The Michinoku Coastal Trail in Japan is the New Long-Distance Hike of Your Dreams

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Korrin Bishop | May 09, 2019

The Michinoku Coastal Trail is the newest long-distance trail for hikers to add to their destination dream list. This trail, which officially opens on June 9, 2019, is a coastal trail stretching along the breathtaking Pacific coastline of Tohoku–the northern region of Japan. It is about 1,000 kilometers, or 621 miles, long and takes about one and a half to two months to complete the entirety of the trail. It's ideal for hikers looking for a short thru hike with endless beauty and culture.

You can find the latest coastal trail route map here: http://tohoku.env.go.jp/mct/english/top/pdf/route.pdf

Michinoku Coastal Trail

Gossamer Gear Explores the Michinoku Coastal Trail

Grant Sible, President of Gossamer Gear, took his friends from Tokyo for a quick tour of the trail in early April 2019.

Michinoku Coastal Trail

"Hiking along the coastline will most definitely fascinate many hikers from all over the world. While enjoying the hiking itself, hikers will get to see the cultural aspects of Tohoku, too, by stopping at the local fisherman's market for fresh seafood, or at an Izakaya (local pub), and interacting with locals. Local people are very friendly and generally welcoming towards foreigners," Sible describes.

At the same time, it is also important for hikers to keep in mind when interacting with the locals, that many of the villagers still have a vivid memory of the 2011 tsunami. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Tohoku area during this time, and was followed by a tsunami sweeping away most of the small villages along its Pacific coastal region. However, those villages have now mostly been rebuilt, and welcome tourists and hikers from around the world. Visiting the trail and exchanging greetings with the locals will not only be a delight for hikers, but also for the locals. Many never had much thought on hiking culture before building the Michinoku Coastal Trail, but now realize its impact to the region's economy and people.

Michinoku Coastal Trail

What Can You See on the Michinoku Coastal Trail?

Hikers will experience a great variety of sights along the Michinoku Coastal Trail, including beautiful cliffs, rias, and coastline, along with traditional shrines and temples located near the trail.

Michinoku Coastal Trail Michinoku Coastal Trail Michinoku Coastal Trail

There are six visitor centers located along the trail, providing information and resting areas for hikers. Day hikes or section hikes are also a great way to experience the Michinoku Coastal Trail. The trail comes and goes from the coastline to small local villages, providing hikers easy access to public transportation.

Michinoku Coastal Trail

Information on the Michinoku Coastal Trail

Accessing the Tohoku region is easy using bullet trains from Tokyo station, which is connected to Narita International Airport or Haneda International Airport by airport limousine bus. You can find additional maps and more detailed transportation information at the following websites:

Michinoku Coastal Trail

The trail officially opens on June 9, 2019. Throughout the year, hikers can enjoy their walk on the trail. However, the snow season in the northern part of Tohoku starts in December and continues through April.

Hikers will find many accommodations along the trail, varying from campgrounds to luxury hotels. You can find the latest list of trail accommodations here: https://www.michinokutrail.com/accommodation

Michinoku Coastal Trail

At this time, no hiking permit is required for the Michinoku Coastal Trail.

For more information about the Michinoku Coastal Trail, see the contact information below:

Management Office of the Michinoku Coastal Trail NPO Michinoku Trail Club Address: 5-300-31-1 Yuriage, Natori Citiy, Miyagi Prefecture 981-1213 Japan Tel: +81-22-398-6181 Email: info@m-tc.org

Author Bio

Asako Furuzono is an editor, writer, and translator based in Tokyo, Japan, as well as a weekend hiker and nature lover.