History / Culture / Tour Spots in Iwate Area

  • Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    179 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.

    The museum is dedicated wholly to the life of Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933) the author of Night on the Galactic Railroad. He was a poet, wrote childrens books, painted (a bit), taught agricultural...

  • Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Hall (Takkoku Seikoji Temple)
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    4.5
    147 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...

  • 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
    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.
  • Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center
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    4.0
    82 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...

  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple
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    3.5
    5 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Hanamaki-shi Ota 21-5-1
    A Tendai Buddhist temple located a 24-minute drive from Hanamaki Station on the Tohoku Main Line in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture. The temple was founded to pray for Sakanoue no Tamuramaro in 807 and is considered one of Japan's three Kiyomizu temples. The temple is also the first temple on the Oshu 33 Kannon Pilgrimage and the Togoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage. The temple's principal object of worship is an eleven-faced statue of Kannon kept in the Kannondo hall. Other highlights include the Deva gate, which enshrines the statue of Kannon which is on the Togoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage; the Jigansuido hall, which is said to miraculously heal eye diseases; and a Japanese cedar split into four trunks which is said to bless worshippers with children.

    こんなところにこんな場所があったのか、と少し驚きましたが、それなりの歴史を感じさせる場所でした。宮沢賢治の文章にも出てきたとの説明に、建物が少なかった当時は、花巻の市街地からもこの森が見えたのだとしみじみ感じました。

  • 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...

  • Kamaishi Daikannon Statue
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    4.0
    52 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.

    I visited this Temple while in Kamaishi for RWC 2019. It is a magnificent site to explore and is very peaceful and quiet. The views of the bay and Kamaishi from the top are excellent. This city was...

  • Takuboku Newlyweds' House
    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.
  • Folktale and Storytelling Center
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    4.0
    49 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...

  • Morioka History and Culture Museum
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    4.0
    46 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...

  • Mitsuishi-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    45 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Nasukawachou 2-1
    Located in a corner of the Tokenji Temple of Morioka City, the Mitsuishi-jinja Shrine is a power spot said to be the origin of Iwate Prefecture’s name. It is effective for fertility, good relationships, and relief from illness. There is a legend that a god named “Mitsuishi-sama” expelled the raging Raseki demon from these lands, and made it promise never to do evil again as evidenced by its handprint left on a rock at this shrine. Every August, one of Tohoku’s big five festivals, the Sansa Odori (dance), is held here. This dance originated as a show of gratitude to this god, and the offering dance is performed within Mitsuishi-jinja Shrine’s precincts.

    This shrine is located in the temple area of Morioka, where you can visit a few temples and shrine in one go. The area is quiet and very relaxing. The Hand Print of the Demon on a stone attracted...

  • Taro Kanko Hotel
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    4.5
    40 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.

    To understand the destruction of the tsunami you need to visit the hotel they have left for that very reason. The smaller buildings were cleared and new ones built. Also watch for buildings with a...

  • Tono Municipal Museum
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    4.5
    33 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
    36 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.

    琥珀好き、石好きの人には良いと思います。 私はまったく興味がないので、ツアーで参加しましたが、ただの時間つぶしです。 案内してくれた若い男性は、知識も乏しく。 観光客からの質問に答えられないというものもありました。 最終的には 見学後、お土産を購入するよう誘導されているような。 まあ、ツアーで良くみる景色です。

  • Morioka Takuboku & Kenji Museum
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    4.0
    33 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.

  • Kamaishi City Iron and Steel History Museum
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    4.0
    24 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.

    小高い場所にあり景色もキレイ。釜石の鉄産業の歴史を、資料と映像で紹介しています。大人向けの内容ですが、後半は子供も楽しめるものもあります。

  • 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...

  • 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
    15 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 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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