With around 70,000 pine trees lining the coastline, Takata Matsubara was once known as a beautiful spot of white sand and green pines. Although almost every pine tree was washed away by the tsunami from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, a single pine tree near the western edge of the pine forest survived. The old tree was about 27.5 m tall and close to 170 years old. Its lone and solemn silhouette gradually became known as the Miracle Pine Tree. Unfortunately in 2012 the tree was found dead from seawater damage, but the city decided on a conservation project. Right now a replica of the tree remains as a monument.
To get to the tree, there is a pedestrian path from Ipponmatsu Chaya, a sightseeing and souvenir shop near the tree, that gives you access to the spot just below it. The tree is lit up from dusk to 9:00 p.m., but it is closed until mid-September 2019 for construction work, so go and see the tree from the opposite bank. Nearby, the Takata Matsubara Tsunami Recovery Memorial Park is set to open in fall 2019, giving you the opportunity to see the Miracle Pine Tree, Iwate TSUNAMI Memorial Museum, Michinoeki-Takata-Matsubara (a roadside sightseeing spot), the former school building of Kesen Junior High School, and other remains of the earthquake.
Rikuzentakata City Hall, 176-6 Sunamori, Kesen Town, Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture, 029-2204
- Nearest Station
･ Ofunato Line
･ Kesen-numa Line
30 minutes by bus
- Phone Number
0192-54-2111Available languagesonly in Japanese