Hello, and welcome to the Michinoku Trail Club website’s English blog. I am Anna, your sometimes English blog writer and part time translator of Michinoku Trail Club/Michinoku Coastal Trail related materials.
The theme for this the first blog entry is: come to Natori Trail Center!
Would you enjoy sitting in comfortable chairs in a quiet, air-conditioned, not crowded place with plenty of free electric outlets to do your remote work, study, or hang out and relax? Natori Trail Center is the place for you!
Natori Trail Center is in Yuriage, Natori.
Coming from Sendai via public transport is relatively simple: take a train from Sendai Station to Natori Station.
Go to the bus stop in front of the east side of Natori Station, take one of the two bus lines either going to Natori Trail Center or very nearby, and you’re there!
What’s so great about Natori Trail Center?
- No fee for entrance
- Usually very quiet and not crowded, especially on weekdays
- Free wifi
- Free electric outlets
- Comfortable chairs
- Cool (air conditioned) in summer, warm (heating and wood stove on weekends) in winter
- Neighboring campground
- Showers at the center
- Coin operated laundry machines
- Small outdoor goods shop
- Books about Tohoku, hiking, long distance trails and the outdoors to flip through (small selection of English materials too, including PCT/AT maps and guide books)
- Vending machine including small selection of snacks (potato chips, cookies, etc)
- You do not have to be into hiking or intend to hike the Michinoku Coastal Trail to use this facility
Sample schedule for a weekday
(except not Tuesdays! On Tuesdays NTC is closed)
Take the 8:31 train from Sendai Station, arriving in Natori Station at 8:45, then take the 9:00 Yuriage line bus arriving in front of Natori Trail Center at 9:18.
Spend the morning getting some work done, then walk to lunch.
For lunch, how about the restaurant Natori Cycle Sports Center, visible right nearby? Spend all the time you want in front of the meal ticket machine trying to decide between curry versus spaghetti versus hamburgers. There are takeout options as well.
If it’s Wednesday, unfortunately the Cycle Sports Center is closed, but you could get a nice seafood rice bowl at nearby Maple Hall or take a 20 minute walk north to Kawamachi Terrace for a much wider selection of shops.
In the afternoon, you can do round two of work, or just relax.
Natori Trail Center closes at 4:00 PM in the winter, from December to March, and at 5:00 PM between April and November, so in the summer you could take the 4:33 PM bus leaving from Natori Trail Center, or if you missed that, the 5:29 PM bus learning from nearby Shinsai Memorial Koen.
Or! If you’re feeling adventurous, brought a tent/car, and made a reservation, you could just move to your spot on the campground! There are both auto campground spots and a tent camping area at Natori Trail Center.
For dinner at the campground you could make a meal of food you brought with you, and/or supplement with a pack of ramen you bought from the trail center. Drinks could be beer from the nearby Miyagi Microbrewery or sake from Sasaki Brewery. And if you’d like a nice relaxing soak in a hot springs, you could even pop back over to Natori Cycle Sports center to try the onsen, which is open until 8 pm.
Come to Natori Trail Center!
It is clean. It is comfy. It is underutilized. The chairs are lonely. “Come sit on us,” they are saying in plaintive chair little voices. “Relax in Yuriage.”
See this English page for more info about Yuriage with a printable English map of the area:
Enjoy and be safe
When you come visit Natori Trail Center (or go to any coastal area in general) it’s always good to keep tsunamis in mind.
If there’s a major earthquake or you get word of a tsunami advisory or warning, evacuate first, ask questions later! The closest shelter to Natori Trail Center is Yuriage Chuo Danchi. Exit Natori Trail Center, turn right, and head for the taller apartment buildings to the north. Use the emergency stairs, and go to the roof.
The other main thing to keep in mind is this can be a pretty windy area depending on the season/bad luck of the draw, and there aren’t many trees and buildings around to block the wind. So, if you make a reservation at the campground, keep in mind there’s a possibility it could be very windy and hard to set up your tent.