A town with marine and mountain sports
Situated in the middle part of the Iwate coastline, the main industry of Otsuchi-Town is fishing. A salt-preserved salmon delicacy called Aramakizake is one of the most well-known products of Otsuchi. Air-drying salmon after removing their guts for Aramakizake production has become a winter tradition in the town.
Also blessed with vast stretches of forests, mountains and rivers, Otsuchi-Town is a beach town with a rich natural environment providing many popular spots to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Among them are Namiita Beach, known as a surfing mecca; mountain climbing on the 1,000 meter high mountain Niiyamakogen; and Kujirayama trail, known for its legends related to whales. These are some of the most popular spots among outdoor sports aficionados.
In 2018, the Otsuchi Town Cultural Exchange Center opened in the town’s central area, the Oshachi district. Nicknamed Oshacchi, this facility consists of a hall, a library, a co-working space and meeting rooms and has become an exchange hub where people from the town and from out-of-town can come together and interact with each other.
Robust folk performing arts culture brought about by a wealthy local merchant
Stories of Maekawa Zenbee (also known as Kirikiri Zenbee), a wealthy local merchant who played a big role in the industrial economic development of the Sanriku and Morioka Nanbu domain in the Edo period, are an integral part of the history of Otsuchi-Town. Zenbee, who is often called Kinokuniya Bunzaemon of Michinoku (Kinokuniya Bunzaemon was one of the most prosperous and well-known merchants in Japan during the Edo period), brought folk performing arts such as Toramai to the town and enhanced the local culinary culture through his trade. These traditions are still alive and practiced in the town.
The folk performing arts of Otsuchi include Kagura, Daikagura, Shishiodori, Toramai and other folk performing arts called Furyugei. These traditions are currently preserved by 21 organizations. The most important activity for these organizations is performing dedications to the local sacred places such as Otsuchi Inari Shrine, Kozuchi Shrine and other local Inari shrines during the festivals. Some of the folk performing arts are designated as “Chojirushi,” which are symbolic performances used to cleanse the path ahead of the Mikoshi (portable shrines) and protect them as they pass by. The distinctive roles of the folk perfoming arts in this fishing town might also have their origins in the prayers through which the townspeople expressed their respect for nature.
Otsuchi Town Cultural Exchange Center（Nicknamed Oshacchi）
The Otsuchi Town Cultural Exchange Center was created by combining a library, the Oshachi Fureai Center and other facilities that used to be located in and around the Oshachi district, the central district of Otsuchi-Town, before they were destroyed by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Center has a hall on the first floor, music departments and meeting rooms on the second floor, and a library on the third floor. It also has Japanese style rooms, meeting rooms with kitchen facilities and practice rooms. All are available for use by the general public.
Address| 1-15 Suehirocho, Otsuchi-cho, Kamihei-gun, Iwate 028-1117Japan
Phone| +81 (0)193-27-5181
Otsuchi Station (Facility for Tourism Exchange at Otsuchi Station)
Otsuchi Station was rebuilt after being damaged by the tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It has an exterior design inspired by Horaijima, a sacred island located in Otsuchi Bay. Reopened in March 2019, it has a monument commemorating a poem called “Ryotei Genso (Journey of the Imagination)” by poet and children’s book author Miyazawa Kenji. It is believed that he wrote this poem after being inspired by the scenery of Otsuchi-Town.
Address| 1-1 Honcho, Otsuchi-cho, Kamihei-gun, Iwate,028-1116,Japan(Otsuchi-cho Tourism Exchange Association)
Phone| +81 (0)193-42-5121
Otsuchi-cho Tourism Exchange Association