The Sanriku Coast (三陸海岸, Sanriku Kaigan) is a dramatic, rocky shoreline with countless bays, cliffs and coves that stretches for over 300 kilometers along the Pacific Coast of the Tohoku Region, spanning Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. Due to its natural beauty, the coastline has long been a popular tourist attraction, and a considerable part of it has been designated as national park (Sanriku Recovery National Park).
The Sanriku Coast has periodically been struck by large tsunami. On March 11, 2011, the strongest ever recorded earthquake in Japan triggered a huge tsunami that hit the Pacific Coast of northeastern Japan and was particularly destructive along the Sanriku Coast. In total, nearly 20,000 lives were lost, and tens of thousands of buildings were washed away. Many cities along the Sanriku Coast lost entire districts, while several towns and villages were almost completely destroyed.
The reconstruction process is ongoing and will take several more years. Many tourist attractions along the coast reopened within just a few months of the disaster, and tourism is considered one of the best ways to revitalize the area and keep the event from being forgotten.