History / Culture / Tour Spots in Iwate Area

  • Motsuji Temple
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    4.0
    444 Reviews
    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.

    The entrance fee is a bit too expensive (700 yen + 300 yen for parking) for what there is to do in the temples precinct. The Pure Land Lake is pretty, and the temple main hall is beautiful in...

  • Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    185 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...

  • Bank of Iwate Red Brick Building
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    4.0
    149 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Nakanohashidori 1-2-20
    The Bank of Iwate building is located in the Nakanohashidori area of Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. Opened to the public after its renovation in 2016, it exhibits documents related to the Bank of Iwate. In addition, it has multipurpose halls that can be used for a variety of events. The building has been selected as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property, and is visited by many tourists.

    In my opinion, this is a must-visit building in Morioka. It is iconic for Morioka. Without visiting this building, you will regret. We walked a long way from Iwate Park to visit this building...

  • Morioka Hachimangu Shrine
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    4.0
    91 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
    3 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.

    広い中尊寺境内で、水に因むご本尊を現すように唯一池に囲まれたお堂です。 18世紀初めに建立されたもので、時の伊達藩主正室仙姫により寄進された弁財天十五童子が安置されています。 木造平屋、寄棟茅葺、高床式で向拝付きの造りになっており、陸地と島をつなぐ石造りの太鼓橋や、池に映り込む紅葉とお堂のコラボがとても風流でした。

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Morioka History and Culture Museum
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    4.0
    48 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 1-50
    This museum that opened in 2011 is located inside Morioka Castle Park in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. You can see exhibited documents related to the history and culture of Morioka. In addition, it regularly holds various events such as workshops, seasonal events and Morioka Sansa Odori performances. It is not only visited by local residents but also many tourists.

    This museum took us no more than 30 minutes to go through. I went mainly for the armour and clothing, which were beatiful. The lack of English means that its hard for english speakers to fully...

  • 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...

  • Taro Kanko Hotel
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    4.5
    45 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!

  • Tono Municipal Museum
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    4.5
    35 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 of surprisingly high standard for a municipal museum. The 500 yen admission fee includes the loan of an audio visual device which provides a commentary in English. The displays are well...

  • Kuji Amber Museum
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    4.0
    39 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.

    様々な種類の琥珀や琥珀のモザイク画等が展示されていました。 琥珀を触れたり、歩いたり出来るコーナーがありましたが、コロナ禍で触れず残念でした。 一番の目的は琥珀の採掘体験で、春から秋にかけて体験出来ます。 スタッフの方が色々気に掛けてくれて、アドバイスをくれたり親切でした。 1時間があっという間に過ぎ、夢中になり楽しめました。 体験後に小さい琥珀の御守を貰えます。

  • Morioka Takuboku & Kenji Museum
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    4.0
    35 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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.

    As we tourists may not be familiar with the Takuboku and Kenji, the exhibits are not of much interests to us. However the building itself is well maintained. It is good to take a few pictures.

  • Iwate Prefecture Public Hall
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    3.5
    20 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 11-2
    This public facility opened in 1927 and is located adjacent to the Iwate Prefectural Office in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. It has conference rooms, large halls and a gallery. In addition, it regularly holds various events such as music concerts and theater performances, making it a place used by local residents to socialize.

    岩手県盛岡市にある公共施設で盛岡城跡公園の少し北側にあります。 1927年に建てられた歴史を感じさせる素敵な建物でした。 日比谷公会堂と同じ建築家・佐藤功一が手掛けたものだそうです。 ここを訪問したのは原敬の胸像があるからで、公会堂西側の庭園内にありました。 「平民宰相」の名で知られる岩手の生まれの第19代...

  • Kamaishi City Iron and Steel History Museum
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Kamaishishi Odairachou 3-12-7
    This history museum is located in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture. The birthplace of modern steelmaking, it is a facility where you can learn about the history of steel. In addition to exhibiting models of full-sized blast furnaces, they also show the progress of steelmaking using images, sounds and lights. Because there are many visual devices, both children and adults can learn about steel while having fun.

    So so. It is a little bit tireing to climb up the road to this place. If you drive then no problem. I enjoy the movie and the panels and I should thank a gentleman keeping my heavy backpack while I...

  • Monument to Kenji Miyazawa (Ame ni mo Makezu Monument)
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    4.0
    18 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Shimoheiguntanohatamura Raga 3
    This monument is especially valuable, among all the many Kenji Miyazawa monuments, for the section of his famous poem “Ame ni mo Makezu” engraved on in in the handwriting of Kotaro Takamura. It was erected in 1936, but since some words were accidentally omitted, it was re-engraved in 1944. Crowds of people from all over Japan gather here every year on September 21st, the anniversary of Miyazawa’s death. It’s a 10 minute drive from Tohoku Expressway Hanamaki Minami Interchange.

    北上川の西岸、木々に囲まれた静かな場所にあります。のどかな田舎の風景ですが、冬に訪れると雪が積もって少し歩きにくいところもありました。花巻に宮沢賢治にちなむ場所はたくさんありますが、その中でもここは観光地っぽくないところが良いと思います。

  • Hara-Kei Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    18 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Morioka-shi Motomiya 4-38-25
    A memorial museum located a five-minute taxi ride from Morioka Station. The museum is dedicated to Hara Takashi, Japan's first commoner prime minister, and the museum adjoins Hara's birth home. The museum contains rare items connected to Japanese politics and also displays things which belonged to Hara like the clothes he was wearing when he was assassinated as well as the famous Hara Diary. His birth home was built in 1850; Hara lived here until the age of 15. Designated a Cultural Property and Preservation building by the city, the home is made open to the general public for limited periods each year.

    平民宰相として民衆の支持を集めた、原敬の記念館です。遭難時の服や遺品等も展示されていて、想像以上に本格的なものでした。

  • Nanshoso
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    4.0
    16 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Morioka-shi Shimizucho 13-46
    This historical building is located in Shimizu-cho, Morioka City. A mansion built in the Meiji period (1868-1912) by the businessman from the city called Yasugoro Segawa, it is a designated protected garden by the city, a structure of landscape importance, and the garden is a nationally registered monument. It is now open to the public and is also used for events such as tea ceremonies and concerts.

    Nanshosho is a historic protected residence that is open to the public. The house has been preserved in top condition and has very interesting architecture. The location is quiet and peaceful; it...

  • Iwate Prefectural Museum
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    4.0
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Ueda Matsuyashiki 34
    This museum that opened in 1980 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of Morioka Prefecture is located in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture. It exhibits materials about the natural environment in Iwate and the history of the prefecture from the geological age to the modern era. You can see Mt. Iwate from the second floor on day with clear weather. The private houses Former Sasaki Residence and Former Fujino Residence, both Important Cultural Properties, are exhibited on the premises and visited by many tourists.

    盛岡駅から松園バスターミナル行き路線バスに乗り、松園バスターミナルでバスを乗り換え片道410円、約40分位。入館料310円。 予想以上に立派な建物で、展示内容もとても充実していたので大満足。新型ウィルス感染症の世界的流行で観光施設が軒並み営業中止している中やる事がなくなり、博物館へ急遽行き先変更。特に、岩手県の地質についてはとても印象的で、化石が数多く発掘されているのが面白かった。 ただ、松園...

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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