A prayer for safety — afternoon
Kamaishi is a steel-producing hub and was the site of Japan’s first Western-style blast furnace. The Kamaishi City Iron and Steel History Museum (Odairacho 3-12-7, Kamaishi) offers a more detailed history, but start your trip with a view over Kamaishi and the bay from Kamaishi Daikannon temple (Odairacho 3-9-1, Kamaishi), where there is a 48.5-meter-tall statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy.
Built on the Kamasaki Peninsula to the south of the city, the statue looks out to sea, wishing a safe voyage and a bountiful catch to Kamaishi’s fisherman. Pay ¥500 to climb the statue for the best view of the bay.
Remembering the earthquake — afternoon
From Daikannon, head north to the Unosumai district of Kamaishi. Seventy percent of the houses in the area were destroyed by the 2011 tsunami and over 580 people lost their lives here, but it is the site of the newly built Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium (Unosumaicho 18-5-1, Kamaishi), which will host two games for the Rugby World Cup.
The stadium is built on the former site of an elementary and junior high school, on a strip of land next to the estuary of the Unosumai River and behind a vast sea wall — again newly built. Across the road from the stadium is Kamaishi Inori no Park (Dai 16 Chiwari-71-2, Unosumaicho, Kamaishi), a memorial site to those who lost their lives to the earthquake.
New restaurants, old favorites — dinner
Uogashi Terrace opened in April 2019 as a harborside development in central Kamaishi, and features four new restaurants and cafes. For dinner, stop at Shogoru (Uogashi 3-3, Kamaishi), which has a diverse menu of seafood dishes. The special don (rice bowl) features high-quality cuts of sashimi from the nearby fish market, and a healthy serving of uni (sea urchin), one of the region’s specialities.
Closer to the center of town, visit the local izakaya taverns such as Isaribi (Omachi 1-9-5, Kamaishi), or Mami or Bec’k in the Kamariba bar and restaurant hub (Omachi 1-3-9, Kamaishi), for lighter snacks and a good selection of regionally produced sake.
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