Michinoku Coastal Trail in Tohoku Region Featured by The Times; British Newspaper Chooses Trail as Part of 14 Best Places to Visit in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Scenery from part of the Michinoku Coastal Trail in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture

The Michinoku Coastal Trail has been featured in The Times, a British newspaper, in its article on the 14 best places to visit in Japan. The nature trail runs from north to south along the Pacific coast in the Tohoku region.

The total length of the trail is about 1,000 kilometers and stretches from Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, to Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. The Environment Ministry built the trail to help the region recover from the damage of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The entirety of the trail opened in June 2019, and it has been increasingly popular among hikers since then.

The Times introduces the trail as “giving hikers access to not only stunning scenery, but also some of the communities” which warmly welcome hikers.

The article also mentions the disaster, adding that by enjoying the scenery and “having fresh-from-the-boat sashimi for lunch, or staying at a traditional ryokan — you’ll be directly helping that rebuilding effort.”

Rebecca Hallett, a contract reporter for The Times who wrote the article, told The Yomiuri Shimbun that one of the decisive factors in choosing the trail was whether visitors could have experiences particular to each of the locations.

She also said that the Tohoku region is one of the most beautiful places in Japan, and she wants readers to find how far the region along the trail has been rebuilt since the earthquake and how attractive it is now.

Kumi Aizawa, 54, managing director and chief of the secretariat of Michinoku Trail Club, which maintains and manages the trail, said, “The efforts by residents, local governments and hikers to make the trail attractive were met with success.”

“We want visitors to enjoy Japan as it really is, such as encounters with animals in nature, history and culture,” she added.

The 14 places chosen include Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture; Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaido; Tokyo; the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture; Kyoto and Shimane Prefecture.