Travel / Tourism Spots in Iwate Area

  • Ryusendo Cave
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    4.5
    225 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.

    This spot is far from any station, so you need a car or bus to reach it. The entrance fee costs 1000 yen per person. Business hours are from 8:30 to 17:00, and open everyday. It is one of the three...

  • Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    183 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Yasawa 1-1-36
    The Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum is located in the city of Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture. It contains video images, as well as materials related to the poet and author of children's stories, Miyazawa Kenji, organized into exhibits in five fields. There are presentations about the creative process that led to Miyazawa's works, commentaries, and the results of research about him. Special events are held inside the museum, including limited-time exhibits of the manuscripts of his children's stories.

    I recommend to book Donguri to Yamaneko bus service to take you many spots in the area in classic style little bus costing about USD52 for whole day tour(half day also available) In the morning...

  • Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Hall (Takkoku Seikoji Temple)
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    4.5
    150 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Kitazawa 16
    This temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism is located in the Hiraizumi-cho area of Nishiwai County, Iwate Prefecture. This cascade temple worships Bishamonten, which is in the Bishamondo Hall, and is a nationally designated Historic Site. In addition, it is also famous for having a torii gate, which is rare in temples. Many tourists visit to enjoy the different scenery of every season.

    This temple does not take that long to visit with its main feature being the Buddha carved into the cliff face. Nevertheless it played an important role in the history of this area and has impressive...

  • Miyazawa Kenji Dowa Mura (Village of Fairy Tales)
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    4.0
    124 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Takamatsu 26-19
    An experience-oriented museum dedicated to the fairy tales of Kenji Miyazawa located in Takamatsu, Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture. Surrounded by hills and fields, you’ll feel like you’ve wandered into the world of Miyazawa’s fairy tales in the museum’s charming, magical atmosphere. The Kenji’s School area is divided into five zones themed after the Miyazawa’s works. Other museum facilities include Milky Way Station, the Sky Plaza, Kenji’s Classroom, the Fairy Path, the Owl Path, and the Yamano Soen forest. Visitors are encouraged to slowly stroll the facility’s grounds and enjoy the fairy tale world and various sculptures scattered here and there. The nearest station is Shin-Hanamaki Station.

    As I do not know much about Kenji, the village is a place to know more about the nature. There are different exhibition rooms about the nature, such as animals, birds and anatomy. If you do not know...

  • Morioka Hachimangu Shrine
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    4.0
    90 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).

    We had the privilege of having a tea ceremony and dressing up in yukatas while visiting the shrine. It is a very spiritual and beautiful place and the ceremony and wearing of the costume was fabulous...

  • Chuson-ji Temple
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    3.5
    2 Reviews
    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.

    本尊の弁財天十五童子(べんざいてんじゅうごどうじ)は仙台藩主伊達綱村公(だてつなむらこう)の正室仙姫(せんひめ)によって1705年に寄進されたもので、堂は1716年に建立されました。 また堂内には千手観音菩薩二十八部衆(せんじゅかんのんにじゅうはちぶしゅう)も安置されています。

  • Roadside Station Tono Kazu no Oka
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Transportation
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Ayaorichounisato 8-2-1
    This roadside station is located in Tono City, Iwate Prefecture. The spiral magnus wind turbine, with blades shaped like screws, is the symbol of the facility. In addition, it sells locally harvested agricultural products, folk crafts and handicrafts, and features a rich variety of items. You can also enjoy Kuretsubo soba (buckwheat noodles), gyoja garlic ramen and a set meal with jingisukan (grilled mutton).

    This “Michi-no-Eki” or Roadside Station is located at the west side of the city of Tohno on National Highway 283. Symbolically it has a uniquely shaped windmill within the complex. Like many other...

  • Iwate Museum of Art
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    4.0
    66 Reviews
    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.

    This is a beautiful museum. I was impressed when I stepped into the lobby. When I went there was barely anyone there so I had the museum to myself. There are many exhibits of local artists...

  • Jodogahama Visitor Center
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    4.0
    67 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Miyakoshi Hitachihamachou 32-69
    This information facility is located inside Rikuchu Kaigan National Park in the Hitachihama-cho area of Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture. It gives you information about various natural areas in the national park such as the Jodogahama rock formations and Sanno Rock. There are exhibits related to the Sanriku coast and also a rest space, making it a place used by many local residents. In addition, it also holds events to maintain the Michinoku Coastal Trail footpath.

    Well designed visitor center next to a stunningly beautiful coastline. Furniture fans will enjoy the upholstered chairs made to look like smooth rocks. Simple, clear exhibits that get the point...

  • Morioka Handi-Works Square
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    4.0
    95 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Tsunagi Oirino 64-102
    This facility is home to first-rate artisan groups who craft authentic handiworks every day. It consists of the industry revival center, the handi-works square, and the “magariya” zone. The handi-works square offers visitors a chance to craft various Morioka specialty products and hosts events as well, giving people a chance to observe artisans up close and try their hand at making their own items. The local cultural site “Nanbu Magariya” is a must-see as well. It’s about 20 minutes by car from the Morioka Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway.

    We visited here on our way back from a local Onsen and it was very interesting. You can see how local cast iron teapots are made, make your own Japanese cookie and purchase handicrafts.

  • Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center
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    4.0
    86 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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.

    If you have time, start here to understand the 100 years when Hiraizumi was the most important center of Japan. Chusonji is the head temple of Tendai Buddhism in northeast Japan and it was founded...

  • Roadside Station Mitakaibunko
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    4.0
    41 Reviews
    Transportation
    Iwate Pref. Shimoheiguniwaizumichou Kado Mitakai 47-2
    This roadside station is located in the town of Iwaizumi in Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture. It uses the site of the Mitakai branch school of Iwaizumi Town Kado Elementary School, and is characterized by being built with the remains of the school. In addition to snacks such as grilled rice balls and croquettes, there is a co-op that sells local farm products and processed goods and a school lunchroom where you can eat, making it a place where you can get a sense of nostalgia.

    廃校を活用した、道の駅。木の椅子、机の上で、昔なつかしの給食(日替わりで、イカリングや紙パックの牛乳など)や揚げパンを楽しむことができる。少しばかり童心にかえる時間が持てます。

  • Roadside Station Nishine
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    4.0
    35 Reviews
    Transportation
    Iwate Pref. Hachimantaishi Obuke 2-154-36
    This roadside station is located along National Route 282. In the direct sales store for produce, you can purchase fresh seasonal vegetables, juices and jams produced at the base of Mt. Iwate. In addition, they offer curry and ramen using spinach. There is also a restaurant certified with two stars for local production and consumption visited by many tourists.

    This combined facility is both a farmers market and a restaurant where you can eat lunch. The farmers market is great for all kinds of local items and is pretty affordable. The restaurant serves...

  • Kuji Amber Museum
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    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Kujishi Kokujichou Dai19chiwari 156-133
    This museum is located in Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture. Among the amber used in jewelry, this is where you can see amber from Kuji, which has the world's oldest deposits. There are exhibits that show the production of amber and artworks using it. With prior reservations, you can also participate in events where you can experience digging amber.

    三陸鉄道に乗るために八戸から久慈にレンタカで移動、琥珀の博物館があるというので訪れた。久慈が琥珀の産地として有名であることはネット情報で初めて知った。博物館には、何万年も前の昆虫や植物が閉じ込められた珍しい琥珀や琥珀の工芸品が並ぶ。陳列されていた世界の琥珀と久慈産を見比べると決定的に違うのは透明感。どう見ても久慈産の琥珀は濁っていて美しくない。 受付のある新館と本館、二つの展示棟があるものの、展示...

  • Takuboku Newlyweds' House
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    3.5
    65 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Chuoudori 3-17-18
    Takuboku Newlyweds' House is a historic building in the city of Morioka in Iwate Prefecture. The poet Ishikawa Takuboku lived here for three weeks with his wife Setsuko, his parents, and his younger sister. In 1984, it was named a Morioka City Designated Tangible Cultural Property. It is the building where Takuboku wrote his essay, My Four-and-a-Half Mat Room, and it is the only extant relic of his life in the city of Morioka.

    You can freely enter this residence. When I went there were only a couple other people there. So I had the house to myself for the most part. It was a peaceful place. The condition was just ok...

  • Roadside Station Hraizumi
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    3.5
    28 Reviews
    Transportation
    Iwate Nishiiwai-gun Hiraizumicho Hiraizumi Kyara Raku 112-2
    "This roadside station, located on National Route 4 in Hiraizumi Town, opened in April 2017. It is nicknamed the ""Kugane Hanasaku Risokyo"" (Ideal Land of Golden Blooming Flowers). The station's exterior, mixing black with gold highlights, blends in nicely with the scenery of Hiraizumi. The spacious interior is accented with warm woods and is divided into an information center, local specialty products area, and a restaurant. The local specialty products market carries fresh farm products, popular doburoku unrefined sakes, and other products from Hiraizumi Town. In the restaurant, you can enjoy dishes made with fresh vegetables and other local ingredients."

    2020年9月に車中泊で利用しました。 駐車場も広く普通車と大型車が区分けされています。 駐車場は全くの平坦ではなく若干傾斜(水勾配程度)がありますが、気になる程ではありません。 駅入り口前のテント売店は夕方着早朝出発だったので閉店していましたが、駅中は広くトイレも広くとても清潔です。道の駅のホール(トイレに行くときのエントランス?通路?)も広く道路情報などもモニターでチエックできます。また、ホー...

  • Folktale and Storytelling Center
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    4.0
    50 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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 wed get our moneys worth. I do speak some Japanese but my husband doesnt, and we both found this...

  • Roadside Station Yamabiko-kan
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    3.5
    30 Reviews
    Transportation
    Iwate Pref. Miyakoshi Kawauchi 8-2
    This roadside station is located in Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture. It is in the mountains and sells fresh vegetables in the adjacent direct sales corner. In addition, specialty products from Miyako and local Iwate sake are available for purchase in the product corner. In the food corner, there are spacious restaurants and places to get snacks such as handmade bread, ice cream and fast food.

    This is a larger and more comprehensive “Michi-no-Eki” or Roadside Station in terms of local products, food options and information centre on National Highway 106 between Morioka and Miyako in the...

  • Roadside Station Sanriku
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Transportation
    Iwate Pref. Ofunatoshi Sanrikuchouokirai Idobora 95-27
    This roadside station is located along National Route 45 in the Sanriku-cho area of Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture. Various seasonal seafood such as abalone from Sanriku-cho is sold here. In addition to the fresh fish corner, Persimmon ice cream using the Sanriku specialty, Koeda persimmon, is also popular. With facilities such as a resting area, it is widely used as a place to socialize by both local residents and tourists.

    This is a local food and souvenir shop on Sanriku road. I visited here every time when I come to Ofunato. I tasted the softcream everytime, althought the temperature was under 1 degree.

  • Taro Kanko Hotel
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    4.5
    42 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Miyako-shi Taro Nohara 80-1
    Located about a 20-minute walk from the Sanriku Railway Rias Line’s Taro Station, the facility was damaged by the tsunami that is said to have exceeded 17 meters in height due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. The building, which was flooded up to the fourth floor, leaving only pillars up to the second floor but not collapsing, is preserved as a tsunami archaeological site to pass on to future generations so memories of the massive damage of not forgotten. You can participate in a guided tour to learn about disaster prevention that is held by the Miyako Tourism Cultural Exchange Association that allows visitors to visit the building and watch tsunami videos taken at the hotel on the day of the earthquake.

    The people there were so kind, I had a wonderful experience. I was so delighted to go, it was on my travel list for weeks. Enjoy your time there!

Iwate 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.

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