Kamaishi / IwateExperience rugged coastlines, soaring peaks, and paddleboarding in Kamaishi City

Kamaishi’s natural beauty

Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture nestles between tall mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Its unique location has given rise to a spectacular natural landscape comprising a rugged coastline, verdant forests, and soaring peaks. The city prides itself on its sustainable tourism, and in 2018 it gained a place among the top 100 sustainable tourist destinations in the world.

Explore scenic forest paths, exceptional geology on the Michinoku Coastal Trail

Savor the stunning scenery when hiking the Michinoku Coastal Trail

The Michinoku Coastal Trail is a scenic walking path that spans more than 1,000 kilometers. The trail runs along the coast of the Pacific Ocean from Hachinohe City in Aomori Prefecture to Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture. Hiking some (or all) of the Kamaishi section is a perfect way to explore the region's outstanding natural beauty.

A forested section of the Michinoku Coastal Trail

One of the highlights of the Kamaishi route is the section that takes you out along the Hakozaki Peninsula. You'll pass through the Sanriku National Park, following forested paths lined with towering trees. If you can, make the trek to the Ohakozaki Viewpoint. From here, you can scramble over the imposing Senjojiki granite rock plateau and peer out to Sangan island.

The Senjojiki rock formations stretch into the Pacific Ocean

On the south side of the peninsula, you can enjoy views of Sanganjima - an uninhabited island and national wildlife sanctuary - and admire the vivid red torii gates of Sanganjima Shrine. Closer to Kamaishi Station, you'll find the ancient Sanriku Hamakaido, an old trading road where you can still see the ruins of highway guard stations. Many of the features you'll encounter are unique to the Tohoku area; walking the trail is a truly unforgettable experience.

Hike beneath vivid red torii gates

Pitch your tent by the sea and enjoy the outdoor life at Nebama Beach

The Nebama Beach Campsite (Photo: Yoshiyasu Saijo, Grafica Inc.)

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors life, and the Nebama Beach Campsite in Kamaishi is one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Situated between lush green forests and the glittering, deep-blue ocean, it's the perfect location to get away from it all.

Nebama Beach Campsite's modern facilities make for a comfortable stay (Photo: Yoshiyasu Saijo, Grafica Inc.)

Camping at Nebama Beach doesn't mean forgoing modern conveniences. Each camping spot has a parking space and a 100-volt power supply, while the communal resthouse has hot showers, toilets, laundry facilities, a kitchen, and other features to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Experience early morning stand-up paddleboarding (Photo: Kanako Sato)

One of the campsite's special activities is stand-up paddleboarding at dawn. Certified SUP and free-diving instructor Kanako Sato leads daily sessions between 4:45 a.m.-and 8 a.m. Classes, which start at 6,500 yen, are suitable for all ages and abilities. Paddling your board on the tranquil ocean while watching the sun rise over the surrounding area is a great way to start the day!

Kanako Sato leads daily SUP sessions (Photo: Kanako Sato)

The campsite is located a five-minute drive from the Sanriku Expressway/Kamaishi Kita Interchange. Spaces are available for both small and large cars.

Experience life in rural Japan with a stay at Ohakozaki Inn

The exterior of Ohakozaki Inn (Photo: Yoshiyasu Saijo, Grafica Inc.)

For a unique and fulfilling stay in Kamaishi, look no further than Ohakozaki Inn. Situated in the quaint fishing village of Hakozaki Shirahama, this modern and eco-friendly facility is a renovated nursery school. Its location on the edge of Sanriku National Park puts you in the heart of the area's rich natural environment.

One of the bedrooms at Ohakozaki Inn (Photo: Yoshiyasu Saijo, Grafica Inc.)

The inn's accommodation comprises two modern and tastefully decorated shared bedrooms: one with single beds and one with bunk-beds. Both rooms sleep up to four people, and bathroom and shower facilities are shared. The common room, meanwhile, is a great place to swap tips and stories with like-minded travelers.

The common room provides a handy space to socialize with other guests (Photo: Yoshiyasu Saijo, Grafica Inc.)

Breakfast and dinner are included in the cost of your stay (9,000 yen before tax per night). The owner, Mrs. Sasaki, and her staff create exquisitely presented meals from locally sourced seafood and other seasonal ingredients.

A delicious seasonal meal at Ohakozaki Inn (Photo: Yoshiyasu Saijo, Grafica Inc.)

Because of its rural location, there's no public transportation to Ohakozaki Inn. If you don't have a car, request to be picked by community-bus when making your reservation.

Access information

Getting to Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture:

The Tohoku bullet train from Tokyo Station to Shin Hanamaki Station takes around 3 hours 10 minutes. Trains from Shin Hanamaki Station to Kamaishi Station take around 2 hours. Flights from Osaka’s Itami Airport to Iwate Hanamaki Airport take around 90 minutes. Flights from Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport take around 1 hour.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change. Unless stated otherwise, prices do not include tax.
*Unauthorized reproduction of material in this article is strictly prohibited.

About “Countryside Stays“

If you’re looking for a new way to experience Japan, sign up for a farm-stay experience through the Countryside Stays Japan program and participate in traditional rural-lifestyle activities in recommended countryside locations.

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