

Ishinomaki South Oshika Peninsula SectionMiyagi Prefecture

Walk through three unique islands around the whaling town of Ayukawa. On Kinkasan Island, one of the three great sacred sites of Mutsu, you can see wild deer and monkeys and enormous beech and zelkova trees. Ajishima Island has a swimming beach with white sands and a view over the Pacific Ocean from Dowamekizaki. You can meet lots of cats near the harbor of Tashirojima Island, where cats are enshrined as fishing gods.

Natori to Iwanuma SectionMiyagi Prefecture

Walk through the vast plain formed by Abukuma River that flows from Fukushima to Miyagi Prefecture and Natori River, which originates in Sendai City. The route passes right by Sendai Airport, and offers great access even for those from far away. As you walk you can enjoy rich natural surroundings and experience the memories of the great disaster. Highly recommended for first-timers to the trail.

Watari toYamamoto SectionMiyagi Prefecture

Watari toYamamoto Section
This route’s centerpiece is walking along the ridge of the northern Abukuma highlands. The view from the tops of Mt. Shinzan and Mt. Shihozan from an elevation of about 200 meters is beloved by local people. This section is rich with variety: the town below is dotted with historic sites, shrines and temples, and you can enjoy freshly-picked fruits and vegetables at the local farmer’s markets. Closer to the ocean, construction to rebuild from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami continues to make progress.

Shinchi SectionFukushima Prefecture

This route passes through the towns and pastoral scenery of Shinchi Town, as well as Mt. Karosan. After experiencing the traditional culture of shrine and temple towns, climb Mt. Karosan. From the summit, you can look out over Matsukawaura, the southernmost entrance of the trail, and if the weather is good, as far as Kinkasan Island. With this route you can experience the quiet lives of the friendly local people and the beauty of nature.

Soma SectionFukushima Prefecture

This route shows the history and culture of Soma City, which flourished as a castle town. The shrines and Kannon statues that continue to protect the town have a unique history. One shrine, Somanakamura-jinja Shrine is where the Soma-Nomaoi festival starting ceremony is held. Within the grounds, horses are tethered and you can enjoy interacting with them.

Special thanks to: Ms. Amanda Lynn Marcroft, Mr. Peter Underwood, and the other Hachinohe Assistant Language Teachers, and Ms. Anna Thomas from Iwate.

latest route button

Important Information

22nd July, 2019
Detour information of the Higashi-Matsushima area
(Map: Ishinomaki(City) to Higashi-Matsuhima to Shiogama(Urato Island) section)
July 12th,2019
Caution: Deer Hunting in Ishinomaki
Map: Ishinomaki City (Kitakami, Kahoku. Ogatsu) Section
June 24, 2019
Attention: Route change of the Noda area, Noda to North Fudai Section
June 24, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Raga area, South Fudai to Tanohata to North Iwaizumi section
June 24, 2019
Attention: Route change of the Takonohama area, North to Central Miyako Section
June 24, 2019
Attention: Route change of the Mattsukihama to Onatsupe area, North to Central Miyako Section
June 21, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Osawa area, Yamada section
June 21, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Funakoshi area, Yamada section
June 21, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Taro area ②, North to Central Miyako section
June 21, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Taro area ①, South Iwaizumi to North Miyako section
June 21, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Omoe area, South Miyako section
June 21, 2019
Notice: Detour information of the Kanehama, Tsugaruishi area, South Miyako section
June 13, 2019
Notice: 5-day Advance Reservation Required. Fishing boats between Miyatojima Island and Subusawajima Island (Urato Islands)
June 6th, 2019
Caution: Deer Hunting in Ishinomaki Section
April 22nd, 2019
Notice: Regarding the route changes associated with the opening of the Kesennuma Oshima-ohashi Bridge of the North Kesennuma section.
April 18th, 2019
Attention: Regarding Sika Deer Management in Onagawa section (April to May)
April 16th, 2019
Notice: Regarding the partial closure of the Kuji section (Detour Information)→This closure has been cleared.
October 31th, 2018
Notice: Regarding the partial closure of the North Central Ofunato Section (Detour Information)
September 20th, 2018
Notice : Regarding the access to Tashirojima Island in the Ishinomaki South Oshika Peninsula
August 29th, 2018
About partial closure of Otsuchi section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction (Detour Information)
June 6th, 2018
Notification of No Public Toilets on Cape Ryorizaki in the Ofunato Section
April 26th, 2018
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Ishinomaki Oshika Peninsula Section
April 5th, 2018
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Onagawa Section (From April to May)
2018.02.08
About detours in North Kesennuma section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail
2018.01.24
UPDATE (June 28th, 2019): Extended Construction Period
About partial closure of Ishinomaki North Oshika Peninsula section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction
December 28th, 2017
About partial closure of Noda to North Fudai section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail (Detour Information)
November 16th, 2017
Notification of Hunting Season in Ishinomaki North Oshika Peninsula Section
November 2nd, 2017
About partial closure of Otsuchi section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail (Detour Information)→This closure has been cleared.
October 26th, 2017
About partial closure of Hirono Section detour (Nakano Shirataki Falls path)
October 5th, 2017
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Onagawa Section Section (From October to November)
August 22nd, 2017
About port closure due to reconstruction work in Ishinomaki South Oshika Peninsula section (Detour Information)
August 18th, 2017
About partial closure of Otsuchi section due to forest management →This closure has been cleared.
July 5, 2017
About partial closure of Kesennuma sections of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction (Detour Information)
May 1st, 2017
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Ishinomaki Oshika Peninsula Section →Finished.
April 27th, 2017
About partial closure of the Onagawa section due to reconstruction work (Detour Information)
April 21st, 2017
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Onagawa Section →Finished.
September 6th, 2016
Regarding partial closure of the Hachinohe section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail (Detour Information)→ This detour has been lifted.
August 10th, 2016
Regarding partial closure of the Kamaishi section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail (Detour route information)
June 22nd, 2016
Regarding route change and partial closure of the North to Central Ofunato section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail (Notification)
October 23, 2015
Regarding partial closure of the Kuji Section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction→ This closure has been cleared.
September 28, 2015
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Ishinomaki Oshika Peninsula Section
September 17, 2015
Regarding partial closure of the Kamaishi Section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail (notification)→ This closure has been cleared.

Ordering the Trail Map

An original trail map (A1 size, double sided, only Japanese) has been prepared for those who wish to walk the Michinoku Coastal Trail. The maps are available at the following places, and they can also be obtained by post within Japan. Please see the details below.
 *The maps are available in both Japanese and English (PDF file) on our website.

How to obtain the maps

1. By going to the following places,
You can obtain the maps listed below. But not all centers distributes all sections of the maps except for the Natori Trail Center. Please call ahead to check if they have the maps you need and visit during the opening hours. Officials may be out of their office during the business hours so please call before heading to the office.

- MCT National Trail Center
Tel: 022-398-6181
Hours: April to November 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
December to March 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Closed: Tuesdays and New Year's Day

-Tanesashi Kaigan Information Center
Tel: 0178-51-8500
Hours: April to November 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
December to March 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Closed: End and beginning of the year

-Kitayamazaki Visitor Center
Tel: 0194-33-3248
Hours: March to November 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
December to February 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Closed: End and beginning of the year

- Jodogahama Visitor Center
Tel: 0193-65-1690
Hours: April to October 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
November to March 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed: End and beginning of the year

- Goishi Coast Information Center
Tel: 0192-29-2359
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
Closed: End and beginning of the year

- Minamisanriku Marine Visitor Center
Tel: 0226-25-7622
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed: Tuesdays, December 29th-January 3rd.

- Karakuwa Peninsula Visitor Center
Tel: 0226-32-3029
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed: Tuesdays (If Tuesday is a public holiday, the next day is closed)

- Ishinomaki Riverside Visitor Center
Tel: 0225-24-6506
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed: Tuesdays, December 29th-January 3rd.

- Senkyaku Banrai Visitor Center (Soma City Tourism Association)
Tel: 0244-26-4848
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Closed: End and beginning of the year

2. By ordering the maps via post.
Please send the application form (download below) with the required items listed below.

Check the sections you want to walk→Send an application to the inquiries address→The map will arrive in around a week

Required items

  • A self-address return envelope (Please refer to the table below)
  • Stamps (placed on the return envelope, Cho 3 Only)
  • Application form

Please make sure to apply in advance. We send the maps within a week after receiving your application.

Supposed application form
Download the application form

Postal charges

This table shows the envelope types and (stamp)fees for a return envelope.

Total number of maps Envelope size Size (mm) Stamp (yen) Remarks
1 Chou 3 120 × 235 92 Standard
2-5 Smart Letter 170 x 250 *180 *envelope price
The price includes shipping fees.
6-18 Letter Pack Light 248 x 340 *360
19-30 Letter Pack Plus 248 x 340 *510
  • Smart Letter and Letter Pack (Light, Plus) are available at the post office and most convenience stores.
  • Please make sure to include a return envelope corresponding to the number of maps you need. The envelopes on the table have different weight and thickness limits.
  • If you don’t attach enough stamps or forget to attach any stamps, we will send the maps as cash on delivery.

Address

Michinoku Coastal Trail, Natori Trail Center
Address: 5 Chome 300-31 Yuriage Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture
Contact: TEL 022-398-6181 FAX 022-398-6182
Hours:
April - November: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
December - March: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
*Open daily, closed Tuesdays and New Year's Day Personal information will not be used for any purpose other than the sending of the maps.

Remarks

  • There are many places on the Michinoku Coastal Trail without sufficient signage. Before departing, it is important to thoroughly study topographical maps and target facilities, and have a firm image of them in your mind.
    Please walk understanding where you are going by, for example, relying on the contours of the map, target facilities, and your compass.
  • There are many locations where you cannot send and receive mobile phone signals. Please take a trail map and compass in case you become lost.
  • In some areas around the trail Asian black bears have been seen, so take a bear bell with you in order to avoid encounters. Also, from summer to autumn, you must be cautious of bees and wasps, including hornets. Attacks increase at the beginning of autumn in particular, so please be especially careful at that time.
  • Staying overnight in tents on roads or in carparks is prohibited. Please stay at a designated camping site.
  • Swimming in the ocean is possible only in designated swimming beaches, during periods they are open.
  • No permission is required when walking along the Michinoku Coastal Trail.
  • You can pass through fishing harbors on the trail route because permission has been obtained.
  • Locations requiring caution are marked on the trail maps. In particular, caution is required when walking along national and prefectural roads with no sidewalks and coastal areas where the waves are high due to bad weather or tide levels. During high tides, please use the detours shown on the trail map.
  • If you feel strong or long tremors, evacuate to high ground as quickly as possible. Listen to information on the radio, and move cautiously until the warning is lifted. Also, if the weather worsens and stormy weather seems imminent, move to the nearest paved road and go to a safe place in an urban area using appropriate transport. If bad weather such as a typhoon is forecast beforehand, cancel your plans to avoid difficulties.

Inquiries

Please send inquiries regarding the Michinoku Coastal Trail or this website to the following address.

Michinoku Coastal Trail, Natori Trail Center
Address: 5 Chome 300-31 Yuriage Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture

info@m-tc.org