Safety

Here`s a non-comprehensive list of what occurs to me in terms of safety precautions, but of course you are responsible for your own safety. Check out the safety section of a trusted travel guide to Japan.

Potential Dangers on Trail: The official maps are marked with little exclamation points with inside yellow triangles. Some of these are because the trail is on a regular road, with car traffic. Others are because you can`t go through during high tide, or because an area is other construction. I have only translated some of these points. You need to confirm what these warnings mean before you start your hike.
*If you feel like the trail is going somewhere that looks dangerous, or if you don`t feel comfortable walking somewhere, don`t do it!*

Tsunamis: The Michinoku Shiokaze trail is on the coast, so this is also a high priority for safety. While on the trail, keep an eye out for signs showing you where to evacuate in case of a tsunami. If there is a strong earthquake, quickly and calmly move away from the sea to higher ground. Do not wait for orders to evacuate.

Earthquakes: In the event of an earthquake, if you`re inside, stay calm and hide underneath a table away from heavy things that might fall on you. When the earthquake calms down, turn off any sources of flame and go outside.
If you`re outside, stay calm, cover your head, and stay away from things that could fall on you like electric lines.

Not Getting Lost: Take thee the official maps, and a compass, and a cell phone, and a cell phone charger. And look at the route before you go by checking out the PDFs, the online detailed map, and maybe comparing that with Google street view.

Not Having Awkward Encounters with Bears: Mister Tsukinowa bear does not want to meet you. It wants to live peacefully in the woods nibbling on berries. In order to deter Mister Bear from accidentally running into you, wear a bell or a radio and hike in a group when possible.

Safety Precautions: I recommend printing out and carrying this disaster preparedness booklet and the emergency contact card at the bottom of this page. Also keep the phone number for AMDA International Medical Center on you, because they can interpret for you in a medical emergency.

About Radiation: If the fact that many people live, work and play in Tohoku is not enough to alleviate your concerns, I recommend you talk to a representative of the Japan National Tourism Organization or go to a JNTO Tourist Information Office near you. Also check trusted travel sources like Lonely Planet. If you are still not comfortable coming after checking with trustworthy sources of information, then please don`t come. 

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