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Introduction to MORIUMIUS


Ogatsu is a place surrounded by forest and ocean. In this location a 93 year old school building with the same slate roof as Tokyo Station remains from a time when there were more children in the town, but sadly the Kuwahama primary school was closed in 2002. MORIUMIUS was envisaged to revitalize this building as a place where children can begin to learn again.
The Educational material we use for MORIUMIUS is Ogatsu itself. Communicating with local people who live in this natural environment is a wonderful experience for children spending time in MORIUMIUS. Our goal is to give children more encounters to develop their future and share new methods of education with the world. Our passion is to contribute to building a rich and varied society in this area, rebuilding Ogatsu and working together with the community.


Sustainability offers greater opportunities for the future of children and Ogatsu

The MORIUMIUS experience puts emphasis on the concept of sustainability. We live by receiving energy from air, water, food and trees created by nature. We collect food and prepare it to eat, any waste is given as food to farm animals, returning back into the earth and the water is recycled to help plants prosper. We hope that by living this lifestyle of natural circulation it teaches the importance of sustainability to children who visit MORIUMIUS and that Ogatsu has a special place in their heart. We believe that a bright future will open up for Ogatsu and the children that visit here.

A new form of education with diverse staff from different backgrounds

MORIUMIUS has been filled with the joyous sounds and smiles of children since it's opening on July 18th 2015. Many of the staff working with children here are local people, either ex pupils of Kuwahama primary school or originally from Ogatsu Town. Others have moved here from Tokyo, one young man traveled through eight countries in Asia before joining. There are also *JET English teachers who teach in Japanese schools, bringing in an international element. Each staff member uses their unique backgrounds to develop learning programs which support the children’s growth.
*The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations.

Local community and communication Creating the future of Ogatsu and Children

Ogatsu town once had a population of 4,300 until the Great East Japan Earthquake where over 1,000 lives were lost. The town is still in a process of reconstruction and recovery which local people are striving for. Especially around the Kuwahama area where Moriumius was reborn from what was once the Kuwahama primary school at the centre of Ogatsu town, home to many fishermen. You can experience the nature of Ogatsu and enjoy meeting the resilient local people. From here the future of Ogatsu and its children will be created.


North of Tohoku's largest river, the Kitakami runs through Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, on through the Kamadani tunnel towards Ishinomaki where you will find Ogatsu town. In this ria coastal town, the deep green mountains and rich blue sea lie very close to each other. There still remains a strong Japanese heritage of nature, culture and local activities in this town.

Rich Seasonal Seafood

Throughout the year Ogatsu is a rich fishing town, its bay has a deeply indented ria coastline which provides a suitable habitat for diverse species such as sea urchin, scallops, sea squirts and silver salmon. Abalone, oysters, sea cucumbers and seaweed are also harvested in these waters where it's possible to enjoy delicious fresh seafood throughout the year.

Encountering the Natural world

There are many types creatures living in the natural environment of Ogatsu. In streams running through MORIUMIUS you can find salamanders and around Ogatsu encounter many different birds and insects, together with wild dear who live in the woodlands.

Pride of Japan: Ogatsu stone

Since the Muromachi era of the 16th century the stone from Ogatsu has been used to make premium ink stones, essential for Japanese calligraphy. For more than 600 years this stone has been part of Japan's traditional craft heritage. Nowadays they are also used as roof slates on buildings such as the famous Tokyo Station in Marunouchi.


The school building was reborn through the work of experts and volunteers.

MORIUMIUS has been restored by many hands. Together with co-operative volunteers the number of people involved reached 5,000 over a period of two and a half years. Beginning with sweeping the mud caused by flooding from inside the school building, carpenters and other specialists lifted the building to straighten its twisted structure. Together, we have been working on the rebirth of the school every weekend.

The design was created to take advantage of the original wooden building structure by Japanese architects Kengo Kuma, Takaharu Tezuka and the design workshops of architecture students from Stanford University. This is how Kuwagama elementary school was reborn as MORIUMIUS.

Designing an interior space that provides a connection to the outside

The design of MORIUMIUS is created to be in harmony with nature and has been renovated using the original slate roof and wooden structure as its foundation. This building has been consciously made to connect with nature and retain a sense of openness. The atmosphere of the old Kuwahama primary school remains while still covering the essential aspects of comfort and safety that is expected of modern accommodation facilities.


Boys and girls bedrooms are all separated and made up of bunk beds. You can have a good night's sleep under huge skies filled with beautiful stars as you listen to the humming of insects outside. Shipwrights constructed the original school building, so to compliment this most of the furniture in Moriumius is made of wood.


Separated open air baths for boys and girls will relieve the tiredness of a hard days work. You're not only enjoying the pleasure of bathing, but also learning how to heat the water using a wood fire. Environmentally friendly bio-degradable body soap and shampoo are provided.

Dining Room & Garden Kitchen

The dining room where the children eat everyday is filled with natural sunlight and complimented with locally grown food such as freshly caught salmon and scallops from the sea together with mushrooms from the mountains behind. You can experience a real connection between your body, the forest and the sea. The large window area of the dining room has a thermal storage floor made from Ogatsu stone. It absorbs energy from sunlight during the day time and releases heat at night, creating a natural air conditioning system. Kitchen staff prepare a different menu each day from local ingredients and children can join them cooking in the garden kitchen. Children can bake pizza in the oven or cook rice in the furnace and also revise how to prepare scallops which they will have previously learnt at sea.

Bio Geo Filters

Most of our daily waste is recycled through our biotope (pond) where two rice fields are located to naturally filter the water. The water in the pond itself is clean, clear and without any odors. We call this system a Bio Geo Filter which naturally supports living creatures and plants.


Sustainable Learning Center MORIUMIUS LUSAIL

60 Kuwahama aza Kuwahama, Ogatsu, Ishinomaki, Miyagi 986-1313 Japan

A shuttle bus is available from & to Sendai Station & airport

・Time Table for the shuttle bus

[Outbound] Every Saturday JR Sendai Station 09:30
[RETURN] Every Saturday from MORIUMIUS 13:00
[RETURN] Every Sunday from MORIUMIUS 13:00
[RETURN FEE] ¥4,000 (+tax) per person
※You need to book in a dvance : Reservation only
※We will let you know where to meet by email a week before your arrival.

・How tto get to where the shuttle bus will be

[TRAIN] JR TOHOKU Bullet Train: Tokyo to Sendai Station (approx. 1.5hrs) [FLIGHT] Please fly to Sendai Airport