Stories From Within MONOGATARI

Presented by BOUNDLESS

Ishinomaki 石巻


Emerging from the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that left the city in ruins, Ishinomaki is now reborn into a city of novel innovations, brimming with fresh ideas of unorthodox businesses. Situated along the Pacific Ocean coasts, Ishinomaki is home to one of the world’s three largest fishing grounds, where the warm and cold currents clash to produce a platter of fresh seafood. Hop onto a fishing boat off the coasts of Oshika peninsula into the wilderness, learn about oyster breeding and how Fisherman Japan is leading the way to transform the fishing industry with IT and design. Meet the team of craftsman from Ishinomaki Lab who will guide you to make your own DIY souvenir from wooden blocks. Sally forth to a brand new world tucked in rich nature, fresh seafood and a sprinkling of refreshing innovations.


Ishinomaki Lab

Meet the team of carpenters who engaged in spreading the DIY skills after the disaster, and found out the importance of space arrangement for re-creating the bonds within the community. Challenge yourself, embrace the DIY spirit and take a souvenir home!

Fisherman Japan

Join local fishermen at Oshika Peninsula, witness and learn about oyster breeding from the fishing boat. Be inspired by the latest innovations and digitalization of the fishing industry.

IRORI cafe

IRORI cafe is a multi-purpose cafe and common space for citizens in Ishinomaki. It was opened by Ishinomaki 2.0- a community based organization that sprung up from an initiatives by the locals after the Great East Japan Earthquake.


Onagawa is one of the towns most severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. It lost approximately 8% of its popuation and more than 50% of its central district was completely destroyed by the tsunami. However, it is now brimming with new and unorthodox businesses including Spanish tiles, cardboard accessories and aroma soaps.

Ishinomaki Community and Info Center

Learn in detail about Ishinomaki before and after the disaster. Watch the photographs, recorded videos, and listen to the people who experienced the catastrophe.

*We work closely and directly with our local coordinators to ensure that our presence in the local region does not pose as a threat to the natural environments nor a nuisance to the local communities. As such, we have a limit to the number of participants for each trip. Our established relationship of trust with the locals is the foundation of our activities that are designed to benefit both the locals and the visitors.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Please note that the following tentative schedule is subject to changes without advance notice.


9:20 Meet at Ishinomaki Station

9:30 – 10:30 Ishinomaki Community and Info Centre

10:30 – 11:30 Hiyoriyama- Climb up the hill that overlooks Kadowaki and Minamihama, the worst affected areas by the tsunami.

11:30 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:00 IRORI Cafe- Learn about Ishinomaki 2.0.

14:30 – 14:52 Leave for Ishinomaki Lab (By bus)

15:00 – 18:30 Introduction and Workshop by Ishinomaki Lab. Learn about the innovation and story behind Ishinomaki Lab. Try out hands-on DIY and make your own unique souvenir!

19:27 – 19:38 Back to Ishinomaki (By train)

20:00 – Dinner

Day 2

08:00 Gather

08:35 – 09:29 Bus for Oginohama

09:30 – 14:00 Fisherman Japan Experience (including lunch). Hop onto the fishing boat to witness how oyster breeding is done, and learn about how Fisherman Japan is revolutionizing the fishing industry with IT and design!

14:42 – 15:31 Back to Ishinomaki

16:00 – 17:00 Discussion at Kankeimaru (Ishinomaki’s oldest department store)- We will be sitting down together with a local organization in charge of Kankeimaru, and think of ideas on how it can be reutilized. Contribute your ideas and write a new page in the history of Ishinomaki!

17:00 End

For those who wish to stay on

17:00 – 18:00 Tour around Ishinomaki (Common Ship/ Funade etc.)

18:00 Dinner

Day 3

Trip to Onagawa
Visit the nearby town that is recognized for its outstanding pace of reconstruction, despite being one of the regions the most severely affected by the disaster. Feel the good vibe at Sea Pal Pier promenade, purchase original souvenirs such as the colorful Spanish tiles or hand-made organic soap.

Below are some places we will visit:

Damborghini: Damborghini is one of the new businesses that sprung up after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The owner used to be an employee of a packaging company that deals with cardboards. He thought of making the best out of the seemingly dull cardboards, and started making simple objects such as beetles and little cars. He also had a dream of owning a Lambourghini, so he constructed his unique Lambourghini out of cardboard. It was a hard, several months long work with a team of six, but he successfully fullfilled his dream, and gave a name to the new entrepreneurship (“Dambo” is cardboard in Japanese). He is now an iconic figure in Onagawa, who has won the support of many locals and outsiders for his eccentric tastes and passion. And eventually, he managed to purchase a real Lambourghini!

Onagawa Spanish Tiles: After the Great East Japan Earthquake, some Onagawa’s citizens had the opportunity to visit Spain as a part of a cultural exchange program. They visited a town in Galicia along the Atlantic coasts of Spain, which has similar cultural and geographical features with Onagawa. The founder of Onagawa Spanish Tiles fell in love with the ceramic tiles produced there, and decided to bring them back to her hometown. Since then, she established her own business to sell colorful spanish tiles in Onagawa. Her dream is to paint Onagawa with vibrant colors and brighten up the town. The company sells a wide variety of items ranging from clocks, accessories and aroma tiles, all made from the Spanish ceramics. Visitors can also paint their own tiles – one for themselves as a souvenir, and one for the town, to contribute to its new, artistic side.

Sanriku Soap Studio Kuriya: Kuriya is a soap factory and shop that produces beautifully crafted soaps made from only local resources, such as mugwort, rice, silk, bamboo or charcoal. The soap cubes are designed in a way to combine simplicity with a whole myriad of colors. Step into the shop and savor the potpourri of fragrances of the craft soap. 

Activity Date: September 3 ~ 7, 2019


Please note that the activity price does not include transportation to/ within Ishinomaki or daily meal expenses. We can arrange free accommodation for you at a local guest house. Please let us know in the booking form. 

* Please note that this activity will only take place with a minimum of 5 participants.
In the event that we have less than 5 paticipants, the activity will be cancelled.

Cancellation Policy
You can get a full refund with no cancellation charges incurred, if you cancel earlier than 30 days before the activity date.

A cancellation charge equivalent to half the participation fee will be incurred if you cancel earlier than 15 days before the activity date.

There will be no refunds if you cancel later than 14 days before the activity date.

We are working with Ishinomaki's Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) who is in charge of the coordination and reservation of accommodation facilities and transportation.

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