Photo by Kesennuma Tourism and Convention Bureau

Photo by Rebecca Gade

Photo by Rebecca Gade

  • Iwaisaki is a rocky cape situated at a point along the Kesennuma coast where the wind always seems to be blowing. At the tip of the cape, rocks are gathered in such a way as to create a natural shiofuki geyser-like spray when the waves crash against them. The area was hit hard by the 2011 tsunami, but Iwaisaki has since become a symbol of Kesennuma’s resilience.

    While many of the cape’s pines were lost to the tsunami, one of the few left standing emerged from the tsunami miraculously twisted into the shape of a dragon. It has since been preserved and named Ryu no Matsu (lit. “Dragon Pine”) in honor of its distinctive shape. The cape’s statue of Edo-era yokozuna sumo wrestler Hidenoyama Raigoro also remained untoppled, still pointing toward the capitol where he used to compete.

    Salt making used to be a common occupation in the Iwaisaki area, a tradition that visitors can explore here at the Salt Making Experience Facility (岩井崎塩づくり体験館). Visitors can try their hand at making their own natural salt from real seawater, an edible and long-lasting souvenir you can take home and cook with. Because even minor differences in things like stirring speed result in noticeable variations in the final product, the appearance and flavor of the handmade salt is unique to each individual.

    Local Voice

    Cape Iwaisaki is also home to some nice local festivals, like the Tengata Kite Festival in May, where kite flyers from around the world gather to take advantage of the strong wind. The cape is also a popular spot on New Year’s Day for watching the first sunrise of the year. Kotohira Shrine is right next door to the cape, so you can do your first shrine visit of the year here too! Best of luck with the mochi toss!

  • Last Update
    March 17, 2020

    Area Sanriku Coast



Hajikami-iwaisaki, Kesennuma-shi, Miyagi-ken 988-0241


30-minute walk from Rikuzen-Hashikami Station (Kesennuma BRT LIne)


Cape: Free
Salt-making experience: ¥500


Salt-making experience: Limited English


Cape: Yes
Salt-making experience: The inside is completely wheelchair accessible. There are a few short steps outside.


Cape: Always open but unlit at night
Salt-making experience: 9:00–16:00


Cape: None
Salt-making experience: Wednesdays