Watari is a warm town located by the sea, in the south of Miyagi Prefecture. Surrounded by sea and mountains, people here lived peaceful lives. The Great East Japan Earthquake transformed the appearance of this quiet town, when a tsunami of unimaginable force destroyed industries and communities.
Despite the many high obstacles it faced, the town of Watari is now undergoing a revival. The sight of the town facing and working to overcome its challenges will surely give courage to Japan and to the world.
Enjoy Watari was born from that feeling. We hope you will feel the power of reconstruction through the town’s experience programs and local cuisine. We hope Watari’s phoenix-like revival will provide some hope to you and your town’s future.
Forest development work experience for coastal forest restoration
Before the disaster, Watari had approximately 120 hectares of Japanese black pine coastal forest. We hope to regenerate this abundant forest, which has long supported the lives and agriculture of local residents. In line with that wish, this program assists with tree management through the Watari Green Belt Project that engages in ongoing activities.
A new specialty of Watari! Peanut harvest experience /September to October
To sustain the coastal forest restoration project, stable sources of income are required. Peanuts are expected to serve as a foothold for the organization’s self-support. In this program, you can try your hand at harvesting peanuts, which are expected to become a new specialty product of Watari.
Experience making accessories from kimono fabric in a cafe (two-way button badge)
Watalis works to upcycle old kimonos into cute accessories. In this workshop, choose your favorite fabric from the colorful kimonos and create a one-of-a-kind button badge.
Experience making accessories from kimono fabric in a cafe (kimono key holder)
Kimono patterns are imbued with people’s wishes. Good health, good luck, protection from evil spirits, improvement of skills, and so forth. Learning the meanings behind the showy patterns also leads to knowing the wearers’ wishes for happiness. Encounter the history of Watari while making a key holder from kimono fabric.
Wadaiko drum experience in Watari
Watalis is active in the tsunami-damaged town of Watari. Tabidaiko, based in the town of Marumori, was damaged by flooding in a typhoon. In this program, two organizations have collaborated; recovery and revitalization are their keywords.
Watari Onsen Torinoumi
Soak in an open-air bath and look over the Pacific Ocean . . .
Such paradise-like spots do exist! Relax in the hot springs, enjoy a leisurely stay overnight and watch the stars from your room, relax in a day bath, or spend time in a restaurant overlooking the coast. Spend time as you like in Watari.
Autumn in Watari means harakomeshi! This is a local dish with plentiful cuts of salmon and roe on soy sauce-flavored rice steeped in salmon broth. Savor a local flavor popularized by Date Masamune.
When was the last time you had strawberries from Watari? Strawberries were a specialty of Watari before the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the industry has rebounded from the disaster, becoming even more prosperous. Sweet and sour gems created through the spirit of farmers, their deliciousness will keep your hands moving.
Torinoumi Fureai Market
Before the tsunami, Torinoumi was lined with shops and booths. Although the number of establishments has decreased, activity is returning and is centered on the Torinoumi Fureai Market. If you want to check out specialty products and souvenirs, this is definitely the place to go.
Okuma Fureai Center
Peeking into supermarkets at your destination is another pleasure of traveling. For a sense of that feeling in Watari, head to the Okuma Fureai Center. At the direct sales outlet operated by JA Miyagi Watari, you can find not only vegetables picked that morning but also foodstuffs prepared by local residents.