Shizugawa-wan Summer Festival
Held every July, the Shizugawa-wan festival features a yosakoi dance performance and fireworks accompanied by live taiko drumming called “Minamisanriku yume meseiji hanabi”, meaning
dream message fireworks.
What's special about this dance is the wooden clappers called naruko, held by the dancers in both hands. Originally naruko were used to scare birds away from the village grain fields. The combination of the naruko and the high-energy dance performance
creates a powerful image and sound.
Each summer since the 2011 disaster, more than 2000 fireworks are set off to reflect the Minamisannriku citizens’ strong will towards revival of the city. The fireworks are meant to show appreciation for the many people who helped the town's rebirth, and hope for a bright future. This feeling is expressed with wadaiko (Japanese drum) performance. Omori Sosaku Daiko, a Japanese traditional drum group established in 1994, perform along with the fireworks. The dynamic drum sound and drummers’ shouts during the performance match the pyrotechnics, offering an original experience that is rare outside of Minamisanriku.
Feel the power of the Pacific’s wild waves rushing between the cliffs at Kamiwari-zaki. According to legend, a large whale was washed ashore at this place. At the time, there was no boundary between the two villages here, Choshimizu and Zyusanhama, so they fought over the whale. Suddenly in the night, the cape was split into two and the whale was split, too. Afterwards, people in both villages decided that only God could have done something like that and that the fissure would be the boundary between two villages. The name Kamiwari-zaki means ‘God split the cape’. Access: By car, 15 minutes south of the Hotel Kanyo on Rt. 398.
From the top of Tatsugane mountain, take in spectacular autumn color during the fall season and views of the Pacific Ocean all year round. From May to June, see fifty thousand red tsutsuji flowers (azalea) covering the mountain. Enjoy a 360 degree view from the summit, accessible by car or on foot.
Hikoro no sato
Immerse yourself in Miyagi history! Hikoronosato, Japanese for “bright village”, contains the historical silk museum and matsukasa yashiki, a restored Edo-era samurai dwelling. The silk museum introduces the history of sericulture in Minamisannriku. Hikoronosato was a famous center of silk making during the Edo period. Visitors can enjoy reeling silk off cocoons and making cute animal charms from the cocoons as a souvenir.
Matsukasa yashiki means pine-tree roof house in Japanese. Built in the last part of Edo period, it is a rare mixture of samurai and peasant housing. Since then, it has been restored and preserved as a historical heritage site. From the house, visitors can view the surrounding rural scenery that changes with the seasons.
When visiting Hikoronosato, don’t miss the local cuisine at Bakkari Chaya, famous for its menu that changes daily and features locally-grown food, with dishes such as vegetable tempura and dessert dumpling. Access: From the Tourist Information Center, 5 minutes by car or 30 minutes by rental bicycle.
Marvel at Minamisannriku’s huge moai. Located at the San San Market, this statue represents the area’s friendship with Chile. In 1960, a great earthquake and tsunami hit Chile, and the resulting tsunami also swept across the ocean to Minamisanriku, causing huge damage. In 1990, to commemorate this disaster, Chile sent a statue of a condor (the national bird of Chile) to Minamisanriku. The following year, Minamisanriku requested a moai and Chile sent one directly from Easter Island. This moai is the first one in the world to be exported from Easter Island.
Arajima Shrine and Sodehama Coast
View one of the sacred places of Minamisanriku, enjoying sunrise and sunset from Sodehama coast. Traditionally, fishermen went to Arajima Shrine on the island to pray for prosperity and a sucessful catch.