Kesennuma (C) is one of the bigger cities along the Sanriku Coast with a large fishing port. It is one of the country's largest bonito and swordfish processors. Kesennuma was hit badly by the 2011 Tsunami which damaged several of the city's districts, carried multiple large ships inland, and left the local fishing industry in ruins.

All of the stranded ships were removed quickly save one, the 60 meter long Kyotoku Maru 18, which remained as a monument for over two years in a residential neighborhood nearly a kilometer from the waterfront. The ship was eventually dismantled in late 2013 after a local referendum showed overwhelming support for its removal.

In the meantime, Kesennuma has been recovering from the disaster, and the city offers tourists a variety of attractions, especially seafood-related ones.

Fish Market

The best timing for viewing the action is between 6am and 8am
Closed: Sundays and a few other days (see calendar)
Admission: Free

Umi no Ichi

Shops: 8:00 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from October to April)
Restaurants: 11:00 to 20:00
Museum: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 18:00 on weekends/holidays from May to Sep)
Closed: Some Wednesdays from January to June

Rias Ark Museum

Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays and the day after holidays (except weekends)
Admission: 700 yen

Kesennuma Reconstruction Memorial Park

Mount Anbasan


Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Closed: Thursdays

Pier 7

Kesennuma City Memorial Museum

Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from October to March)
Closed: Generally Mondays (more details)
Admission: 600 yen

Cape Iwaisaki

Karakuwa Peninsula Visitor Center

Hours: 8:30 to 16:30
Closed: Tuesdays (of the following day if Tuesday is a holiday) and the day after holidays (except weekends)
Admission: 380 yen

Getting there and around

By train

From Ichinoseki Station (150 minutes, about 13,000 yen by JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo), take the JR Ofunato Line to Kesennuma (85 minutes, 1170 yen one way, one train every 1-2 hours). The trip is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass.

By bus

Iwateken Kotsu operates 2-4 buses a day between Ichinoseki and Kesennuma. The one way trip takes about 75 minutes and costs 1070 yen.

How to get to and around the Sanriku Coast