Discover the Japan Adventure – Michinoku Coastal Trail – Sanriku Trail and Train

Discover the best of Japan Adventure tour, in Michinoku coastal trail with sustainable life.

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Discover the best of Japan adventure tour with a sustainable life.

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A trail that connects people

Roughly 45 kilometers of trail separate Hirono Town and the small city of Kuji, and like other trail sections hikes here are punctuated with both moments of scenic beauty and glimpses of everyday life.

In Hirono, you’ll pass sites like the vivid red Hama-no-Torii gate, facing the ocean to welcome the gods home from the sea, and built as a place for fishing communities to pray for safety and prosperity. Continuing the spiritual theme, you can visit shrines like the hilltop Kanayama for wide views across Yagi Port.

Around Kuji, in particular, the trail also takes in distinctive rock formations, like the helmet-shaped Kabuto Rock on the rugged Kosode Coast and a striking granite platform called Samurai Rock—the latter said to take its name from a feudal lord who rested upon the rocks when visiting to survey tsunami damage in the early 1600s.


Planning a Hirono to Kuji hike

For more on this part of the trail, the Ministry of the Environment’s Michinoku Coastal Trail website breaks the Hirono to Kuji walk into two easy-to-manage sections with printable maps and ideas for several one- and two-day hiking options, plus information on trail safety and manners.

A trail that connects hikers to locals

Take the time to travel slowly and mingle with locals, and this stretch of trail offers a reminder that scenery is just one of many parts of the Michinoku Coastal Trail experience

“At the end of the day, the people here are the real attraction of the trail,” says Ms. Shizuko Niwa, who runs a seafood restaurant called Hamanasu-tei in Hirono. “Here and there, you meet interesting people [locals and hikers] all along the trail…that’s the charm.”

In Hamanasu-tei’s case, you meet three generations of the Niwa family, serving up local seafood specialties such as sea urchin (uni) and sea squirt (hoya), but also happy to give advice about the trail ahead. Elsewhere, at Hirono’s lively Shukunohe harbor, you’ll see fishermen unloading their catches, while at the Taneichi shopping district there are plenty of shop owners ready for a chat. In Kuji, you might see female Ama divers, who free dive to catch abalone (awabi) and sea urchin along the coast. Whichever part of the trail you hike, the slower you go, the more of the Michinoku Coastal Trail you discover; the more conversations and memories you’ll make; the more you’ll begin to understand this less-known corner of Japan.