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Where to Go in Iwate Prefecture

There’s so much to see and do in the picturesque Iwate prefecture, it can all become a tad overwhelming. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some of the highlights of the beautiful land of Iwate, so you can forget about the homework and instead focus on having a great time in one of Japan’s most beautiful prefectures.

Where to Go in Iwate Prefecture

CONTENTS

  • Hanamaki

  • Hiraizumi

  • Ichinoseki’s Genbikei Gorge

  • Geibikei Gorge

  • Morioka City

  • Hanamaki

    Hanamaki

    Hanamaki

    First up is Hanamaki – a stunning little village dotted with relaxing hot springs. Located smack bang in the middle of the Kitakami Basin, the little city is centered around a string of hot spring zones running along the banks of the Daigawa River. Hanamaki is also the home of the revered 20th century writer Kenji Miyazawa. His great works of poems and short stories are still enjoyed today due to their timeless prose and social commentary. Many sites in Hanamaki have been turned into homages to the great writer, including his parents’ house, the Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum, and the Kenji Miyazawa Dow Mura (village of fables), just to name a few.

  • Hiraizumi

    Hiraizumi

    Hiraizumi

    Another area of Iwate blessed with great natural beauty is the historic city of Hiraizumi, one of the prime locations in the land of the rising sun to experience what 11th century Japan was like, via the great number of well preserved historical sites. In fact, Hiraizumi is home to more than 3000 historical treasures left behind when the great Fujiwara clan, who controlled Hiraizumi during its run of prosperity, fell. Be sure to check out the two great Buddhist temples of Hiraizumi –Chuson-ji temple and Motsu-ji temple.

  • Ichinoseki’s Genbikei Gorge

    Ichinoseki’s Genbikei Gorge

    Ichinoseki’s Genbikei Gorge

    The small city of Ichinoseki is next on the agenda. The main attraction of Ichinoseki is the stunning Genbikei Gorge, which translates to ‘Gorge of Harsh Beauty’. The spectacular gorge is a wonderful spot for nature lovers, or anybody really. One needn’t be an outdoors aficionado to appreciate the striking beauty of the imposing tall cliffs and intricately formed rock formations, whilst the sheer ferocity of the fiercely flowing white water is fascinating to watch. It’s a great place to sit back, turn off the cell phone, and enjoy a grand display of mother nature at work.

  • Geibikei Gorge

    Geibikei Gorge

    Geibikei Gorge

    And while on the theme of scenic gorges, 25 kms east of Genbikei lies another beauty this time formed by the Satetsu River. The Geibikei Gorge (becareful not to get the gorges mixed up), designated a “Special Historic Site” is famous for its scenery and for the 90-minute boat road courtesy of a traditionally suited boat guide. The guide takes passengers past the towering stone walls of the gorge while keeping them entertained with fun stories during the ride. At the midway point, the boat makes a brief stop to allow for a quick snap of the beautiful surroundings before heading back to the shop.

  • Morioka City

    Morioka City

    Morioka City

    Last but certainly not least is the capital of Iwate, Morioka. The city is nestled between mountains deep in the Kitakami Basin in the center of Iwate, and sits at the meeting point of three scenic rivers – the Kitakami River, the Shizukuishi River, and the Nakatsu River. The active volcano Mount Iwate is a wonderful permanent fixture which rules the view to the northwest of Morioka. The city is also known for its famous noodle varieties, which are known throughout Japan as the “Three Great Noodles of Morioka” – Jajamen, Reimen, and Wanko Soba – all of which can be found in little noodle houses and large restaurants throughout town. They’re a must try for anybody looking for a taste of some authentic Iwate cuisine.

    Hanamaki
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Odori 1-chome
    Phone
    Miyazawa Kenji Memorial Museum
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Yasawa 1-1-36
    Phone
    0198312319
    Miyazawa Kenji Dowa Mura (Village of Fairy Tales)
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Takamatsu 26-19
    Phone
    0198312211
    Hiraizumi
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi
    Phone
  • Geibi Gorge
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Ichinosekishi Higashiyamachounagasaka Machi 467
    Phone
    Genbikei Gorge
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Ichinosekishi Gembichou Minamitakinoue
    Phone
    Morioka
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Moriokaekimaedori
    Phone
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