Northern Sanriku - preserving Accretionary wedges and volcanic traces

Kosode Coast (Kuji-shi)

Kosode Coast (Kuji-shi)

Hachinohe-shi, Hashikami-cho, Hirono-cho, Kuji-shi, Noda-mura, Fudai-mura

The northern area is full of dynamic landscapes. There is Tanesashi Coast (in Hachinohe-shi), a coast that charmed many novelists with its beauty and also Kosode Coast (in Kuji-shi), where the Tsurigane-do Cave is located and has the extraordinary giant rock, Kabuto-iwa Rock. There is a lavender purple beach at Tofugaura Coast (in Noda-mura) while the Kurosaki Peninsula (Fudai-mura) has a 150m waterfall that drops directly into the Pacific.

Tanesashi Coast (Hachinohe-shi)

Tanesashi Coast (Hachinohe-shi)

Tofugaura Coast (Noda-mura)

Tofugaura Coast (Noda-mura)

Anmoura Waterfall

Anmoura Waterfall

These distinctive landscapes nurtured the tens of thousands of back tailed gulls inhabiting Kabushima Island. It also provided a rich environment for persimmons, sea urchins, abalones to flourish and led the north end ama divers to develop their own traditional diving method, Nambu-moguri.

Please come and explore these fascinating sites all connected by the Michinoku Shiokaze Trail in Sanriku Fukko National Park and also enjoy our rich seafood to your satisfactory.

Speaking of rich, amber is a special local merchandise of the northern area. Amber is found from ground layers around Kuji-shi and Noda-mura. This area is one of the best amber producing places in the world, both in reserve and the history of amber digging to this day. In recent years, there have been many discoveries of amber with rare valuable insects trapped inside, as well as fossils of pterosaurs and dinosaurs all from the same layer. Such discoveries are catching attentions of many scientific researchers.

Amber (Kuji-shi)

Amber (Kuji-shi)

Advanced talks on Northern Geosites

In the northern area, distributed is the Northern Kitakami Belt. It points to the land north of Mount Hayachine and the ground layers formed between the Paleozoic era and the Mesozoic era which make most of the Kitakami Mountains. On this belt, visitors can observed up close marine sediments and lava from volcanoes made during the Mesozoic period.

The rich resources dug such as amber and iron sand supported people from early times. Today, the Osanai Ruins (Kuji-shi), which is thought to be used as an amber workshop in the Heian Period and the Warisawa Iron Mine Ruins where Tatara iron manufacturing is located, are preserved along with many other mines across the area. Its history is passed down to this day through local special merchandises such as the Kuji Amber, Kuji iron sand and Tetsuzan-zome (iron dyed cloth).

In the southwestern area, rivers, streams and groundwater carved the Northern Kitakami Belt for centuries and created the Kuji Mountain Stream (Kuji-shi). It also shaped the beautiful limestone caves such as the Uchimakido Cave (Kuji-shi).

In the northeastern area, a hilly marine terrace extends out to the Pacific and visitors can view diverse landscapes from Kabushima Island, Tanesashi Island (Hachinohe-shi) to Kosode Coast (Kuji-shi) and Kurosaki Peninsula (Fudai-mura).

The marine terrace is made by a ground layer formed in the Pleistocene period and is rich with fine iron sand. This was known from ancient times and led the development of tataraba, an iron manufacturing plant. It is said Masamune Date's katana, a Japanese sword, was made from iron produced here. There are many mines and other related facilities scattered around the area such as the Warisawa Iron Mine Ruins (Fudai-mura). Also, visitors can see that many beaches have blackened sands. This is due to the rich iron sands.

Although, most geological substances come from the Northern Kitakami Belt, there are areas and coasts that contain something different. The different materials are volcanic rocks formed in the early Cretaceous period and granitic rocks which made when magma is slowly cooled down. Such different features can be seen at places like Tanesashi Coast (Hachinohe-shi), Mount Hashikami (Hashikami-cho), Kosode Coast (Kuji-shi) and Kurosaki (Fudai-mura).

The volcanic activities during that period had shaped its surroundings by its heat. This led mineral resources to become abundant which were later on extracted in the manganese jackpot of Japan, Noda-Tanagawa Mine (Noda-mura).

After the massive volcanic activity had settled during the Cretaceous period, the present-day known landscape of the Kitakami Mountains were formed. The Sanriku region, after that, shifted from harsh to a clam and warm environment. The layer known to have formed some 85 million years ago, presently known as the Kuji groups and Noda groups, spreads along the Pacific coast in the northern area. Here visitors will be able to see traces of life that lived on land and underwater from, the local special merchandise, amber and fossils of dinosaurs and shallow marine creatures.

Recently, many dinosaur fossils are found from amber digging sites and research is on the go to reveal history when dinosaurs roamed.