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Culture / Tour 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.
  • Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center
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    4.0
    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
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    4.5
    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
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    4.0
    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...

  • Denshoen
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    3.5
    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
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    3.5
    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.

    駅中のインフォメーションセンターのお姉さんに「インスタ映えするカフェをおしえてください」と教えてもらって行きました。今風の感じではなく、大正モダンを彷彿させる重厚な建物の中にひっそりと喫茶コーナーがあり、静かにクラッシックがながれ贅沢なカフェタイムができました。

  • Aiina Center
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    3.0
    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.

    JR盛岡駅西口にある施設です。図書館、視覚障がい者情報センターなどが入っています。ギャラリースペースもあり、4階の県民プラザには休憩スペースもあり県内の情報も得られます。

  • 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
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    4.5
    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.

    震災で被害を受けましたが現在は復活しています.水族館の他,隣接する地下石油備蓄基地に関するものも展示されています.

  • 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.
  • Ichinoseki City Museum
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Ichinosekishi Gembichou Okinono 215-1
    This museum is located in Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture. You can learn about the history and culture of the Ichinoseki area and the accomplishments of previous generations. It shows cultural assets and tools from the stone age until the modern era. In addition to permanent exhibitions separated by theme, it also hosts temporary exhibitions, lectures and experiential learning events.

    一関市は藤原氏で栄えた平泉への玄関口にあり、その後は伊達藩の支配下にあった米どころです。そんな歴史の飼料が展示されていました。骨寺村の絵図めあるので現地を訪れる前に見ておくといいでしょう。

  • Morioka Children's Museum of Science
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Motomiya Hebiyashiki 13-1
    This science museum that opened in 1983 is located in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. Giving children a scientific mindset! is the theme of the planetarium and science shows held every week on Sundays and holidays. In addition, workshops held for topics such as science handicraft lessons are popular, and many families visiting on the weekends.

    子どもも大人も楽しみながら、科学チックな体験型の施設でした。プラネタリウムや日曜は工作等のイベントもあるようです。

  • Animal Museum
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Morioka-shi Shinjoshimo Yagita 60-18

    The rain didn't dampen our experience one bit! In fact, it highlighted a wonderful aspect of the zoo's character - children's umbrella's only cost 300 yen. There was no entrance fee for children 15...

  • Stone and Kenji Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Ichinoseki-shi Higashiyamacho Matsukawa Takinosawa 149-1
    A museum located a three-minute walk from Rikuchu-Matsukawa Station on the Ofunato Line in Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture. The museum was established for future generations to share with and make it possible to come in contact with the ideas and lifestyles of engineer Kenji Miyazawa and Tohoku Rubble Factory owner Tozo Suzuki. The museum has lapis lazuli, amethyst, and ammonite fossils on display and a library of books collected by Suzuki. Visitors can also take a tour of the former Tohoku Rubble Factory, which was erected in 1924 and registered a National Tangible Cultural Property in 1996 (note: at the present time, tours are not possible due to renovations; tours are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2020.)
  • The Cattle Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Oshu-shi Maesawa Minamijinba 103-1
    A museum located a seven-minute taxi ride from Maesawa Station on the Tohoku Main Line in Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture. The museum contains a variety of exhibits on cattle such as cattle skeletons and how milk is produced, the relationship between humans and cattle from ancient times to the present, the history of Maesawa beef, and the cattle industry. The museum holds events such as symposiums and picture book readings, as well as classes like butter making and recreating Meiji period ice cream. The museum store sells original merchandise like T-shirts featuring a cow stomach design, and leather cell phone straps.
  • Flower and Garden Mori no Kaze
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Iwate-gun Shizukuishicho Oshuku 10-64-1
    This authentic Western style garden, located a 25-minute drive from the Morioka Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway in Iwate District, Iwate Prefecture, is one of the largest of its kind in Japan. The garden was designed by world class landscape architect Kazuyuki Ishihara. The facility is divided into the Mori no Keikoku main garden, which is filled with an abundance of seasonal flowers and waterside landscapes; and the Mori no Oka community garden, created based on the idea of a secret flower garden. The facility's store sells gifts and souvenirs like local specialty products, seasonal flower seedlings, and soft serve ice cream. Several events are held here throughout the year such as lighting up the gardens at night.
  • Kitakami City Oni no Yakata
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Kitakami-shi Wagacho Iwasaki 16-131
    "A museum located a 20-minute drive from JR Kitakami Station. The museum was opened in 1994 to present information on oni, mythical Japanese creatures alternately translated as ""ogres"" and ""demons."" The museum introduces all kinds of oni, from scary ones to cute and cuddly ones. Exhibits include a large number of oni masks, including a giant mask three-meter-tall and weighing 80 kilograms. The museum also introduces masks depicting oni-like creates from around the world with a focus on Thailand, Nepal, and other Asian countries."

    鬼をモチーフにした施設です。 なかなかに興味深い。 貴方の心の中にも・・・ 世界各国の「鬼」の仮面も展示されています。 ハヌマーンまで「鬼」に分類されてました。 (^_^;)

  • Kesen Carpentry and Folklore Museum
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Rikuzentakata-shi Otomocho Myoga 1-237
    A museum located a 90-minute drive from the Ichinoseki Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway. The museum is modeled after early Meiji period Kesen homes and was built to pass on the techniques of Kesen carpentry to future generations. The museum was built exclusively with local materials like Kesen cedar wood. The main building is made of wood and modeled after a single story thatch roof family home. Looking up from beyond the irori sunken hearth, visitors can spot Kesen carpentry techniques everywhere, such as three stage beams. There's also a 3.11 Light of Hope eternally lit gas lamp on the grounds which was lit from the 1.17 Light of Hope in Kobe.

    The "Kesen" carpentry style is unique to the area and unfortunately there are very few carpenters (if any) left to carry on the techniques. Inside the main building with high ceilings is a...

  • Sekino-ichi Brewery Sake-no-minzoku Culture Museum
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Ichinoseki-shi Tamuracho 5-42
    A sake folk museum runs by Iwate's 100-year-old Sekinoichi brewery. Originally it was Tohoku’s largest storehouse for the initial stages of the brewing process, then was remodeled into a museum. A variety of sake brewing equipment is on display, including a large barrel for preparation. The sake making process is explained in detail. You can also visit the brewer’s room, dedicated to Matsuo Daimyojin, the god of sake. There is also a literary museum with materials from authors with ties to Ichinoseki.

    酒造りの工程を詳しく展示されています。でもそのことよりも、この酒蔵(仕込み蔵)が大正7年の建築で、西洋式の建築手法を取り入れているのが特徴です。天井がやたらと高く、開口部も広すぎます。日本古来の土蔵とは似ても似つかないのです。大きさでは“東北一”と豪語するのもうなずけます。そにため大水害や、大震災にも耐えてきたそうです。

Iwate Main Areas

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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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