Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided walking 7 days

Hike Tōhoku’s Michinoku Coastal Trail and travel to the breathtaking Kitayamazaki Coast, where cliffs over 200 metres high stretch up over the ocean.

Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided walking 7 days

Number of travellers

Start date

January 2024

Tour details

Michinoku Coastal Trail self-guided walking 7 days
x1 traveller
Single room additional charge
USD 320

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: 7 days
  • Trip level:
  • Availability: Recommended from April until October
  • Type:Self-guided
  • Price: USD 1,815(Price per person, based on 2 travellers sharing a room)
  • A trip to the Kitayamazaki Cape, with some of the most stunning views in the area
  • 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 

A place of profound natural beauty, the Michinoku Coastal Trail is Japan’s newest long trail, situated in eastern Tōhoku and stretching over 1,000 km in total. A major focus of this tour is the revitalisation of communities that were devastated by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

The Sanriku Coast (nicknamed ‘the Alps of the Sea’) is a dramatic coastline running from southern Aomori prefecture to Miyagi prefecture. We’ve curated the best parts of this trail, allowing you to walk through the most memorable areas, before continuing onto the next section via train, bus, and taxi.

With our fureai experiences, you’ll be able to meet and connect with locals while getting more insight into the way of life along the Sanriku Coast.

Starting in the town of Hachinohe, you will travel south over sandy beaches, forested trails, and coastal paved roads, while staying in a delightful mixture of cosy guest houses run by locals and local hotels, enjoying the freshest varieties of seafood along the way. Particularly recommended is the uni sea urchin, which is a regional speciality.

The northern trailhead of the Michinoku is Kabushima Shrine, famous as a breeding ground for black-tailed gulls. It’s the first of many commanding views over the Pacific Ocean that you will enjoy during your journey.

A highlight of our 7-day self-guided walking tour is a day spent walking to Cape Kitayamazaki, a coastline of cliffs and jagged rocks that reach up to 200 metres high. With three observation decks, as well as a descent that allows you to take in the majesty of the cliffs from below, there is no shortage of splendour here.

Other highlights include the Samuraiishi (Samurai Rock), which offers a panoramic view over the coastline, and Jōdogahama Beach, a magnificent, tranquil beach of white stones, blue water, and green pines, whose name means ‘paradise’.

Why not start planning your trip? See below for the full itinerary.

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.

What is included
6 nights at accommodations along the Michinoku Coastal Trail
6 breakfasts and 4 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

You start today’s walk from your accommodation and enter the trail, surrounded by enchanting forest scenery. You follow the coast, occasionally arriving at spots featuring breathtaking views of the jagged and dramatic rock formations below. As you reach the end of today’s walk, you descend along the mossy trail through primaeval forests and arrive at Kitayamazaki, which offers some of the most memorable and impressive seascapes on the Michinoku Coastal Trail.

Peruse the shops and cafes at Kitayamazaki before taking a taxi to your accommodation for the evening.

Walking distance: 10.8 km / 6.7 mi
Elevation gain: 422 m / 1,385 ft ascent and 435 m / 1,427 ft descent
Time required: About 4 – 5 hours

If you prefer to shorten today’s walk, we offer two shortcuts:

Shortcut 1: 8.1 km / 5 mi, 175 m / 574 ft ascent 198 m / 650 ft descent

Shortcut 2: 10.4 km / 6.5 mi, 300 m / 984 ft ascent 344 m / 1,128 ft descent

Accommodation: 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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