Michinoku Coastal Trail Event Held in Hachinohe, Aomori; 400 People Enjoy Nature of Tohoku Area

The Japan News
Participants start the Michinoku Coastal Trail walking event on Sunday morning in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, with Kabushima Shrine in the background

A walking event was held on Sunday along Tanesashi Coast in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Michinoku Coastal Trail.

The nature trail traverses approximately 1,000 kilometers along the Pacific coast of the Tohoku region. About 400 participants enjoyed the eight-kilometer and five-kilometer courses on the beautiful sunny day.

The Michinoku Coastal Trail is one of the long-distance trails being developed nationwide by the Environment Ministry and spans the four prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. The trail was developed as a reconstruction project following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and in June 2019, the entire route linking Hachinohe in the north and Soma, Fukushima Prefecture in the south was opened to the public.

The Japan News

Not only can people enjoy walking and taking in the magnificent nature of Tohoku, but they can also support its reconstruction by eating and staying there while getting a close-up view of the current state of the region as it continues to recover from the disaster.

Sunday’s event was organized by the Environment Ministry and the Michinoku Coastal Trail walk committee, with support from The Yomiuri Shimbun and others, and special sponsorship from Asics Corp. and Japan Airlines Co.’s Tohoku Branch Office. The opening ceremony was held at Kabushima seaside park, the starting point for the eight-kilometer course.

Tadamori Oshima, honorary advisor to the committee and former speaker of the House of Representatives, said: “Since the earthquake struck 13 years ago, people have been working together to recover from the disaster. I hope you will see the power of their efforts.”

Senior Vice Environment Minister Motome Takisawa said: “Ministry of the Environment officials have chosen this trail after walking along the coast themselves. The project has created exchanges between visitors and local people and is attracting attention from overseas as well.”

Hachinohe Mayor Yuichi Kumagai called on visitors to “enjoy the charm of the Tanesashi Coast, which we are proud of.”

Akitoshi Muraoka, president of The Yomiuri Shimbun, said, “I hope you will walk through the area, feeling the importance of environmental preservation, health, interacting with local people and the power of reconstruction.”

After an appearance by Pokemon characters and Aomori-native and celebrity Ourin on stage, the participants started along the route, with those taking the five-kilometer course joining them along the way. At the Tanesashi Coast Information Center – the end point of both courses – children were delighted to have their pictures taken with the Pokemon characters.

Walking events will also be held in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, on June 9; Sendai and Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, on June 23; and Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Nov. 3.

■ For more information, visit the English website of the Michinoku Coastal Trail of the Environment Ministry.