The Tohoku region of Japan, which is home to the candidate site for the ILC, is known throughout Japan as a huge pristine natural environment.
Did you know that the Michinoku Coastal Trail in the Tohoku region was selected as one of the 14 places one ought to go in Japan by the Times (UK)?

The Michinoku Coastal Trail is a long trail that stretches from Aomori Prefecture in the north to Fukushima Prefecture in the south, linking up Japan’s Pacific Coast. Its length is an unbelievable 1,000 kilometers!
While the Michinoku Coastal Trail does reach over 1,000km, one of its attractions is the fact that public transportation is also accessible from the trail. You can walk parts of it, or the entire thing, all depending on what you personally might find most enjoyable.
Some might worry that such a long trail would be boring after a while, but one could say the real thrill of the trail is seeing how the scenery changes completely as you travel through each region.
There is so much nature to be seen – from the Kitayamazaki Cliffs, which could be the most beautiful cliffs in all of Japan, to the Rias Coast, a geologically complex coastal area home to one of the three best fishing grounds in the world and which has rebuilt from the 2011 tsunami disaster. But there’s more than just good scenery; you can enjoy great food and the various lifestyles that can be experienced on the trail.
With this article, we’d like to share some of the interesting spots on the trail within Iwate Prefecture. You can freely join these spots with some other places you have an interest in when you come to visit!

(Posted in order of north to south)
1. Kitayamazaki Cliffs

The most beautiful cliffs in Japan – Kitayamazaki’s cliffs are 200m tall, jutting up from a vast azure sea into the clear air. Only those who visit for themselves can experience the sense of freedom you get from being here. In the nearby rest-house facility, you can try soft-serve ice cream and kaki-gori water ice served with a konbu seaweed spoon, which is quite a heavenly experience while viewing the gorgeous scenery under the summer sky.
Link:  北山崎(北山崎展望台) | 田野畑村 (

Additionally, behind the Kitayamazaki Visitor’s Center, you’ll find a huge cluster of “shirobana shakunage”, a type of subalpine rhododendron plant that is designated a prefectural natural monument.

Shakunage are common within Japan, but it’s rare to see them on the coast as they normally only grow at higher altitudes. There’s no where else you can see shakunage while also breathing in salty ocean air.

If you want to see the shakunage in full bloom, it’s perhaps best to aim to walk the trail in around mid-June.

2. Todogasaki Cape   
Todogasaki Cape is the most eastern point on Japan’s main island of Honshu. Those standing here will always be the first people in Honshu to see the morning dawn! There is a monument indicating its spot as the easternmost point in Honshu, so don’t forget to take a picture with it in commemoration of your visit. You’ll also be able to receive a document proving you visited Honshu’s most eastern spot.
(The document costs 100 yen, and is in Japanese only.)
Link: 岩手県宮古市 トドヶ崎 本州最東端訪問証明書 (
Of course, this spot is not just known for its geographical significance, but also for the charming pure white lighthouse and the complex and beautiful geological scenery of the area.

3.Goishi Coast

This coastal area spans around 6km within Iwate’s Ofunato City. There is a lot to see here, but one of the most popular spots is the Anatoshi-iso Rocks with their three natural arches, as well as the nearby Goishi Coast, with its smooth, black gravel that looks like playing pieces from the Japanese game “Go.”

You can even take a boat called a Sappa-sen (a small boat used by local fishermen) to navigate through the arches of the Anatoshi-iso Rocks! There’s a ton of unique natural formations in the area that have been formed by sea erosion, making it a very exciting experience. Take a trip when the weather’s pleasant.
Link: 碁石海岸インフォメーションセンター (

See Kerohira, one of Iwate’s mascots, travel to the area→

And… last but not least!
Iso Ramen

This is a local ramen dish mainly eaten in the Sanriku area, which is home to the Michinoku Coastal Trail. This salt-based broth ramen looks rather unassuming, but possesses a complex, pleasant flavor that spreads throughout the mouth. It often comes with local seafood like shrimp, scallops, and shellfish as well as funori and matsumo seaweed. You also might find some expensive ingredients like uni and crab…

Each region and restaurant has its own take on the dish, so we hope you find your favorite version.

There are some instant versions out on the market as well, which could be nice to try if you can’t travel to the area, or if you want to bring home a memory of your trip to your family.

So, if you’ve read this far…
Could it be that you too want to take a walk on the Michinoku Coastal Trail!?
You can find maps of each route on the official homepage, with the link below.

ルート情報 | NPO法人みちのくトレイルクラブ (

There are many model courses for you to take a look at…

By the way, there have been 37 people who have walked the entire trail during the 2023 fiscal year (as of the end of January)! Their names are published in the Michinoku Trail Club.

(A direct flight from Tokyo to South Korea is also around 1,000km, so it really is a surprising feat)

We hope you one day aim to challenge yourself to try the entire trail!


世界も注目 日本有数のロングトレイル – みちのく潮風トレイル – (直接のリンクは英語記事からご参照ください)



1 北山崎
 日本一美しいとも言われる高さ200mの断崖から果てしなく広がる紺碧の海と澄んだ空。行った人にしか分からない解放感を味わえる場所です。近くのレストハウスでは、昆布をスプーンにしたソフトクリームやかき氷を売っているので、特に夏空の下、美しい景色を見ながらの味わうのは格別ですよ。北山崎(北山崎展望台) | 田野畑村 (
2 トドヶ崎
(発行料:100円、日本語のみ 岩手県宮古市 トドヶ崎 本州最東端訪問証明書 (
3 碁石海岸
  穴通磯の穴を、さっぱ船(※漁師が使う小型の船)で通り抜けるアトラクションもあります!ほかにも、海蝕によって引き起こされた独特な景観も間近に楽しめる、迫力満点の体験です。気候の良い時期にぜひ体験してみてください。碁石海岸インフォメーションセンター (


ルート情報 | NPO法人みちのくトレイルクラブ (

ちなみに、2023年度のみちのく潮風トレイル全線踏破者は1月末時点で37名いらっしゃるそうです!!「MICHININOKU TRAIL CLUB」にてお名前が掲載されております。