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Ishinomori Manga Museum on an island in the Kitakami River Estuary

Ishinomaki (Ί) is a large port city east of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. The city has a number of interesting attractions, and is known for being the hometown of prominent manga artist Ishinomori Shotaro.

During the 2011 Tsunami Ishinomaki suffered the largest losses of life and property of any municipality as the tsunami inundated much of the city's low lying waterfront districts and neighborhoods. While the rubble has since been cleaned up, much of the damaged coastal areas remain barren. From Hiyoriyama Park, located on a hilltop near the center of the city, visitors can look out over the affected waterfront districts.

Hiyoriyama Park

Situated on the site of the former Ishinomaki Castle at the center of the city, this hilltop park offers commanding views out over Ishinomaki. The park is also the site of a shrine and one of the city's best cherry blossom spots with over 400 cherry trees planted along its slopes. Due to its location on high ground, Hiyoriyama Park served as a refuge for survivors of the 2011 Tsunami. Today the park gives visitors views of the badly affected river estuary and waterfront districts.

Ishinomori Manga Museum

See the manga museum page for admission details
The Ishinomori Manga Museum is an art museum dedicated to the artist Ishinomori Shotaro, creator of the influential Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider manga. The unique, egg shaped building houses a collection of statues, artworks and comics from his various series. The collection was damaged by the 2011 Tsunami and required extensive restoration before the museum was able to fully reopen in March 2013.

Sant Juan Bautista

See the Sant Juan Bautista page for admission details
The Sant Juan Bautista is a replica of the Japan-built, Spanish style galleon that embarked on a diplomatic mission across the Pacific Ocean during the Edo Period. Visitors can see a museum dedicated to the ship and the voyage and board a life size replica of the Sant Juan Bautista itself.

Tashiro Island

Tashiro Island is a small, rural island off the coast of Ishinomaki and can be reached in about an hour from the city by ferry. Affectionately referred to as "Cat Island", Tashiro is home to several hundred felines, which vastly outnumber the human residents on the island that care for them. The island is also known as "Manga Island" due to the manga themed camping resort on its southern tip. The resort consists of several cat shaped cottages that feature cat themed artwork by famous manga artists such as Ishinomori Shotaro.


By train

Direct JR trains connect Sendai with Ishinomaki about twice per hour. Local trains along the JR Senseki Line take about 80-90 minutes, while less frequent rapid trains along the JR Senseki-Tohoku Line require about one hour. By either train type, the one way fare is 840 yen and covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass. Local trains depart Sendai from the Senseki Line platforms in the station's basement, while rapid trains depart fom the Tohoku Line platforms above ground.

By bus

Miyagi Kotsu (Miyako) operates two buses per hour between Sendai (how to get to Sendai) and Ishinomaki stations. The one way ride takes about 75 minutes and costs 800 yen.

How to get to and around the Sanriku Coast

Page last updated: July 23, 2016