Top 11 Things To Do in Iwate Prefecture | FAST JAPAN
Geibikei Gorge
Iwate

Top 11 Things To Do in Iwate Prefecture

Iwate prefecture in northeastern Japan is a nature and culturally rich sight-seeing spot. Visit Chuson-ji Temple, eat local cuisine, and hike up Mt. Iwate. Experience a slower paced life.

There’s many spots and activities in Iwate, you can feel and see the Japanese culture and history. Enjoy various outdoor activities and delicious local foods. Here is a list of the best spots and activities in Iwate.

 

#1. Mt. Iwate

Mt. Iwate
Photo Credit: TanakaJuuyoh@flickr

Mt. Iwate is about 2,038 meters high in Morioka city, this mountain is one of the 100 most beautiful mountain in Japan as listed is a book written by a mountaineer in 1964. You can see the beautiful mountain from any place in Morioka city. At the Tourist Information Center there is information about hiking up the mountain. Some routes are more difficult than others.
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Mt. Iwate

Address: Takizawa City, Iwate Prefecture

Access:
55 minutes by car from Shibutami Station
50 minutes by car from Koma Station

Website: Mt. Iwate

Weather Forecast: JMA

 

#2. Koiwai Farm

Koiwai Farm

The Koiwai Farm opened in 1891, this farm is one of the most famous producers of dairy products in Japan. This farm is about 3,000 hectares, it is the biggest private farm in Japan.

There is a snow festival at Koiwai Farm during the winter and many peoples come to enjoy it. Also the admission is free only during the winter.

The must try products from this farm is the good beef and ice cream made with the farm fresh eggs and milk. The taste is rich and so delicious! The omelets are fluffy and there are many other delicious food.
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Koiwai Farm

Address: 36-1 Maruyachi, Shizukuishi-cho, Iwate-gun, Iwate Prefecture

Access:
10 minute taxi ride from Koiwai Station
40 minute bus ride from Morioka Station to Koiwai Nojo Makibaen bus stop

Hours:
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Winter)

Admission Fee: 500 yen

Phone: 019-692-4321

Website: Koiwai Farm

 

#3. Ryusendo Cave

Ryusendo Cave

The Ryusendo Cave is one of the three greatest limestone caves in Japan. The color of the underground lake is clear blue! It’s a great experience. But please don’t forget walking shoes and protective clothes, inside the cave can get to 10 degrees celsius and there are a lot of stairs. The third lake is 98 meters deep, the fourth lake is not open to the public, but it’s 120 meters deep! It’s one of the most crystal clear lakes in the world. There is a souvenir shop outside of the cave. They are selling original beer if you want to try. Because of reoccurring typhoons, the cave has been closed for an undecided amount of time.
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Ryusendo Cave

Address: 1-1 Azakannari, Iwaizumi City, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 2 minutes by car from Iwaizumi Station

Hours:
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (April to October)
8:30 AM – 6:00 PM (May to September)

Admission Fee: 1,000 yen

Website: Ryusendo Cave

 

#4. Jodogahama Beach

Jodogahama Beach
Photo Credit: jodogahama-vc.jp

Jodogahama Beach is one of the most famous and beautiful local beaches. Located outside of central Miyako city, the beautiful white sand and the calm clear water is so relaxing. It is recommended to bring swim shoes since some areas can be rocky. There is a changing room, shower, rest room, some shops, and a boat rental service. One recommended activity is the Blue Cave Cruise on a small boat. More information about the cruise can be found at the Jodogahama Marine House.
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Jodogahama Beach

Address: 32-69 Hitachihama-cho, Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture

Access:
10 minutes by car from Miyako Station
17 minutes by bus from Miyako Station to the Jodogahama Visitor Center bus stop

Hours:
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (April to October)
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (November to March)

Website: Jodogahama Beach (Japanese)

 

#5. Tono Furusato Village

tono furusato
Photo Credit: TanakaJuuyoh@flickr

The Tono Furusato Village is traditional farming village that has been reconstructed with many traditional houses. There is about 20 activities to do such as making a soba, mochi (rice cake), bamboo crafts, ceramics and painting. There are many local Japanese foods at the restaurant to try. Enjoy this nostalgic farming village of Japan with culture and food.
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Tono Furusato Village

Address: 5-89-1 Tsukimoushi-cho, Tono city, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 20 minutes by car from Tono Station

Hours:
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (March to October)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (November to February)

Admission Fee: 540 yen

Website: Tono Furusato Village (Japanese)

 

#6. Fujiwara Heritage Park

Fujiwara Heritage Park

The Fujiwara Heritage Park is a huge historical theme park to experience the Heian-period (794-1185). There is restaurants, shops and temples in the 20 hector park. They offers several activities such as wearing samurai armor, clam shell painting, samurai-style archery, and trying a Heian-period kimono. This park has been used as a filming location for samurai dramas, movies, commercials and music videos. Some dramas filmed here were “Ryomaden”, “Sanada Maru”, “Yoshitsune”, and some movies were “Onmyoji”, and about 200 others.
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Fujiwara Heritage Park

Address: 86-1 Konamaru, Iwayado, Esashi Ward, Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture

Access:
15 minutes by car from Mizusawaesashi Station
30 minutes by bus from Mizusawaesashi Station

Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Closes at 4:00 PM November to Feburay

Admission Fee: 800 yen

Website: Fujiwara Heritage Park (Japanese)

 

#7. Konjikido Golden Hall at Chuson-ji Temple

Chuson-ji Temple

Chuson-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple and it is the head temple of the Tensai sect in northeastern Japan. It is said that the temple was founded in 850 by Ennin. He was a priest of the Tendai school. There is no archaeological or historical record of Buddhist activity in the area before 1100. Though it is believed that Fujiwara no Kiyohira founded the temple in 1095.

Iwate
Photo Credit: JunSeita@flickr

Konjiki-do or Golden Hall is a mausoleum containing the mummified remains of the leaders of the Northern Fujiwara clan. They ruled a large part of northern Japan on the 12th century. It is one of the two buildings that has not been rebuilt, the other building is a sutra repository. The building is made of wood and it’s covered in gold leaf decorated with imported mother-of-pearl. From 1962 to 1968 it was carefully rebuilt by a team of specialists. Inside there is three altars, one for each of the first three Fujiwara lords. Before there was 33 sculptures, eleven on each altar. Now one is missing.
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Chuson-ji Temple, Konjikido Golden Hall 

Address: 58 Osawa, Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 7 minute walk from Hiraizumi Station

Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Admission Fee: 500 yen

Website: Chuson-ji Temple

 

#8. Eat Wanko Soba

wanko
Photo Credit: Shrk@flickr

Wanko Soba is a traditional and unique style of noodle from Iwate prefecture, it’s one of the most popular local foods. There are many side dishes and a small bowl in front of you. Traditionally, there is a small amount of noddles in the main bowl and when that is finished, another serving is brought over. Many times, there is Wanko Soba eating competitions. How many bowls can you eat? There are many restaurants serving Wanko Soba in Morioka city and Hanamaki city. Azumaya is the most famous restaurant serving Wanko Soba.
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Azumaya

Address: 1-8-3 Nakanohashidōri, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 15 minutes by car from Morioka Station

Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Phone: 0120-733-130

Website: Azumaya

 

#9. Geibikei Gorge

Geibikei Gorge
Photo Credit: geibikei.co.jp

Geibikei Gorge is one of the most beautiful nationally designated Places of Scenic Beauty in the Iwate Prefecture, it’s 2km gorge carved by the Satetsu river. In 1927 Geibikei Gorge was selected as one the 100 Landscapes of Japan. There is a 90 minute boat tour that tours around limestone caves, waterfalls, and rock formations. It is beautiful all year around, but in autumn the leaves are a magnificent red and orange. Near the halfway point, there is a small hole in the rocks. It is said that if you throw a stone and it makes it in the hole, your wishes will come true. This is a can’t miss spot for nature lovers.
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Geibikei Gorge

Address: 467 Nagasaka, Azamachi, Higashiyama-cho, Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Geibikei Station

Hours:
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (April to August)
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM (September to mid-November)
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Mid-November to March)

Admission Fee: 1,600 yen

Website: Geibikei Gorge (Japanese)

 

#10. Appi Kogen Ski Resort

Appi Kogen Ski Resort

In Iwate, there is the Appi Kogen Ski Resort. It is one of the most popular and largest ski resorts. There is 21 courses and it is 45,100 meters in elevation. Beginners and experts can have fun skiing here.
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Appi Kogen Ski Resort

Address: 467 Nagasaka, Azamachi, Higashiyama-cho, Ichinoseki City, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from Geibikei Station

Hours:
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (April to August)
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM (September to mid-November)
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (11 November to March)

Admission Fee: 1,600 yen

Website: Appi Kogen Ski Resort

 

#11. Hanamaki Onsen

hanamaki
Photo Credit: JoAnnElizabethWilkinson@flickr

After exploring Iwate you will want to rest in the onsen. Hanamaki is well-known for onsen in Iwate and you can relax and enjoy a traditional type of onsen in nature.
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Hanamaki Onsen

Address: 125 Dai 1 Chiwari Yumoto, Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture

Access: 15 minutes by car from Hanamaki Station

 

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