South Iwate: On the Trail to Recovery *RERUN
The Michinoku Coastal Trail runs along the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan, covering a distance of about 1,000 kilometers through 4 prefectures, from Aomori down to Fukushima. It was launched by Ministry of the Environment following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Canadian actor Kyle Card hikes from Ofunato to Rikuzen-takata in southern Iwate Prefecture. He enjoys the bracing landscape, meets the local people, and sees how communities along the way are rebounding from the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Scallop Farm Boat Tour

Ofunato is famous for its aquaculture, especially its large, flavorful scallops. Visitors can take boat trips with local fishermen, to see the way the scallops are farmed.

Kesen Carpentry and Folklore Museum

Since the old days, the carpenters of the Kesen area have been renowned for their remarkable skills. This museum housed in a traditional wooden structure, celebrates their technical ability, ranging from building homes to sophisticated temple carpentry.

Takata Matsubara Memorial Park

This park is dedicated to keeping alive and passing down to posterity the memories and lessons learned from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


To reach Ofunato from Tokyo, it takes 5 hours by Shinkansen and local trains. Kyle walked the trail from Ofunato to Rikuzen-takata in 3 days.