AreaSanriku Coast

Sea-to-Table in Kesennuma

Learn about the production of fine seafood and sake

Take a peek behind the curtain and learn about the production of fine seafood and sake. Tour a fish market and auction, experience an oyster farm, and visit a sake brewery. Then, enjoy these delicacies affordably by dining local, at lunch spots and izakaya pubs near their centers of production.

  • Start
  • 1Wake up early

    Fish markets are at their most lively and interesting at the crack of dawn, but the early hour is somewhat inconvenient. Unless you fancy driving through the predawn darkness, it’s best to spend the night near the market.

    Fortunately, Kesennuma has ample lodging available, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. One accommodation that's both convenient and destination-worthy is Kesennuma Plaza Hotel (気仙沼プラザホテル), a hot springs hotel located just a fifteen-minute walk from the market.
    Walk15 min.

    26:00 Observe a fish auction and tour a wholesale fish market

    Prime time at the fish market starts at around 6 a.m. From that time on, visitors can freely observe the fishermen's routine and the fish auction from a balcony suspended above the trading floor. For an in-depth explanation of and more intimate encounter with the action taking place, sign up for a guided tour. Guided tours are offered from 8:30 a.m. (reservation required for English tours).
    Walk12 min.

    39:00 Breakfast at K-Port

    After the tour, reward yourself for waking up so early with breakfast at K-Port. This popular cafe was founded by actor Ken Watanabe with locals as part of his effort to help the area recover from the 2011 tsunami. No matter where he is in the world, he faxes the restaurant a heartfelt message every day, posted for all to see! Food-wise, K-Port serves comfort foods like pizza, curry rice, and zenzai (sweet red bean soup).
    Walk10 min.

    410:15 Sake brewery tour at Otokoyama Honten

    Otokoyama Hoten is a hundred-plus year old brewery that managed to survive the 2011 earthquake thanks to the help of the community. Tour the brewery to learn how sake is made, then do a tasting to experience the fine flavors their fermentation methods produce.
    Walk8 min.

    511:40 Ferry to Oshima Island

    Head to Ace Port エースポート and purchase ferry tickets to Oshima Island. Ferry schedule 410 yen for adults (each way)
    Boat20 min.

    612:00 Oshima Island

    On Oshima Island, you can get around by rental cycle (available from the tourism association near the ferry pier), walking, taxi, or infrequent municipal bus.
    Walk20 min.

    712:30 Lunch at Tairyomaru

    Walk 20 min. (or take a 3-min. taxi ride) to Tairyomaru, a family-style restaurant run by a local fisherman which serves only the freshest fare. Be sure to make a reservation in advance (090-7562-3515). Map

    8Explore the island

    Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the island. Walk along the sandy beach at Kodanohama. Alternatively, hike to the top of Mt. Kameyama for a 360 degree view of the city, island and ocean (~1 hr. by foot from Tairyomaru)
    Boat20 min.

    9Return to downtown Kesennuma by boat

    Return to Uranohama Port and take a return ferry. Recommended departure times include 15:20, 16:20 and 17:30. Ferry schedule
    410 yen for adults (each way)
    Walk9 min.

    10Seafood and sake dinner in Kesennuma

    Walk from the ferry pier to the restaurant. Savor everything you've learned at Izakaya Pinpon. Let your newfound knowledge complement the delicious seafood and sake here.
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