On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake generated tsunami that brought destruction to the entire length of the Sanriku coast.
The Sanriku Coast has been hit repeatedly by tsunami over centuries, including recent one in 1960. However, in spite of awareness and precautions, the 2011 Tsunami hit there with an unprecedented scale and quickly overran the seawalls and swept away the most part of the towns leaving almost nothing. And a big number of citizens lost their lives.
What you can experience in this tour
・You can learn more about how to reduce your risk to disaster for where you live. Please take the lessons from the coast and bring it back home and see what you can do, and what your community can do to prepare.”
・You can convey the resilience of the people who went through the disaster and continue to go through it.
・What’s more is that you can enjoy the beautiful and dramatic scenery and have great seafood.
Where is the Sanriku Coast?
The Sanriku Coast stretches from Aomori Prefecture to Miyagi Prefectures and it also includes a rias coast, which is type of jagged coastline.
The entire region has been designated as a national park. These geological features give Sanriku some of great ocean views, from the rocky cliffs in the north to the gentle beaches in the south. In addition, two major ocean currents mix offshore to create some of the best fishing grounds in the entire world. Sanriku boasts a huge production of fishes, shellfishes and seaweeds.
Where you visit in this tour
1. Minamisanriku town
After the tsunami only a few buildings have been left standing. One of these is the gutted, red skeleton of Minamisanriku's Crisis Management Center, which has become a symbol of the town and a makeshift shrine to those who died and the heroic city workers who broadcast emergency messages from the building until they were overrun by the waves.
And another is the derelict Takano Kaikan hall, which was hosting an event when the tsunami struck the town. Around 300 senior citizens evacuated to the top floor and a machinery room on the roof. You will know how 327 people survived.
Since the disaster the rubble has been cleared away and the tall mountains of soil have elevated by over 10m to protect from future tsunami.
In March 2017, recovery shopping center called “San San Shoten-gai” opened with about 30 shops including restaurants offering local seafood dishes so that tourists can spend money and enjoy shopping.
2. Kesennuna city
Kesennuma city is one of the big cities along the Sanriku Coast with a large fishing port. It is one of the country's largest port of bonito (skipjack tuna) and swordfish in terms of catch. Kesennuma was hit seriously by the 2011 Tsunami which damaged some districts in the city, carried a lot of large ships to inland and left the local fishing industry in ruins.
Kesennuma has been recovering from the disaster, and the city offers tourists a variety of attractions, especially seafood-related ones.
We will visit “Rias Ark Museum” (admission: 500 yen). This museum is a contemporary art and local history museum. It focuses on the local fishing industry and daily life from days past, as well as artwork by local artists. And what you cannot overlook at this museum is a new permanent exhibit showing items and photographs collected from the 2011 Tsunami.
10:00 - 18:30 (about 8.5 hours)
09:50 Meet up at Sendai Station
12:00 Mimami-sanriku town
Visit Takano Kaikan hall and some other sites
13:30 Lunch in Minami-sanriku
14:30 Departure from Minami-sanriku
15:30 Kesennuma “Arc Rias Museum”
16:30 Departure from Kesennuma
18:30 Arrival at Sendai Station
120,000 JPY (up to 7 persons)
Sendai Station/Sendai Station
Transportation from/to Sendai station (by Big Taxi)
Admission of the Museum (Adult: 500 JPY)
Payment should be done before the tour