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Leisure / Outdoors Spots in Iwate Area

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.
  • Denshoen
    6 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Tsuchibuchichoutsuchibuchi 6-5-1
    Located in Tono, land of Japanese folklore, Denshoen is a facility which exists to share the lifestyle of farmers in the area once lived to future generations. Visitors can learn about old folk tales, experience traditional events, and try making folk crafts. The facility also engages in silkworm raising. Each year a festival to pray to the household god Oshira-sama is held at Denshoen. In addition, the facility regularly has a storyteller share old Tono folktales (fee and reservation required). You can enjoy local Tono cuisine in Denshoen’s cafeteria, and there’s also a memorial museum dedicated to Tono storyteller Kizen Sasaki, as well as the Oshira-do Hall.

    かっぱ淵の帰りは雨が強くなり急いで伝承園に戻りました。 伝承園のかっぱの麦わら帽子を借りて写真を撮って、 遠野名物のけいらん390円を食べました。 伝承園のけいらん、卵形の小さいお餅にこし餡が入っています。 伝承園の食堂には男の人1人だけ入っていました。 空いていたので貸し切りです。

  • Polan Square Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Yasawa 1-1-36
    A square located close to the Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum in Yasawa, Hanamaki City. The name is derived from a fairy tale of the same name written by Kenji Miyazawa. Highlights include the sundial flower bed and Nansha flower bed dutifully recreated based on the designs of Kenji Miyazawa.
  • Morioka Takuboku & Kenji Museum
    7 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Nakanohashidori 1-1-25
    A museum dedicated to Takuboku Ishikawa and Kenji Miyazawa. These two historic figures spent their youths in Morioka City during the Meiji and Taisho periods, and the museum presents materials relating to Morioka City during those times. The museum building, completed in 1910, was once the Dai Kuju Bank head office and is designated a National Important Cultural Property.


  • FESAN Odense-kan
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Moriokaekimaedori 1-44 Fezan Odenzakan 1F
    This is an area of gourmet food and restaurants located on the Odensekan floors of FESAN Department Store in the Morioka Station Building. There are plenty of shops selling Iwate specialties and confections, and restaurants offering seafood rice bowls made with seafood delicacies from off the Sanriku coast, etc. “Odense” in the Iwate dialect means “please come”.
  • Kitakami Tenshochi Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Kitakamishi Tachibana
    Located at the point where the Kitakawa River and Waga River meet, the Kitakami Tenshochi Park is a municipal park which is referred to as one of the three famous cherry blossom spots in Michinoku (Tohoku). The name “Tenshochi”, meaning beauty spot, comes from the wonderful view of the cherry blossom seen from Jingaoka Hill. 10,000 cherry blossom trees and 100,000 azaleas are planted at the approximately 30,000 square meter site, and in 1990 the park was selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. The Sakura Matsuri Festival (cherry blossom festival) is held each year from the middle of April to the beginning of May, with lots of tourists coming to visit at this time.
  • Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Oushushi Esashi-ku Iwayadou Konamaru 86-1
    The Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park, which is near the World Heritage Site Hiraizumi, is a theme park that allows visitors to feel the history of the Tohoku region. You can try on actual ceremonial wear (Juni-hitoe and Sokutai), do clamshell decorating, try archery, wear armor, and more to experience the refined grace of the Heian period. The restaurant serves famous Esashi cuisine and Heian-period food. It’s about 20 minutes by car from the Mizusawa Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway.
  • Yupiasu (Morioka Residual Heat Utilization Health Promotion Center)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Ueda Torii Ozawa 148 - 103
    Yupiasu is a multi-purpose leisure facility located on Yupiasu Road to the east of the Kitamatsuzono residential district in Morioka City. Yupiasu was established with the aim of providing a venue to strengthen community ties among Morioka’s citizens through health and sport related activities. Besides heated pools and baths, there is also a gymnasium, conference rooms and other facilities. The pool area has water slides and a “lazy river,” making Yupiasu a place that children will enjoy visiting. The hot springs area has outdoor pools and a sauna; not only is this ideal for washing the sweat off after taking part in sporting activities, it is also great for just relaxing on weekends or holidays.
  • Aiina Center
    1 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Moriokaekinishidori 1-7-1
    This glass structure, located to the west of JR Morioka Station, aims to be a base for the use of all the citizens of Iwate Prefecture. It houses public facilities such as the prefectural library and has a multi-purpose hall with a maximum capacity of 507 people. It also houses the Iwate Prefectural University campus where courses, including those for lifelong learning, are held mostly for local residents. Another of its features is that it is a complete universal design. There is tactile paving and audio guidance on each floor.


  • Tono Furusato Village
    53 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Tsukimoushichoukamitsukimoushi 5-89-1
    Tono Furusato Village is an experience-type theme park that recreates the beautiful natural environment of the Tono region in days gone by. Several traditional farmhouses that retain Tono’s unique character have been relocated to the Village, which is frequently used as a location for the filming of period dramas, etc. Besides the old farmhouses, there are also facilities where visitors can experience aspects of traditional lifestyles such as woodworking, ceramics-making, charcoal burning, etc. There are also special seasonal events based on traditional festivals, such as the “Dobekko Festival.”

    A lovely museum on the whole. Enjoyed visiting each house for a look at how it used to be. Remember to enter the museum near the entrance for a display of the wildlife in the tohoku area. Beware...

  • Gindoro Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Wakabachou 3-16
    Gindoro Park is in the city of Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture, built on the sight of the former Hanamaki School of Agriculture, where Miyazawa Kenji was employed as a teacher. Miyazawa Kenji was especially fond of gindoro (silver poplar) trees, and the park contains stone statues of characters from his stories such as Matasaburo of the Wind and plaques where his poems Early Spring are inscribed.
  • Hachimantai Flowerland
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Hachimantaishi Hirakasa 2-6-270
    Hachimantai Flower Land is a botanical garden, located in the city of Hachimantai in Iwate Prefecture, which gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy landscapes with flowers in every season. Up to 1,200 kinds of flowers, trees, and other plants are planted here so that visitors can come into close contact with the natural wonders of the Hachimantai area. Mofu Mofu Animal Land, with alpacas, rabbits, ponies, and other animals, is a popular attraction. Visitors can even take small dogs on walks through the gardens.
  • Kuji Underground Aquarium and Science Museum Moguranpia
    2 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Kujishi Samuraihamachoumugio First District 43-7
    This aquarium is located in Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture. It is Japan's first underground aquarium, and uses a tunnel at the National Kuji Storage Base. Besides being able to come into contact with sea creatures, there are also various exhibits and a corner to learn about the oil reserves. You can also see the nanbu moguri (traditional diving technique) and hokugen no ama (northernmost female free divers) underwater demonstrations on weekends and national holidays.


  • Iwate Safari Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Ichinosekishi Fujisawachoukinomi Yamaya 121-2
    This zoo is located in Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture. Besides animals including white lions and tigers, you can also interact with herbivores such as giraffes and camels inside the park. In addition, you can feed animals up close while riding in a bus designed with a tiger motif. Various events are held in the park, drawing many people and their families.
  • Iwayama Parkland
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Shinjou Iwashi Park
    This amusement park is located inside Iwayama Park in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, and you can enjoy the Ferris wheel and go carts while taking in the magnificent panoramic view. In addition, thrilling attractions such as Rainbow Spin Coaster and Apollo are very popular. You can see the park bustling with many families and couples on holidays.

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.

Iwate Photo Album

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