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  • Iwate Museum of Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Motomiya Matsuhaba 12-3
    This art museum that opened in 2001 is located in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. Paintings and sculptures by artists related to Iwate Prefecture, such as Tetsugoro Yorozu, Shunsuke Matsumoto and Yasutake Funakoshi are on display. In addition, in the permanent exhibition, commentaries by volunteers, collection talk events and other events are regularly held, drawing many tourists to the museum.
  • Chuson-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Koromonoseki 202
    This temple was reportedly founded in 850 by Jikaku Daishi, a monk associated with Enryaku-ji Temple in Hieizan (Mt. Hiei). Fujiwara Kiyohira is said to have laid the substantial foundation of the temple. Sights on the premises include the Konjikido, which has been designated as a National Treasure, and the Sankozo, which houses a collection of more than 3,000 cultural properties left by the Oshu Fujiwara lords. In 2011 the cultural heritage of Hiraizumi including Chuson-ji Temple was registered as a World Heritage Site.
  • Geto Kogen Resort
    16 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Kitakamishi Wagachouiwasakishinden
    This is a ski resort in Kitakami City Iwate Prefecture. The resort has one of the richest snowfalls in the Tohoku region and skiers can enjoy a long season of powder snow. Every year many visitors come to the resort from both within and outside the prefecture. There are a total of 14 unique slopes. For skiers who love powder snow we recommend the non-compacted snow course where the best powder snow can be enjoyed during snowy weather. There is a food court which offers a wide selection such as curry and ramen noodles rental shops and a childcare facility. Also there is a large outdoor natural hot spring bath called the “Usagimori no yu” and it is pleasing to have many facilities in one complex.

    Because of its inconvenient location from Tokyo or other large metropolises, the lines are short and lift tickets cheap. Not only that, but it's a big mountain with two(!) gondola lifts and other...

  • Koiwai Farm
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Iwategunshizukuishichou Maruyachi 36-1
    A spacious, 3,000 hectare farm, one of the largest in Japan, located in the southern foot of Mt. Iwate. In addition to a horse riding facility and sheep field, the farm’s tourist area is dotted with attractions children and adults can enjoy. Many of the farm’s structures are historically important, and 21 of the farm’s buildings, including the office and storehouse, built between the Meiji and early Showa periods, were designated Important Cultural Properties in 2017. Visitors who take part in the guided Cultural Property Tour can view some of these Cultural Properties.
  • Ryusendo Cave
    186 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Shimoheiguniwaizumichou Iwaizumi Kannari 1-1
    This massive limestone cave is one of Japan’s three largest, and is designated a National Natural Monument. The cave is over 5,000 meters long overall, and hosts eight underground lakes that are among the clearest in the world. The color of the water, called Dragon Blue, is astonishing and the mystical sight is worth visiting. A 700 meter walking route in the cave and three of the eight lakes are open to the public. One section of the trail is barrier-free, with full wheelchair access. The limestone filtered water has been named one of Japan’s top 100 waters, and is available to drink at the cave entrance.

    It was really an amazing sight. Deep in the cave the depth of the cave goes as deep as 95 over meters. The limestones has all kinds of structures. Also the cave is long and deep yet the bats can...

  • Morioka Hachimangu Shrine
    68 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Hachimanchou 13-1
    Morioka Hachimangu Shrine was built in 1680 by the 29th feudal lord Shigenobu Nambu. The god enshrined here has been revered by the locals since ancient times as the god for the roots of human life which include farming, industry, commerce, learning and the other basics of life. Many people know about the various festivals held throughout the year including the Dashi-gyoji (float) Festival and Yabusame Jinji (a horseback archery ritual).

    A very friendly Shrine where everyone feels welcome, even when it is very crowded. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the many buildings in and around the shrine, or visit the special shrine area to ask...

  • Hakuryu
    157 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 5-15
    This is a popular restaurant for Morioka jaja-men. The shop is said to have originated when the founder had eaten zhajiangmian in Manchuria before WWII, and tried to replicate the dish with Japanese ingredients. Enjoy the chewy, broad noodles garnished with meat stir-fried in miso, cucumber and green onion, and mix in garlic, ginger and chili oil. Finish off the meal as Zhidan soup by leaving behind one mouthful of noodles, then adding in noodle broth and a beaten egg.

    I visited Pairon main shop. I enjoyed at Morioka station Branch shop in the past. But main shop is more warm and homely atmosphere and service. Shop itself is old and narrow space. But I like main...

  • Azumaya Soba Restaurant
    63 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Nakanohashidori 1-8-3
    This is a long-established soba restaurant founded in 1907 that serves up Morioka’s famous wanko soba and also their original “Nambu Soba Kaiseki.” Guests that eat more than 100 bowls of wanko soba can receive an original Azamaya wanko soba certificate. In addition to soba, they offer a wide selection of other items including colorful bento (Japanese box lunches) that use ingredients in season.

    You can enjoy Wanko Soba in this restaurant, which is very famous free refill soba noodles in Japan. It must be one of the best food entertainment in Japan! There is two choice of Wanko Soba...

  • Kamasada
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Konyachou 2-5
    This is a long-established workshop that has continued to make nambu tekki (a famous type of ironware from the south of Iwate) since the Meiji period. The works produced by the third generation Nobuho Miya, who has experience living in Finland, are distinctive for being a combination of Japan’s old traditions and modern art. The functionality of simple yet outstanding nambu tekki has been garnering attention again recently.
  • Motsuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Osawa 58
    This temple that belongs to the Tendai sect was constructed in 850. It is said to have been founded by the priest Jikaku Daishi. Sights to see include the Jodo (Pure Land) garden that is arranged to unify the Buddhist temple and garden pond. As a valuable garden that even now conveys the thoughts and techniques of the Sakutei-ki, the oldest book concerning gardens in Japan, this is a symbol of Motsu-ji Temple. The temple premises have been designated as a Special Historic Site, and the Ennen-no-mai (a dance performed here for peace and longevity) has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Culture Property.
  • Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center
    72 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Hanadate 44
    This free facility introduces the history and culture of Hiraizumi in an understandable way through wall panels and videos. Items such as documents related to Hiraizumi’s World Heritage sites and articles recovered from the ground during excavation projects are displayed. Paying a visit before sightseeing will deepen your understanding of Hiraizumi’s history and culture and make for a more enjoyable visit. Audio guides that support four languages are also available for use by foreign visitors.

    We only discovered the Cultural Heritage Centre on a walk from our hotel while exploring the surrounding area. A visit to here should be the initial step in exploring Hiraizumi's World Heritage...

  • Genbikei Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Ichinosekishi Gembichou Minamitakinoue
    Genbikei is a valley of the Iwai River originating in Mt. Kurikoma and flowing to Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture. Dynamic landscapes such as waterfalls, strangely shaped and magical rocks continue for two kilometers. The specialty of Genbikei is of course the Kakko-dango Dumplings. When ordering and paying, you place your money in a basket attached to a rope stretched to the other side. After sounding a wooden hammer, the basket is pulled up and the dumplings and tea are delivered in return instead. Fun to watch, and delicious to eat.
  • Tono Municipal Museum
    28 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Higashidatechou 3-9
    Established in 1980, this museum is the first of its kind in Japan. It is a museum introducing the folklore and folk culture of the Tono peoples' lifestyle, environment, history, and culture. The life of the Tono people in the Tono basin valley is displayed in an easy to understand manner through documents and photographs. One can enjoy viewing the Tono Story, the picture works based on local folklore and topics, and the animated film ''Shigeru Mizuki's Tono Story.''

    This is a neat museum at the foot of a small hill where they used to have a local castle (Nabekura Castle). Of the same modern building, the lower section is the municipal library and the upper...

  • Folktale and Storytelling Center
    45 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Chuoudori 2-11
    This is museum where guests can experience Tono’s world of folklore passed down through the generations through audio and visual exhibits. The facility offers something for both adults and children to enjoy, with a theater, video library, and experience corner. In the Tono-za, a theater that was once used as a sake brewer’s storehouse, visitors can appreciate folk tales told by a professional storyteller and other folk entertainment.

    We visited this museum because entry to it came with entry to the Castle museum, so we thought we'd get our money's worth. I do speak some Japanese but my husband doesn't, and we both found this...

  • Jokenji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Tsuchibuchichoutsuchibuchi 7-50
    This is a temple of the Soto school (of Zen Buddhism) that was established in 1490. 3.5-meter statues of the two guardian Deva kings flank the main temple gate. It is also known as the kappa komainu (kappa guardian dog) temple based on a legend that kappa (a mythical water-dwelling creature) that lived in the river to the south of the temple once helped extinguish a fire at the temple and became komainu (a guardian lion-dog).
  • Kamaishi Daikannon Statue
    42 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Kamaishishi Odairachou 3-9-1
    The Kannon (goddess of mercy) statue holding a fish is 48.5 kilometers in height and stands as if watching over the boats coming and going from Kamaishi Bay. Building of the statue was initiated by Meihozan Sekiosenji Temple praying for peace of the spirit worlds. From the 12th floor inside the statue, 120 meters above sea level, you can see the panorama of Mada-misaki Cape, Ozaki Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.

    You can get to the Diakannon walking about 40 minutes from the entire of Kamaishi. Taxi or bus alternatives exist. The Daikannon is located on a spectacular headland looking back to Kamaishi and...

  • Goishi Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Ofunatoshi Massakichou Ohama
    Goishi is a coast over 6 kilometers long where you can enjoy a beach of black stone stones like those used for the game of “go” (a strategy board game), a rock with three large holes eroded by the rough waves, and a rock called “Kaminari Iwa” (thunder rock) where the waves breaking sound like the roar of thunder. In 1931, it was designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument. At the Goishi Coast Rest House, you can taste Ofunato’s Class B gourmet “Sanma (fish) ramen” and a dish of seafood and rice.
  • Ishiwarizakura (The Rock-Splitting Cherry Tree)
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 9-1
    This an edohigan cherry tree that is more than 360 years old which has taken root near the prefectural offices in Morioka City. It grows from a large crack in a huge granite builder 21 meters in circumference. The tree was designated as a Natural Monument in 1923 and blooms every year from about mid-April.
  • Morioka Castle Site Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 1-37
    Morioka Castle, which was completed in 1633 as the residence of the Nanbu clan is a flatland castle which takes advantage of the natural barriers of the Kitakami River, the Shizukuishi River, and the Nakatsu River; it is also known by another name Kozukata Castle. As a flatland castle composed of stone walls, it is the largest such type north of the Kanto region. Although now only the stone walls and a pond remains, Morioka Castle Site Park is used as a place for relaxation and refreshment by the citizens of Morioka. Inside the park is a monument in memory of Takuboku Ishikawa inscribed with one of his poems: “Kozukata no oshiro no kusa ni nekorobite sora ni suwareshi ju-go no kokoro (English: I laid down on the grass of the Kozukata Castle, absorbed by the sky; my heart of fifteen).” The end of April is the season to see cherry blossoms, and in addition there are beautiful flowers to enjoy in all four seasons such as the rose garden, hydrangea, and the fall foliage.
  • Sanriku Fukko National Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Miyagi prefecture, Iwate prefecture, Aomori prefecture
    This is a national park which was established in May 2013 in order to contribute to the reconstruction of the Sanriku region which was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and preserves the “Miracle Lone Pine Tree” and other remnants of the disaster. Visitors can see nature and geographical features unique to the coastal areas such as a rare sea shore (the Tanesashi Coast) where the “sand squeaks”, colonies of rugose rose and sweat pea etc., and the scenic spot of Ohakozaki Senjojiki representing Kamaishi City. There are some visitor centers and museums in the area, exhibiting materials related to nature, ecosystems and the disaster in each area, providing tourist information and multilingual brochures.

Iwate Main Areas


A northern Tohoku prefecture promising peace and quiet, Iwate is sparsely populated, replacing people with snow-capped mountains, history-rich sites, and fields of crops that are to thank for the region’s delicious local cuisine. Meander along the three-city Golden Route, where you’ll visit the grand Buddhist temples of Hiraizumi and the Tono folk villages before tasting the three famed noodle dishes of Morioka.

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