length

7 Days

difficulty

Challenging - Strenuous

trip cost

From $3395 pp

Icons / stylised / time Created with Sketch.

length

7 Days

Icons / stylised / difficulty Created with Sketch.

difficulty

Challenging - Strenuous

Icons / stylised /cost Created with Sketch.

trip cost

From $3395 pp

Nature Immersion

Cultural Interest

Group Self-Guided

our walk expert

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • The Experience
  • Navigation app
  • Itinerary
  • Map
  • Inclusions
  • Similar walks

Overview

Michinoku Coastal Trail - Northern Section

This self-guided walking trip combines the freedom and flexibility of a self-guided trek with the support and company of other like-minded travellers | Guaranteed to depart on the dates outlined with a minimum of two | This is a great option for solo travellers. We’ll pair you up with another solo traveller of the same gender on a twin-share basis.

Located in the stunning, remote, and rugged Tōhoku region of Honshu, Japan, the Michinoku Coastal Trail offers an incredible mix of wild coastal landscapes, authentic local culture, delicious cuisine and oceanside accommodations.

Our group, self-guided adventure along the 235km-long northern section of the trail is set within the breathtaking Sanriku Fukko National Park. You’ll begin in Hachinohe City, which is easily accessible from Tokyo by bullet train, and finish at the iconic Jodogahama Beach, known for its beautiful cobalt blue waters and unique rock formations.

This scenic trail takes you along seaside clifftops, through dense forests, pine groves, grassy pastures, and even hand-carved tunnels. Along the way, you’ll encounter peaceful fishing villages and idyllic beaches, with traditional shrines and temples near the trail.

While locals remember the devastation of the 2011 tsunami and earthquake, the villages have largely been rebuilt, and hikers are greeted warmly. The visitor centres along the trail serve as great rest stops and provide excellent information.

This impressive, yet still little-known trail is destined to become one of the world’s most iconic hikes.

Join us for an exciting adventure and discover the magic of the Michinoku Coastal Trail!

Yellow hiker icon We are Japan experts! As the most established Australian operator on this trail, we have the best local contacts, advice and resources.

Michinoku Coastal Trail

Highlights

Get Ready For

  • Trek in a group of like-minded travellers
  • Breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean
  • Fresh seafood from Sanriku’s fishing ports
  • Wild and rugged coastlines, pristine inlets, lush forests and tiny villages
  • Delicious treats at Japan’s largest and most vibrant morning market
  • Iconic Jodogahama Beach with its stunning clear blue waters
  • Historic shrines, temples and significant landmarks
  • Oceanside accommodation, luxury glamping and relaxing onsen hot springs
Michinoku Coastal Trail_Japan1

The Experience

Hiking the MCT Trail

The Michinoku Coastal Trail (MCT) is a demanding walk that is best suited to those with a good level of physical fitness. There is plenty of dramatic scenery and challenging terrain, with steep ascents and descents, high clifftops, dense forests and remote beaches. The stone and log stairs can be covered with moss and leaves. There are also tunnels (headtorch required) and patches of rocky coastline with ladders and ropes. The bear warning signs add to the sense of adventure. It’s best to hike the MCT during spring (March to June) and autumn (September to November) as summer is hot and humid and in winter it’s covered with snow.

RAW Travel App

Navigation app

FINDING YOUR WAY

Our unique RAW Travel walking app has been designed to help you navigate easily on the Michinoku Coastal Trail. Simply download your map with the unique link we send you and you’ll be able to follow your route with ease, showing your location in real-time without any internet connection needed or cumbersome pages of notes. The app has many great features; it shows the location of each night’s accommodation, and weather forecasts localised for each of your overnight stops. There are important reminders, safety information, videos and emergency contact information for your route. It also has a unique audio feature that can tell you about places and points of interest as you approach them on the trail.

Itinerary

daily details

Day 1: Arrive Hachinohe

Make your way to the starting point of Hachinohe. You can take a bullet train from Tokyo on the Hayabusa Line (for Shin-Aomori), with trains running approximately hourly and the journey taking just under 3 hours. From Hachinohe station, it’s an easy change to the local Hachinohe line, getting off at Hon-Hachinohe station.

Your accommodation is located in a convenient part of town and after dropping off your luggage, you may like to explore the nearby Hachinohe Portal Museum, which has permanent displays of the local culture, nature and history of the area. If you’re an art lover, you may also like to visit the Hachinohe Art Museum, though be aware that displays are typically only noted in Japanese. Less than 2% of international travellers currently visit Tohoku so you will find this to be a very authentic experience and English isn’t widely spoken.

At 5pm, meet the other group members in the hotel lobby for a tour orientation. You may then like to treat yourself to an authentic dining experience at one of Hachinohe’s traditional Izakaya eateries. Wander through the quaint old side alleys, where hidden culinary gems await. Indulge in local delicacies and savour the unique ambiance of these time-honoured establishments.

Meals: n/a

Day 2: Hachinohe to Tanesashi (9.5km / 4–5 hours)

Start the day with an early rise and short train ride to the Tatehana Wharf Market. This is a very popular local market, with good reason. There are approximately 300 stalls stretching over about 800m. It is a wonderful experience to stroll through the market, sampling as many of the delicious goods on offer as you can fit in. You’ll find delicious skewers, dumplings, seasonal fresh fruit, bakery items and coffee. There are also stalls selling fresh produce, and street performers. You’ll be able to select some tasty items to bring with you for morning tea and lunch for the day’s hike ahead.

From the market, you’ll re-board the local train on to Same (pronounced Sah-meh) station. It’s a short walk from here to the Sanriku Fukku National Park and the Kabushima Shrine, the northernmost point of the Tanesashi Coast and the official start (or end) point of the Michinoku Coastal Trail.

Hachinohe is known as an important industrial fishing port and for centuries local townspeople have visited the Kabushima Shrine to pray for good luck and for success in their business and fishing. The area all around the shrine is also a breeding and nesting ground for the black-tailed gulls (late February to August). After exploring the shrine, a brief walk alongside the road leads to the Ashigezaki Viewpoint. This is a great lookout point that was also used as an observation post during WWII due to the great views along the coastline. You’ll also find here a cafe that is said to have some of the best ice cream in the region.

This is an easy part of the trail and from spring to autumn, various wildflowers are in bloom, making it particularly picturesque. You’ll soon reach Osuki beach, a long stretch of sand. Depending on the weather and conditions, you may like to have a dip to freshen up.

Continuing on, you’ll pass by some fishing huts shortly before entering into the Yodo Pine Grove, a beautiful walk through black pines, some of which are over 100 years old. Here, you’ll also find the Shira-Iwa or ‘White rock’, the colour of which varies depending on the season as it’s a nesting spot for the Japanese cormorants. This is a really picturesque section of today’s walk.

Coming out of the pine grove, you’ll arrive at the Tanesashi Coast Natural Lawn, where you’ll find your accommodation for the evening. Until the mid-50s, horses grazed on this grassy stretch of the coast. After checking in for your glamping experience, the nearby Tanesashi-Kaigan Information Centre is well worth a visit to learn more about the unique eco-system along this coastline. Later you’ll take a short drive to a lovely onsen (hot spring facility), tucked away in the nearby mountains. A perfect way to unwind after a great day’s hike.

This evening you’ll have a very special treat with your own chef cooking and preparing the meal at the glamping retreat, after which you can relax, gazing up at the stars and listening to the sound of the waves.

Note: there is a shower facility located behind the Tanesashi-Kaigain information Centre for tomorrow morning.

Meals: D

Day 3: Tanesashi Lawn to Itsukushima Shrine (12km / 5 hours)

Following a fresh breakfast, you’ll transfer about 1 hour south, skipping some longer road sections, before rejoining the trail in Iwate Prefecture. From today you’ll start to experience some more elevation as you move into a more rugged expanse of coastline. You’ll hike through a stretch of forest before reaching the Samurai-ishi rock slabs, which is a great place for a little break. You’ll then continue south along the trail, enjoying some great views until you reach the Kita-Samuraihama Campground where is a good spot to break for lunch.

Resume your hike towards the Yokonuma Viewpoint, offering picturesque panoramas of the coastline. You’ll then head into a valley with glimpses of the coast before ascending and hiking into a forested area with giant red pines. You’ll cross a small stream and soon rejoin the coast at a little fishing port before ascening once more into the forest.

The hike will finish today at the Itsukushima Shrine (the head shrine is located on Miyajima Island near Hiroshima). After exploring the shrine, our support vehicle/driver will meet and transfer the group to our accommodation.

Relax and soak in the onsen before enjoying a dinner at your accommodation, capping off a day of exploration along the captivating coastline.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Fudai Station to Kurasaki-so Viewpoint (6.5km / 4 hours)

After breakfast, there is a short transfer to Fudai Station where you’ll begin today’s walk. Some parts of the walk will take you along the road as you depart from this quiet, small town. Fudai has a remarkable history, evident as you pass by the school and the impressive 15.5m seawall, dubbed the ‘Miracle Floodgate’. This seawall played a pivotal role in protecting the town and its community from the devastating 2011 tsunami, as indicated by markings on the wall showing the height of the water at its peak. Continuing along the road, you’ll pass through several tunnels, while also enjoying breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

You may like to stop for morning tea at a small fishing port before continuing along the coast and taking in the views. Soon after leaving the fishing port, you’ll arrive at the Nedari Nature Trail, a picturesque path offering views akin to an open aquarium on clear, calm days. This spot is perfect for slowing down and immersing yourself in the natural beauty surrounding you. At the end of the trail is a short tunnel through the cliff, followed by a steep stair climb to reach the Kurasaki-so Observation Point,

From here you’ll be transferred back to your accommodation where you’ll have time to relax.

Option: If you’re interested, as today is quite a short hike, there is the option to continue on for an additional 9km (approx 5hrs) from the Kurasaki-so Observation Point to Kitayamazaki Lookout. Please let us know in advance if you would like this option as we will need to plan accordingly with the transfer driver.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 5: Kitayamazaki Lookout to Tanohata (10km / 6 hours)

This morning, your journey commences with a transfer to the Kitayamazaki Lookout, and the beginning of today’s challenging hike. While the distance covered may not be extensive, the ascents and descents over the next few kilometres will prove to be a challenge and slow you down. However, the rewards will be well worth the effort, as you’ll be treated to incredible views and stunning scenery along the way. Adequate training for this trail is crucial, especially for today which is considered the most demanding day of the entire trail.

The hike begins with a stair descent to the beach before heading inland to navigate through the forest. As you progress, you’ll encounter a series of stairs to ascend out of the valley, followed by a winding trail along the cliff-top. Further along, a shorter descent leads to another stretch of valley before another climb, followed by a descent down log stairs. Afterward, you’ll hike up and around the next ridgeline, before arriving at Tsukue Beach.

Continuing along, the trail will lead you across a series of beaches and through several tunnels. These hand-carved tunnels, though only a few hundred meters in length, are pitch dark, requiring a head torch for navigation. To reach one of the tunnels, you’ll need to walk around a large rock. On the rare occasion that the tide is too high, you’ll need to descend a ladder, which is a few metres high and is affixed to the rock. There’s a short stretch of easy rock-hopping before the last tunnel. You’ll then ascend from the beach, which includes two short, affixed ladders and a series of log stairs.

Returning into the forest, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views along the coast until reaching the fisherman’s huts at Tsukue-hama Beach. Following a well-deserved break, you’ll walk briefly alongside the road before returning to the trail and ascending log steps. You’ll enjoy beautiful views overlooking Tsukue-hama Beach before continuing onward to Aketo Beach. Along the way, you’ll pass by the Rikuchu Bentenzaki Lighthouse, offering panoramic views to the north and south.

The trail rejoins the sea road and you’ll soon arrive at the Aketo Seawall Monument. It’s just a short distance further on to your accommodation. After checking in, take the opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate with a well-deserved soak in the onsen overlooking the ocean.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6: Shiofuki-ana Blowhole to Jodogahama Beach (7km / 4 hours)

Following a hearty buffet breakfast you’ll embark on a short transfer further south along the coast, bypassing some longer road stretches of the trail, until you reach the Shiofuki-ana Blowhole. This picturesque viewpoint offers a wonderful spectacle, where, if luck is on your side, you may witness the blowhole in action. Nestled beneath the blowhole is a sea cave, and when the waves are strong, water is propelled through the blowhole, reaching heights of up to 30m. Designated as a national natural monument, the blowhole is best experienced with a northeast wind and rough waves. From this vantage point, you’ll also see Hideshima Island, another designated natural monument, known as the largest habitat for the endangered Madeiran storm petrel.

After soaking in the scenery, begin your hike which offers several ascents and descents with even more stunning vistas to admire. The trail meanders inland, crossing a stream and ascending out of the valley. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by spectacular trees, including pine, fir, maple, Japanese magnolias, and a giant bamboo grove, making for a truly enchanting hike until you reach the Takonohama Fishing Port. The final leg of the journey weaves along the cliffs and through a couple of tunnels, leading you to the picturesque Jodogahama Beach.

You may consider stopping at the resthouse near Jodogahama Beach for a leisurely lunch before exploring further. A little further along the coastal path, you’ll find the Jodogahama Visitor Centre offering additional insights into the area. If the weather is warm, you can enjoy a swim in the gorgeous, clear water. Alternatively, indulge in a relaxing soak in the onsen at your accommodation, allowing your tired legs to rejuvenate after a wonderful and often challenging hike.

The final dinner this evening, is a delicious buffet and if anyone is keen you can finish the evening off with a bit of karaoke.

Meals: B, D

Day 7: Depart Jodogahama Beach

After breakfast, you’ll depart the coastline with a 1.5-hour transfer to the city of Morioka. From here, you’ll farewell your driver before catching a bullet train. Again the Hayabusa Line is the best option, this time heading south to Tokyo – a journey of ~2 hours and 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you may like to extend your stay in Jodogohama if you would like to relax here or explore further. Please enquire if this is your preference.

Meals: B

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Closed

Map

Explore

Hachinohe

Hachinohe (Aomori Prefecture) is famed for its thriving fishing industry and vibrant morning markets teeming with diverse marine delicacies. Beyond its culinary allure, Hachinohe exudes cultural richness through its centuries-old Kabushima Shrine, seaside landscapes, and the spirited Sansha Taisai festival celebrating tradition and community unity.

CLICK ON A PIN TO REVEAL INFORMATION ABOUT THAT LOCATION
Tatehana Wharf Market

This massive morning market is the pride of Hachinohe and the largest in Japan. it is one of the hottest spots in Hachinohe and an absolute must-visit on any trip to the area. The market is more than just a market, it is a place many local people come to socialise. Often there is live music playing, and many people have breakfast and coffee with their friends and families after they finish shopping.

Kabushima Shrine

The picturesque Kabushima Shrine is on a small hill surrounded by the hill on the northernmost point of the Tanesashi Coast. It is the official starting (or ending) point of the Michinoku Coastal Trail.

Tanesashi Coast Natural Lawn

This beautiful spot on the Tanesashi Coast offers a luxury glamping site with breathtaking views of the rugged, rocky shoreline. The sunrise and sunsets here are magnificent. View the starry night sky then fall asleep to the sound of the waves

Yokonuma Viewpoint

The Yokonuma Viewpoint is a jaw-dropping photogenic spot with incredible views along the coastline. From the viewpoint, you’ll head into a valley with glimpses of the coast before ascending into a forested area with giant red pines.

Fudai Station

The station of this small village is the starting point for our walk past the 15.5m seawall (nicknamed the ‘Miracle Floodgate’) that helped save the town and community in the 2011 tsunami. You can see by a marking on the wall, just how high the water  reached.

Tsukue-hama Beach

The decent to the pebbly Tsukue-hama Beach involves an adventurous hike along a series of beaches and through a number of hand-carved tunnels. The fisherman’s huts destroyed by the tsunami have been rebuilt and now offer visitors an insight in the regional culture. Nearby is a wonderful onsen overlooking the ocean.

Sakiyama Blowhole

The Sakiyama Blowhole is a lovely, picturesque viewpoint that is a designated national, natural monument. From the blowhole you can see Hideshima Island, also a designated natural monument and the largest habitat for the endangered Madeiran storm petrel.

Jodogahama Beach

Jodogahama Beach (Iwate Prefecture) is known for its picturesque cobalt blue waters, white pebbles, and distinct hexagonal rock formations that resemble giant steps – a geological wonder and a prominent feature of the beach.

Inclusions

What's included?

Included
  • Pre-departure orientation with our local representative
  • Support vehicle/driver and luggage transfers (from Days 2 to 7)
  • 6 nights accommodation (inc. 1 night glamping experience)
  • Daily meals (as listed in the itinerary)
  • Mountain onsen experience on Day 2
  • RAW Travel’s exclusive interactive navigation app
  • Local and Australian emergency contacts
  • Departure transfer from Hotel to Morioka Station for those departing Day 7
  • Native tree planted for every walker
Excluded
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Beverages other than water at meals
  • Train tickets
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Similar walks

Japan

Kumano_gallery0000
7 Days

Kumano Kodo

The 7 Day Trail – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Self-Guided
  • Walk the full length of the Nakahechi trail
  • Stay in traditional guesthouses
  • Gain insights into life in rural Japan and the spiritual history
  • Enjoy delicious handmade Japanese food with fresh local ingredients
from

$2,495.00

view trip
Kumano_thumbnail
10 Days

Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo in Depth with Mike Rhodes

Challenging - Strenuous Group Guided
  • Hike the full length of the Nakahechi route
  • Gain a great understanding of this ancient pilgrimage trail
  • Be enlightened by the experience, enthusiasm and knowledge of your local guide Mike Rhodes
from

$4,820.00

view trip
Nakasendo way Mountains
8 Days

Nakasendo Way

The Group Guided Trip – Nakasendo Way

Group Guided History Moderate - Challenging
  • Fully guided walk with our qualified Japanese guide
  • Dive into the colourful history of the Shogun/Samurai
  • Visit 16 of the original post towns from the Nobi plain land to deep in the Kisoji valley
from

$4,200.00

view trip
Nakasendo way Magome
5 Days

Nakasendo Way

The Kiso Valley Highlights Trip – Nakasendo Way

Moderate - Challenging Self-Guided
  • A great introduction to walking in Japan
  • Taste the specialities of the Kiso Valley
  • Enjoy wonderfully preserved ancient villages
  • Stay overnight in family-run ryokans
from

$2,250.00

view trip
Kumano stamp
8 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Dual Pilgrim Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Group Self Guided
  • Participate in a Purification ceremony
  • Experience Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival
  • Annual festival held in Hongu to honour the Kumano Deities
  • Receive a commemorative Dual Pilgrim shirt and Tenegui
from

$2,950.00

view trip
Kumano_gallery0000
10 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Extended Trip – Kumano Kodo

Self-Guided Strenuous
  • Hike the full length of the Nakahechi route
  • Enjoy a day on the challenging Kohechi route
  • Journey along the Kumano-gawa river in a traditional boat
  • Experience the life of a monk by staying in a Buddhist monastery
from

$3,650.00

view trip
Kumano Kodo
12 Days

Kumano Kodo

Nakahechi & Kohechi trip – Kumano Kodo

Self-Guided Strenuous
  • Challenging hike through the rugged forested mountains
  • Walk the full length of both the Nakahechi and Kohechi routes
  • Journey along the Kumano-gawa river in a traditional boat
  • Stay in a Buddhist monastery in Koyasan
from

$4,495.00

view trip

TRIP date selection

when would you like to travel?

Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed

dates
availability
price
single occupancy
dates
05/04/2025 - 11/04/2025
availability
price
$3,395
single occupancy
$0
dates
17/05/2025 - 23/05/2025
availability
price
$3,395
single occupancy
$0

sign up to our newsletter

explore the world with Raw