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

Noda to North Fudai Section
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

South Fudai to Tanohata Section<em>Iwate 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

South Iwaizumi to North Miyako Section
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

North to Central Miyako Section
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

Otsuchi Section
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

Kamaishi Section
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

North to Central Ofunato Section
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

Central to South Ofunato Section
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

Rikizentakat Section
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

North Kesennuma Section
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

North Kesennuma Section
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

Minamisanriku Section
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

Onagawa Section
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

Ishinomaki North Oshika Peninsula Section
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

Ishinomaki South Oshika Peninsula Section
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.

Shinchi SectionFukushima Prefecture

Shinchi Section
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

Soma Section
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.

Important Information

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.
August 14th, 2017
About partial closure of Otsuchi section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction (Detour Information)
July 5, 2017
About partial closure of Kesennuma sections of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction (Detour Information)
May 31, 2017
Regarding partial closure of the Miyako City section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail due to construction (detour route information)
May 1st, 2017
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Ishinomaki Oshika Peninsula Section
April 21st, 2017
Notification of Sika Deer Population Management near Onagawa Section
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 has been prepared for those who wish to walk the Michinoku Coastal Trail.
Once you have decided which sections you want to walk, you can obtain trail maps (in Japanese) for those sections.
Those who wish to obtain Michinoku Coastal Trail maps by post please send the required items listed below to “Applications.”
We will send one map for each route to each person wishing to walk the trail.

  • We are providing online English trail map PDF files corresponding to the Japanese trail maps.
  • We can only mail trail maps to people living in Japan.

How to order the maps

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 return envelope stating your name and address
  • Stamp(s) (placed on the return envelope)
  • Application form *You do not have to use a set form.

How to fill in the application

Download the sample application form from the link below, print it out and fill it in.
You are not required to use this sample form, but you must state the required items (1 to 7) clearly.
*Refer to the picture of the application form.

  1. Number of maps required
    *The maps are split into routes. Specify the route you want, the number of map copies for each route, and the total number of maps.
  2. Age / gender
  3. Phone number
  4. Date you intend to walk
  5. Section you intend to walk
  6. Number of people intending to walk
  7. Your message (Anything you want to say)

*We will send you the map as cash on delivery if you don’t attach enough stamps or forget to attach any stamps.

Supposed application form
Download the application form

Postal charges

This table shows the envelope sizes and stamp fees.
If you require 11 or more maps, please enclose the necessary number of envelopes.

Total number of maps Envelope size Size (mm) Stamp(s) (yen) Remarks
1 Chou 3 120 × 235 92 Standard
2 Kaku 2 240 × 332 205 Non-standard within 150g = 205 yen
3 Kaku 2 240 × 332 205
4 Kaku 2 240 × 332 250 Non-standard within 250g = 250 yen
5 Kaku 2 240 × 332 250
6 Kaku 2 240 × 332 380 Non-standard within 500g = 380 yen
7 Kaku 2 240 × 332 380
8 Kaku 2 240 × 332 380
9 Kaku 2 240 × 332 380
10 Kaku 2 240 × 332 380
  • Prices are valid from June 1, 2017.
  • We will send you the map as cash on delivery if you don't attach enough stamps or forget to attach any stamps.

Address

6th Floor Sendai Daini Godo Chosha, 3-2-23 Honcho, Aoba Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0014
Person in charge of Michinoku Coastal Trail maps, Tohoku Regional Environment Office
Tel: 022-722-2874 / Fax: 022-722-2872Personal 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.

National Parks Section, Tohoku Regional Environment Office, Ministry of the Environment 6th Floor Sendai Daini Godo Chosha, 3-2-23 Honcho, Aoba Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0014

REO-TOHOKU@env.go.jp