We recommend at least 60-90 mins, and for a more complete experience, 120 mins.
Exhibits (many other exhibits are also on display)
Exhibition Hall (Gym)
This building was originally the school gym. Partially refurbished, it includes exhibits showing an overview of the damaged caused to Ishinomaki City by the 3.11 disaster, tsunami-damaged vehicles, and actual temporary prefab housing units built for the homeless after the disaster. The flooring is the original gym flooring.
Ruined School Building
Unique among all the tsunami-damaged ruins in the disaster area, the main school building was damage not only by the tsunami, but also by a tsunami-caused fire. The 1st floor shows damage from both the tsunami and the fire, and the 2nd & 3rd floors are damaged exclusively by the fire.
The fire puts a focus on the potential dangers of ‘vertical evacuation’ (evacuating to the upper floors of a building).
Exhibition Hall (2nd School Building)
– Passing Down Our Memories –
The various experiences of people who went through the disaster are expressed in a series of poems and paintings compiled by the curator in charge of the exhibits. This gives the visitor an opportunity to reappraise their own lives through the mirror of lessons learned from 3.11.
Exhibition Hall (2nd School Building) 3rd Floor
– Memories of Kadonowaki Elementary School –
Displays on the school itself and the surrounding area depict the history of the school from its founding to its closure.
There is also information on what led to the swift and effective evacuation of the students before the tsunami flooded in.
Exhibition Hall (2nd School Building) 2nd Floor
– The Ishinomaki Plain & Giant Tsunamis –
Subterranean research (actual samples on display) showing that the Ishinomaki plain has in the past repeatedly been flooded by huge tsunamis. Also explained in English on monitor screens.
There is also a projection mapping display showing the location and scale (magnitude over 3.0) of earthquakes in and around the whole of Japan between 2000 & 2021, giving an easy visual reference for the frequency of such disasters.
Library Corner/Rest Area
The library corner offers a selection of books for reading about the disaster and the concept of life. There is also a message board with event information and newspaper clippings, and a video monitor introducing the school and Ishinomaki City from the disaster to the present day.
Vending machines are available to buy drinks. The whole rest area can be used free of charge.
Open 9:00 – 17:00 (last entry 16:00)
※November～January／last entry 15:30
Special Open Days
11th of every month, June 12, Sep 1, Nov 5
※If special open day is a Monday, closed the following day
Mondays (or next day if Monday is a holiday)
Dec 29 – Jan 3
|Individual||Group of 20 or more (per person)||Yearlong Passport|
|Junior High, Elementary||¥200||¥100||¥500|
- Free entrance for disability certificate holders
English availability at Kadonowaki Elementary School
- Exhibit explanations are in Japanese, some accompanied by English. Videos have English subtitles.
- Multi-lingual tablets with extensive exhibit information are available for rental at ￥200 each (languages offered: English, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), Korean, Japanese).
- Guided tours can be provided in English, by a native speaker in certain instances.
For guided tours, reservation is necessary. Please contact the mail address below at least one week in advance.
- From Sendai: 70 mins using Sanriku Expressway
- Nearest Expressway exits: 15 mins from Exit 10 Ishiinomakiko, Exit 11 Ishinomaki-Kanan
- Parking: 32 spaces, 3 accessible spaces, no parking for buses but 2 drop-off/pick-up spaces
※Bus parking: buses are requested to use the nearby parking areas in Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Memorial Park.
12 mins from Ishinomaki Station, bus stop 2, Yamashita-Kadonowaki route, get off at Kadonowaki Yon-choume
10 mins from Ishinomaki Station
By bicycle (& bicycle rental)
15 mins from Ishinomaki Station
Bicycles are available for rental from ¥600 at Ishinomaki City Hall 1F, Ishinomaki Grand Hotel and Ishinomaki Tourist Board.
Video is not permitted. Photographs can be taken anywhere except where there is a “Don’t Take Photographs” mark.
Eating & drinking is only permitted in the rest area.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the grounds, inside or outside.
There are drop-off/pick-up spaces for buses at the facility, but no parking. Buses are requested to use the nearby bus parking in Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Memorial Park.
Some English information is included in the exhibit explanations, and most video presentations have English subtitles. Multi-lingual tablet guides are available for rental ( ¥200 per tablet) offering information in Japanese, English, Chinese (traditional & simplified) and Korean). The British-born director can give guided tours in English (requires prior reservation one week or more in advance and an extra fee in addition to entrance).
The gym and the 2nd school building are remodeled versions of the original buildings from before the disaster.
There are restrooms, drinks vending machines, a rest area with tables and chairs, and also a library corner.
The Miyagi 3.11 Tsunami Disaster Memorial Museum is in Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Memorial Park, and the resource center MEET Kadonowaki is near the school.