Date: 19th May 2019
Continuing on from Samekado Lighthouse on the Michinoku Coastal Trail (Hachinohe Section), I headed to the Ashigezaki Observatory walking along some narrow roads. Note that some parts of the trail involves walking by roads which does not have a pedestrian walkway, so please be careful. Just before reaching the Ashigezaki Observatory, I spotted another viewpoint along the coast and decided to explore around. The view of the Tanesashi Coast from here was stunning, with the blue ocean and rugged rocks. The Samekado Lighthouse can also be seen from here.
After climbing up and down the cliffs, I headed to the actual observatory while still enjoying the views of the coastline.
The name “Ashigezaki” is said to have derived from the ashige horse (dapple-gray horse) which used to roam here. The Nanbu Domain was known for horse-breeding thanks to the natural pasturelands in the region. The cape was used as a military facility in World War II, serving as a naval radio station which was equipped with air defence radar.
The Ashigezaki Viewpoint is a good stop to take a break, since it is equipped with a number of facilities including toilets, a cafe, and a rest area. There are also quite a number of benches with tables around the area before the next walk along Nakasuka. I took the time to take a break here, devouring the chicken wings I bought at Tatehana Ganpeki Asaichi Market earlier that morning.
- Tohoku Ministry of the Environment page. Here you can find details and map of each section of the trail. There are also details in the website on how you can obtain the trail map either by post or at some information centres.
- Hachinohe Section (Tohoku Ministry of the Environment)
- Tohoku Pacific Coast
- Explore Tohoku Facebook Page – by Robin Lewis, one of the first hikers to complete the entire trail
The start of the Michinoku Coastal Trail – Same Station can be accessed via the JR Hachinohe Line. It takes only 25 minutes (240 yen) from Hachinohe Station to Same Station. If you are not keen on walking and just want to visit certain spots along the trail, you can take the one-coin umineko bus which runs from Same Station to Tanesashi Kaigan Station everyday between mid April to mid November (only during weekends and holidays in winter). The bus details are in this page including the timetable.