Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided walking 6 days

Curated sections of northern Japan’s newest hiking trail, with walks along a rugged, dramatic coastline and through lush mixed forests.

Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided walking 6 days

Number of travellers

Start date

January 2024

Tour details

Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided walking 6 days
x1 traveller
Single room additional charge
USD 280

If you would like to do multiple tours in one trip or have a question about any of our tours, do not hesitate to contact us with the button below.

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Trip level:
  • Availability: Recommended from April until October
  • Type:Self-guided
  • Price: USD 1,490(Price per person, based on 2 travellers sharing a room)
  • Coastal and forest hiking, with sprawling vistas over the Pacific Ocean 
  • Indulge in some of Japan's freshest and most prized seafood – perfect for seafood lovers!  
  • Meet the locals and experience the unique culture of Northeast Japan
  • Explore a highly remote area – a truly off-the-beaten-track experience!
  • Enjoy a temperate climate, especially during the Japanese summer 

Opened in 2019, the Michinoku Coastal Trail was created as a joint effort by local governments to help the area rebuild after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Stretching over 1,000 km along the coastline of four prefectures, the Michinoku Coastal Trail offers some of the most beautiful and breathtaking views. 

Our Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided 6-day walking tour curates the best portions of the northern section of the trail. Walk with confidence, guided by our detailed maps and turn-by-turn walking directions, and supported by our Kyōto office.

Your walk begins in the town of Hachinohe and then heads south along the coast, alternating between sandy beaches, cosy hamlets, and forested trails. Coming into view often is the Pacific Ocean, dotted with stunning rock formations, sweeping cliffs, and gorgeous beaches. Just a sampling of the places you’ll visit includes Kabushima Shrine, known as a breeding ground for thousands of black-tailed gulls; Samuraiishi or ‘Samurai Rock’, which gives you an impressive, panoramic view of the Sanriku coast; and Jōdogahama Beach, whose beauty has earned it a name that translates to ‘paradise’.

You’ll also get to see the unique way of life, centred around fishing and the sea. This vibrant community has rebuilt in the wake of tragedy and continues to work to preserve and revitalize its traditional way of life. One of your nights will be in Fudai Village, which has an impressive story of survival during the earthquake and tsunami. You’ll stay in a mix of family-owned traditional guesthouses and city hotels,  with ample opportunities to try the local flavour, which boasts some of the freshest seafood – particularly sea urchin. 

Your journey will end with sightseeing in Morioka, the capital city of Iwate Prefecture, before continuing your Japan trip or returning home.  

Our fureai local experiences, allow you to meet and connect with local members of the community. When you show the special tag we provide to you at fureai points, you will receive a gift or experience, as well as a unique chance to learn a bit more about the area. 

See below for a full itinerary of the tour, or send us an enquiry! We hope to see you on the trail soon.

Please note that this tour heavily features seafood due to the culture and cuisine of the region. As a result, we may be unable to accommodate diets that exclude fish and seafood.

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What is included
5 nights at accommodations along the Michinoku Coastal Trail
5 breakfasts and 3 dinners
Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking directions
Topographical maps
Local support by telephone
Daily luggage transfer between Hachinohe and Miyako
Our Preparing for Your Trip and Travelling in Japan guidebooks
What is not included
Airport transfers
Drinks and meals not included in itinerary
Local journeys which must be paid directly on the day
Single room supplement(s) for solo occupancy
Transportation to your starting point in Hachinohe and onwards from Morioka City at the end of your trip

Today, you make your way to Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture to begin your tour.

You have time today to explore Hachinohe, a quaint city with a charming rustic feel to it. Stay tonight in a centrally located hotel.

Accommodation: Western-style hotel

After enjoying your breakfast, you start your walk for the day, arriving soon to Kabushima Shrine. This shrine is well known for its abundance of black-tailed gulls, which are most active from spring through the end of summer.

Continue from Kabushima Shrine for the coastal walk that will take you to the Tanesashi Coast, welcoming you with views of the wild and rugged coastline. Keep an eye out for the beautiful colours dotting the grass along the coast – the alpine flora is a treat to witness.

Overnight in a charming town near the coast.

Walking distance: 9.5 km / 5.9 mi
Elevation gain: 204 m / 670 ft ascent and 194 m / 636 ft descent
Time required:  3.5 – 4 hours

Accommodation: Minshuku (family-run guesthouse) or Japanese-style hotel
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Start today’s walk at the trailhead, leading you through forested areas along the sea. The views over the dramatic coastline are breathtaking. The trail is signposted in both Japanese and English, and the walk will take around 4 or 5 hours for most hikers.

Samurai Rock, a large rock slab on the coast of the village Samuraihama, provides incredible sea views and an interesting history. It is said that a samurai, the master of the Nambu Clan, took a rest upon travelling through here during the Edo period. During today’s walk, you will also come upon a unique swimming pool – the hollowed-out rock creates a saltwater pool where locals enjoy a swim as they look out into the sea.

You finish today’s walk at a local aquarium and overnight at a hotel in the city of Kuji.

Walking distance: 12 km / 7.5 mi
Elevation gain: 514 m / 1,686 ft ascent and 505 m / 1,656 ft descent
Time required: about 4 – 5 hours

Accommodation: Western-style hotel
Meals: Breakfast

This morning, you will travel to the village of Fudai and explore the charming community. This small, unassuming countryside town remained largely untouched during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that impacted the region thanks to Mayor Kotoku Wamura, who led a project to construct a large floodgate in the 70s and 80s. While the decision was condemned as a waste of public funds at the time, Fudai experienced just one casualty during the 2011 disaster. Take your time exploring this welcoming village and peruse the local shops as you meet members of the community.

After spending time in the village, enjoy today’s hike along the enchanting coastline.

Please let us know if you would like us to arrange a private viewing of the traditional kagura dance unique to the region.

Overnight in at a cosy minshuku or Japanese-style hotel in Fudai.

Walking distance: 1.9 km / 1.2 mi
Elevation gain: 191 m / 627 ft of ascent and 56 m / 184 ft of descent
Time required: About 1 hour

If you would like to include the optional walk on this day, the full hike is about 3 hours (6.4 km / 4 mi).

Accommodation: Minshuku (family-run guesthouse) or Japanese-style hotel
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Your final walk will take you to Jōdogahama, weaving through the beautiful mixed forests along the striking coastline, taking in views of jagged cliffs, tranquil bays, and small hamlets along the way.

As you approach Jōdogahama, the clear emerald colour of the water becomes even more distinct. Soak up the contrasting colours of the landscape; aptly known as 'Pure Land Beach’, the scenery is unforgettable.

Overnight at a Japanese-style hotel this evening.

Walking distance: 13.3 km / 8.3 mi
Elevation gain: 664 m / 2,179 ft ascent and 712 m / 2,336 ft descent
Time required: About 5 hours

We also offer a shorter alternative of about 2 hours (5.3 km / 3.3 mi) incorporating a bus ride into your day.

Accommodation: Japanese-style hotel
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

This morning you will travel to Morioka City, an ideal spot to transfer onward to your homebound destination.

Morioka City is the capital of Iwate Prefecture, known for its natural splendours. Iwate Park provides beautiful views of the city and is an ideal spot for viewing both the vibrant autumn colours and the soft pinks of spring.

There is an array of fun and interesting sights to explore in Morioka City, and we will be happy to share a few of our suggestions with you to make the most of your time before heading onward.

Meals: Breakfast

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