What is a trail?
It is a path to walk in nature, such as forests and wilderness.
The walking pace is at the speed at which the five human senses are most effective. By walking on the trail, you can pick up “voices of nature” that you do not feel in everyday life, such as the comfort of the wind and the chirping of the birds.
In Europe and the United States, many trails with a distance over 3000 km have been developed. It has become a very popular culture among hikers to gather from all over the world and explore long trails.
In this article, I will tell you about the attractions of the area that you would not notice when traveling by car because it is a trip to explore the trails with a backpack, and the charms of the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail Natori Trail Center.
the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail
A long trail of over 1000km that connects the northeastern Pacific coast from Kabushima, Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture to Matsukawaura, Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, was fully opened in June 2019. The route is created in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment, related local governments, private organizations, and local. Their aim was to raise awareness of coexistence with nature and environmental problems and to educate about the Great East Japan Earthquake through walking. It is a national trail.
One of the features of the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail route is that it has many variations of terrains such as paved roads, sandy beaches, mountain roads, and lawns because it is made by connecting roads. The biggest attraction is the beautiful scenery of the dynamic sea, mountains, and villages that is unique to the Tohoku Pacific coast. While walking along the trail, you can taste the freshly picked seafood and interact with the local people to experience the lifestyle and culture unique to the area.
In addition, 10 years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and there are still lands with traces of the tsunami on the routes. By seeing the reality, the threat, the richness and beauty of nature you can experience both good and bad sides of it.
Michinoku Shiokaze Trail Natori Trail Center
Natori Trail Center is located in the Yuriage district of Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture. This facility, which opened in the Yuriage district, which was severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, is one of the six information facilities on the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail Course, and is also the headquarters for all Michinoku Shiokaze Trails.
This time, the author enjoyed the Natori Trail Center under the guidance of the Trail Center staff!
The enjoyment of long trails begins with planning how to walk the long trail. The Natori Trail Center plays the role of disseminating information necessary for walking the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail, as well as the long trail and walking culture.
There is also a large Michinoku Shiokaze Trail full-lined map installed in the common room and lounge so that visitors can see the route and hot spots of the trail at glance.
This large map has an outstanding presence, but what’s more impressive is the corner where tourist pamphlets of 4 prefectures, 28 municipalities, satellite facilities, etc. were lined up along the route of the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail.
Overwhelmed by the large number of pamphlets, the pamphlets in every region were catchy and it made me want to collect all of them!
There will be many encounters with the beautiful scenery that you can experience by walking on the trail. Of course, there are still areas in the middle of the reconstruction road that were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Not only the beautiful scenery, but also the land in the middle of rejuvenation, the coastal area that has become quiet after the inhabitants have moved, and so on.
Meeting with the locals is one of the great attractions of this trail. Some hikers invited the residents to their house and listened to the story of the earthquake while drinking tea with them. In addition, there is a place where a building built for volunteers at the time of the earthquake has been improved so that hikers can stay overnight in it! By walking on the trail, you will be able to feel the life that exists here.
At the Natori Trail Center, hikers who have completed the trail may share their experiences on what happened along the way. Many hikers are touched by the warmth of the locals and want to visit the trails and Tohoku again to meet the people. I believe that all stories and things I heard and saw by walking on the trail will lead to inheritance of the earthquake and tsunami. The staff and I hope that more people will come to the northeastern pacific coast and walk on the trail.
Please come and see the beautiful nature of Michinoku and the many smiles that bloom there.