Land area: 28,537 ha
Designated on May 2, 1955
The Sanriku Fukko (Reconstruction) National Park was created to support the rebirth of the Sanriku area after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The park incorporates two former parks: Rikuchu Kaigan National Park and the Minami Sanriku Kinkasan Quasi-National Park. It spans 220 km north-south along the Sanriku Coast which stretches from Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture through Iwate Prefecture to Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture. The designated park land area is 14,635 ha.
The coastline is divided broadly into two sections with Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture lying in the middle: the northern section with its raised beach formed of coastal cliffs and terraces and the southern section with its rias coast. Forests of Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora)—for which the Sanriku Coast is famous—are a main feature throughout.
Hachinohe City at the northern end of the park is home to Kabu Island where tens of thousands of black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris) come to breed every year. Also in Aomori Prefecture are the Tanesashi Coast and Mount Hashikami which were formerly part of a prefectural natural park. The Tanesashi Coast boasts a natural coast of alternating ledges and sandy beaches and also features coastal grasslands that are home to a great variety of plants, including montane species, such as Hemerocallis dumortieri C. Morren var. esculenta, Iris ensata var. spontanea, and Lilium maculatum Thunb. The Tanesashi Coast offers excellent views of the coastal terraces that stretch from there down to the northern section of the Rikuchu Coast in Iwate Prefecture.
In Iwate Prefecture, coastal cliffs run from Fudai Village to Tanohata Village. Kitayamazaki Cape Cliffs and Unosu Cliff are particularly breathtaking.
The coastline from the central to southern sections of the park area is a classic rias coast and offers great variety in scenery. Jodogahama Beach in northern Miyako City is one of the park’s most outstanding government-designated places of scenic beauty. Todogasaki Cape located further south is the easternmost point of the island of Honshu.
Kamaishi City and points further south offer beautiful seascapes, from the Senjojiki Rock Formation in Hakozaki Peninsula, the Goishi Coast in Ofunato City, Ogama-Hanzo Rock Formation in Karakuwa Peninsula in Kesennuma City, and Kugunari Beach on Oshima Island in Kesennuma.
The coast of Rikuzentakata City used to be covered by a vast forest of Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) and Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii). Called Takatamatsubara, the area was designated by the national government as a place of scenic beauty. In 2011, however, it was destroyed by the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Like Kabu Island in the northern section of the park, the central and southern sections of the park are also home to breeding grounds for seabirds. Streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas) and Swinhoe’s storm petrel (Oceanodroma monorhis) come to Sangan Island in Kamaishi City to breed, while band-rumped storm-petrel (Oceanodroma castro) visit Hide Island in Miyako City.
National Route 45 connects the key spots of the park. There is also the Sanriku Railway whose Kita-Rias Line connects Kuji and Miyako and whose Minami-Rias Line links Kamaishi and Sakari. The JR Yamada Line connects Miyako and Kamaishi, but train service has not resumed on this segment of the line since the earthquake. As of June 2014, service is being provided by bus.
The coast of the Sanriku Fukko (Reconstruction) National Park is home to major harbors, including Hachinohe, Miyako, and Kamaishi. There are also many small fishing ports as the sea along the coast has excellent fishing grounds. The large harbors are excluded from the park area, but the small fishing ports tucked away in the inlets blend into the majestic natural surroundings and are an integral part of the scenic beauty.