Minamisanriku Earth Camp Experience

Live like the locals and enjoy nature in English

By Andrew Kehoe    - 3 min read

Earth Camp offers two and three day guided tours of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture but "guided tour" falls well short of the actual experience.

Earth Camp began as an idea to help the industries affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. During their volunteer efforts in Tohoku, Sosha and Shinobu ​Mitsunaga saw the local farms and fisheries were a great place to create long lasting memories and truly unique experiences. They also focus on using English as a part of the tour to create a bond between native English speakers, Japanese tourists, and locals who rarely have a chance to interact with English in their daily lives

Sosha and Shinobu designed Earth Camp tours to bridge people together using English as a common medium, to focus on sustainability and environmental awareness and to have a phenomenal time. Tours are available throughout the year and posted on their website earthcamp.net. Online registration is simple and can be done in Japanese or English. A typical tour may include but is not limited to:

  • Tsunami recovery education.
  • Hiking off the beaten path, discovering trails where local monks historically trained, with waterfalls for meditation and hidden Buddha carvings.
  • Camping activities and games.
  • Local delicacies, one off specialties from local chefs and the local shopping village.
  • Visit to a local onsen that is out of this world.
  • Sustainable farming tours.
  • A visit to the house of a very special Japanese mascot.
  • Going out to sea with local fisherman, trying the freshest sea food imaginable and then a massive barbeque with the fishermen of Minamisanriku.

The fishery experience is by far and away one of the best things to do in Tohoku. Slap on some massive rubber gloves and some rain gear before heading out in to Shizugawa Bay where you watch (and help if you want) professional fishermen harvest anything from scallops, fresh seaweed, oysters, clams, and even salmon. No tour will be like the last. The experienced fishermen will walk you through their process, show you how to open a fresh scallop or oyster, and then let you slurp and suck some down right on the boat. You couldn't ask for a more refreshing sample of some of Tohoku's finest seafood. If you are super lucky you'll get to try hoya​, a type of sea cucumber, which has an interesting surprise for your tongue, bring a bottle of water!

Coastal Tohoku is one of the most beautiful areas of Japan resembling such famous tourist destinations in California, like Big Sur, Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg. However, Tohoku is largely ignored by most travelers to Japan. To truly experience life in the coastal areas of Tohoku, the Earth Camp tour is a must. Simply staying at a hotel in the area and going out for seafood will never match the level of interaction and engagement you can get out of an Earth Camp tour. You don't just see the sights, you experience them. 

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Andrew Kehoe

Andrew Kehoe @andrew.kehoe

Andrew is the Co-owner and Co-Editor in Chief of easydistance.com which specializes in adventure stories, ESL teaching, cooking and arguing with his wife about syntax. “An easy distance, do you call it? It is nearly fifty miles.” “And what is fifty miles of good road? Little more than half a day’s journey. Yes, I call it a very easy distance.” – Jane Austen Andrew Kehoe is originally from Sacramento, CA. He has a degree in Government from California State University Sacramento, is TESOL certified and is currently teaching English at two different junior high schools in Japan. Andrew spent 8 years working in marketing after college for a large Fortune 500 company. Andrew is an avid sports fan, video game nerd, tech wiz (sort of), fashionista, indie movie lover, loves eating Shenandoah’s cooking, reader of Cormac McCarthy, barely functioning musician and poet. http://easydistance.com/

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