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Iwate Overview

Located in the northeast of the Tohoku region of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Iwate is the perfect destination for those looking to experience a part of Japan that goes beyond Tokyo and Kyoto – a taste of what some affectionately call the real deep Japan. The many small towns and cities of Iwate have a deep historical route stemming back far into Japanese antiquity, ensuring one could throw a dart at any point in Iwate Prefecture and land on a place of great historical significance.

Iwate Overview
  • The rich agricultural tradition of the region ensures that most local restaurants use fresh local produce, a testament to the deeply ingrained culinary history of the area. Iwate is also blessed with stunning natural landscapes making any drive through the area filled with breathtaking scenery at every turn. In fact, Iwate’s natural backdrop is so beautiful that there is even a famously designated “Golden Route” encompassing Hiraizumi, Tono, and Hanamaki.

    The coastal areas of Iwate, which happens to be Honshu’s easternmost point, took heavy damage during the 2011 Tsunami, but since then the area has steadily been rebuilt with great character – a testament to the resilience of the local population, intent on preserving their slice of the ‘real’ Japan.

    Iwate has a serene and relaxed atmosphere, owing in part to the fact that it has the lowest population density of all the prefectures outside of Hokkaido. And yet, it is still full of exciting and wonderful spots that will entice any demographic. Some must visit destinations include the two great Buddhist temples of Hiraizumi – Chuson-ji temple and Motsu-ji temple, as well as the fun filled Fujiwara no Sato, a theme park in Esashi Ward designed to look just like an old Heian period city.

    The Morioka Castle ruins are also well worth a visit, as is the whole of Morioka city, which happens to be the capital city of the Iwate prefecture. Or, if the city vibe doesn’t cut it for you and you’re seeking a more organic adventure, Geibikei Gorge provides the perfect nature lover’s escape. The gorge is a great place to visit any time of the year. Delight in feeding the koi carp during the warmer months, bask in the beautifully coloured landscape of the autumn leaves, and revel in the snow filled winter wonderland Geibikei Gorge turns into during the winter months.

    There are many places in Iwate which offer up the unique opportunity to lodge with local families who allow guests to participate in farm-stays. These programs allow you to meet locals and live like the locals, and are an excellent way for the longer term traveler to really get a feel for what a settled life in Iwate is like, if they are so inclined.

    Hiraizumi
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi
    Phone
    Tono
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Shinkokuchou
    Phone
    Hanamaki
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Odori 1-chome
    Phone
    Morioka
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Moriokaekimaedori
    Phone
    Chuson-ji Temple
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Koromonoseki 202
    Phone
    0191462211
    Motsuji Temple
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Osawa 58
    Phone
    0191462331
    Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Oushushi Esashi-ku Iwayadou Konamaru 86-1
    Phone
    0197357791
    盛岡城跡
    Address
    岩手県盛岡市内丸
    Phone
    Geibi Gorge
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Ichinosekishi Higashiyamachounagasaka Machi 467
    Phone
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