ASK MINAMISANRIKU

We are happy to help and guide you all the way!

MONEY

Q: How do I exchange currency in Minamisanriku?
Currency exchange is available at 77 Bank Shizugawa Branch (Monday – Friday  9am – 3pm).

Seven Eleven also allows usage of foreign credit/debit cards to withdraw Japanese Yen.

You can check out our map to see where they are located.

Q: How can I withdraw money? (ATM)
Withdrawal of money is available at the Seven-Eleven convenience stores. Japan’s Seven Bank, related to Seven-Eleven, accepts foreign-issued ATM and credit cards. Cards that apply are accepted for yen withdrawal (handling charges are applicable). Language options for the ATM screen and receipts include English, Korean, Chinese, and Portuguese.

Another option useful for travelers all over Japan is the Japan Post Bank. ATMs are located in most post offices, accept foreign-issued ATM and major credit cards, and have English menus. 

Virtually, no ATMs are open 24 hours a day in Japan, and withdrawals from foreign issued cards often must be made before 5:00pm.

You can check out our map to see where they are located.

GETTING AROUND

Q: I don’t have a car, but what are my options for getting around Minamisanriku?
The BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) bus as well as rental bicycles are not only inexpensive options but are memorable ways for getting around Minamisanriku. If you would like to take it easy and do not mind the cost, local taxis and car rental services are also available.

 

  • Kesennuma Line BRT (Bus)
    After a large section of the tracks and stations of the Kesennuma Line passing through Minamisanriku were damaged or completely washed away by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Japan Railway began the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in December 2011. Buses come about once an hour from 6am to past 9pm, with a total of 6 stops in town along Route 45.
  • Bike Rentals
    You can rent mountain bikes and EV bikes at 2 locations in Minamisanriku. Click here for details.
  • Taxi
    • Shizugawa Kanko Taxi: 0226-46-2132 (Japanese)
    • Utatsu Taxi: 0226-36-2021 (Japanese)
  • Car Rental
    • Shizugawa Mazda: 0226-46-2550 (Japanese)
Q: I have the JR East Pass, but can I use it to get to and around Minamisanriku?
Yes, The JR BRT lines go through Minamisanriku, and the JR East Pass can be used.

SAFETY

Q: Where do I go for medical needs in Minamisanriku?
The Shizugawa Public Hospital in Minamisanriku has a few friendly English speaking staff, but only on weekdays, so it is suggested you call and confirm availability in advance. There are also a few drugstores in town for over-the-counter medical needs.

 

  • Shizugawa Public Hospital: 0226-46-3646

(Numata 56-2 Shizugawa, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0700)

  • Utatsu Pharmacy: 0226-36-3374 (Japanese)

(Masuzawa 66-1 Utatsu, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0700)

  • Yakuodo (drugstore): 0226-46-5523 (Japanese)

(Gozenshita 13-1 Shizugawa, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0700)

 

You can check out our map to see where they are located.

Q: What do I do in case of an emergency?
1) The police can be reached by calling 110 or the local numbers listed below.

  • Minamisanriku Police Station: 0226-46-3131

(Numata 150-118 Shizugawa, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0700)

  • Iriya Police Substation: 0226-46-3631

(Kagamiishi 6-4 Iriya, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0782)

  • Utatsu (Temporary) Police Box: 0226-36-2110

(Masuzawa 28-1 Utatsu, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0700 *Heisei-no-mori)

  • Tokura (Temporary) Police Box: 0226-46-9110

(Sebonokuchi 21-2 Togura, Minamisanriku-chō, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 986-0781)

2) For non-criminal emergencies, the direct-dial free phone number is 119.

In the event of a medical emergency, you can reach the fire department at this number (in Japan, calls for emergency medical services are patched through from the 119 dispatch center in the fire department).

How to use the 110 and 119 emergency number:

  1. Dial the number on any phone (the call is free of charge from public and mobile phones)
  2. Describe clearly what has occurred
  3. Communicate the location and if possible, the address of the place where the emergency has occurred or is occurring

CLIMATE & SEASON

Q: When is the best season to visit Minamisanriku?
Typically, the most popular season to visit Minamisanriku is summer time, where the gentle sun is shining on your face, the ocean breeze is crisp (unlike muggy Tokyo summers) and the surrounding greenery is swaying in the wind. But don’t get us wrong, spring and autumn are amazing and just as popular times for tourism. The lowest time for tourism is during the winter months of December, January and February because of the cold season. Walking out into the morning breeze can be a good substitute to coffee; it’s sure to wake you up. Still, if you ask any local fishermen, you’ll learn the secret that the wintertime is the best time to be in Minamisanriku. Why? Absolute best tasting seafood, especially shellfish. Take oysters, which are on the milky and flabby slide in the warm summer months before they turn clear and firm as winter approaches.

Learn about some of the seasonal events the town excitedly invites you to join.

Learn about the food culture in Minamisanriku and find out what you can look forward to enjoy eating when you visit. 

 

Q: What is the temperature?
Record high 27 degrees celcius    / Record low  -3.5 degrees celcius  (as of 2015)
Q: What kind of clothing should I prepare?
Summer: Dress lightly, as summer time is warm. Hats are helpful to escape from the strong sunlight outdoors. A light long sleeve shirt or cardigan may come in handy when you are out in the sea breeze in the evening.

Winter: Thick  jackets or coats are a necessity; hats, scarves and gloves will come in very handy and will help you enjoy a better time outside. Winters are very cold in this region, especially by the coast with the sea breeze. However, most indoor facilities such as hotels and restaurants are heated, so it will be a good idea to include these stops in your itinerary for a break from the cold.

Spring and Fall: A light coat or sweater should be appropriate. You can expect mild temperatures but some days colder, with rainy season each year.

Other tips: Especially if you are thinking of cycling or enjoying other nature activities such as fishing and farming, it is best you bring rain gear with you (such as rain jacket and pants) so that the slightest rain will not have to interfere with your special one and only experience!

Talk to us!

Please tell us any specific dates, number of people, interested activities and/or lodging for your visit to Minamisanriku. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have as well!

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