“TOHOKU Pacific Coast” refers to the eastern coastal area of Tohoku , Japan. The area was extensively damaged due to the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. However, it has overcome this adversity and is once again gaining attention as a sightseeing spot that once attracted tourists from all over due to its flourishing wildlife and delicious seafood. Be moved by its natural beauty, and learn of the terrible power of the tsunami. Fill your appetite with fresh seafood and have fun at the sea. Come in contact with the lives of the locals, and come to know not only their kindness but resilience as well.
On the “TOHOKU Pacific Coast” where one can hear the sounds of the hammers of restoration, won't you also experience the “light” of hope that can be felt only here and witness what makes it so great?
From the southern part of Aomori Prefecture located at the northern edge of the Tohoku area to the Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture stretches a coastal region designated as “Sanriku Fukko National Park” and is an area full of picturesque scenery. Many tourists find themselves in awe of the beautiful landscape produced by nature such as the coastline with its seemingly continuous giant towering palisades and the ever-changing rias coastline. Moving further south brings you to the landscape of “Matsushima” with its over 260 large and small islands, counted as one of Japan's top three scenic views. In the other direction is a region that follows the shores of Fukushima Prefecture, an ocean possessing stretching sandy beaches that create a contrast with the rugged coastline of Sanriku, and is referred to as the “Shonan” of Tohoku due to its warm climate.
The area facing the Sanriku Coast is one of the world's three largest fishing territories where the Kurile Current(cold current) and the Japan Current(warm current) collide. Four of the thirteen vital fishing harbors in Japan(Hachinohe, Kesennuma, Ishinomaki, Shiogama) are concentrated in this region and is the main fishing area for catching fish such as pike and skipjack tuna. Additionally, the rias coastline pressed by mountains leading up to the coastline is a world-leading territory for producing phytoplankton produced from the waters of the mountains that have been enriched with the nutrients of the forest pouring in, making it a flourishing cultivation area for wakame seaweed, oysters, scallops and hoya(sea squirt). Visitors can get their fill of delicious seafood cuisine that utilizes those freshly caught fish and shellfish in the local restaurants.
The “Great East Japan Earthquake” which occurred on March 11, 2011 brought about many victims as well as unprecedented damage. Especially in this area, which was close to the source of the earthquake, some places which were hit by the tsunami experienced waves over 10m, with some reaching as high as 40m, causing catastrophic damage. Recovering from damage of this magnitude requires a large amount of time but thanks to the gracious support from not only within Japan but throughout the world as well, the development of new towns is progressing in the disaster-stricken areas. Additionally, various efforts are being made in each area in order to pass down the lessons learned from this earthquake to future generations.
There are many ways to enjoy the “TOHOKU Pacific Coast.” For example, you could visit the scenic and historic places remaining in each region and learn the history of Japan, relax in an open air bath looking out to the ocean in one of the hot springs, take a refreshing hike along the coast while feeling the ocean breeze against your face, or even mingle with the locals in the shopping street areas. The way you enjoy your trip is up to you! An unforgettable experience in the “TOHOKU Pacific Coast” awaits you!