Michinoku Coastal Trail
There is one more thing I would like to mention to you. It is about the Michinoku (Northern Japan) Coastal Trail, which opened officially this year. The 600-mile trail runs through the regions devastated by tsunami in 2011. When Mrs. Nakazato (a tsunami survivor) related to me about it, I thought that the municipal governments and tourism associations must have worked hard to make this massive project possible. Northern Japan including my home prefecture Akita have been suffering from depopulation. It is sad to see that once prosperous shopping streets are now lined with permanently closed stores. We even have words "shutter town" for this. Trekking is a boom right now in Japan. If the trend is used well, tourism may bring back the economy in these regions.
Mrs. Nakazato and her friend, Mr. Watanabe, took me to a part of the trail. Walking with them, I wished to journey through the entire trail. Rather than backpacking and trying to save money, I would find affordable accommodations and enjoy local foods. It will be my personal pilgrimage to discover something that have been always there, but I have never noticed. I feel the experience may open a new chapter in my life.
More about the Michinoku Coastal Trail: www.michinokutrail.com
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