Miyagi Olle trail: walking towards the path of financial recovery.
The beginning of October saw the grand opening of the trail network Miyagi Olle in Miyagi prefecture of North-Eastern Honshu in Japan. Paths of Greece were invited to the opening ceremony and our representative, Sotiris Dimos, went there. As part of the opening ceremony, we hiked two of the trails and saw a sample of the beauty of Miyagi. The trails are relatively easy and go through deep vegetation of pine and bamboo, rice paddies but also the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. These are magical landscapes and very different from what we are used to here in the Mediterranean.
Despite its beauty, Miyagi prefecture has been on the news for other reasons. On the 11th of March 2011, a massive earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean 130 km East of Sendai – the capital of Miyagi – and it was recorded as a 9~9.1 magnitude on the Richter scale. The earthquake lasted 6 whole minutes. As a result, a destructive tsunami hit the Eastern coast of Japan, wreaking havoc up to 20 km inland. More than 15.000 people died, with 2.500 having been left missing. Coupled with the tragic incident at neighbouring Fukushima, the tsunami impacted the economy of Miyagi. In order to change this and bring Miyagi into a path of financial recovery, the region’s officials have invested into hiking tourism. The population of Miyagi has embraced this, as was evident by the large numbers of people who were present at the opening ceremony, which included representatives from South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Turkey and Greece.
Miyagi Olle is a trail network that was designed following the Olle Foundation criteria. The Olle Foundation is stationed in Jeju, South Korea in which the famous Jeju Olle trail network is located. For more information, visit the network’s webpage.