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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 × 235 140 Standard
2 Kaku 2 240 × 332 205 Non-standard within 150g = 205 yen
3 Kaku 2 240 × 332 250 Non-standard within 150g = 250 yen
4 Kaku 2 240 × 332 250
5 Kaku 2 240 × 332 250
6 Kaku 2 240 × 332 400 Non-standard within 150g = 400 yen
7 Kaku 2 240 × 332 400
8 Kaku 2 240 × 332 400
9 Kaku 2 240 × 332 400
10 Kaku 2 240 × 332 400
  • Prices are valid as of December 10, 2015.
  • 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