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What to Do in Morioka City

Morioka, the capital of Iwate is city of small size yet it is a place with a lot of heart and a good balance between historical, natural, and commercial entertainment. Whether you decide to explore the natural side of the city, visit its historic architecture, or shop around for unique handmade crafts, Morioka will keep you busy and full of joy along your journey.

CONTENTS

  • Morioka Castle Ruins

  • Houon-ji Temple

  • Iwayama Parkland

  • Shopping Morioka’s Handmade Crafts

  • Morioka Castle Ruins

    Morioka Castle Ruins

    Morioka Castle Ruins

    Today, just a few stone walls stand as the only physical reminder of Morioka Castle’s existence. Still, there is a unique sense of vibrancy mixed with a heavy air of historic significance – the 200 or so cherry trees and 100 or so plum trees planted throughout the grounds seem to complement, rather than contrast, the old castle ruins. The park grounds are also home to the Morioka History and Culture Museum, and even a small shrine.

    Rock-breaking Cherry Tree

    Rock-breaking Cherry Tree

    No visit to Morioka Castle Ruins Park would be complete without stopping to say hello to the great 400-year-old Ishiwarizakura, a unique Rock-breaking Cherry Tree which is growing out of a massive granite boulder on the grounds of the Morioka Courthouse, just a short walk away from the castle grounds. Measuring at a thick 4.3 meters at the base and standing at around ten meters in height, Ishiwarizakura is an impressive sight to behold. It is no wonder it was proclaimed an official Natural Treasure of Japan almost a century ago.

  • Houon-ji Temple

    Houon-ji Temple

    Houon-ji Temple

    Off the beaten path, you’ll find the serene grounds of Hoon-ji temple, a temple whose claim to fame is the 500 Buddhist disciple statues known in Japanese as “gohyakurakan”. Although getting a glimpse of the statues is definitely the main reason to make the trip to this part of town, even just walking around the spiritual grounds make this a pleasing sight. And because the temple is a 30-min walk from Morioka Station and away from the touristic core of the city, you might have the garden almost all to yourself.

  • Iwayama Parkland

    Iwayama Parkland

    Iwayama Parkland

    Morioka City is surrounded by mountains and Iwayama is the closest to the city centre and easily accessible either by car or via public transportation. Iwayama Parkland Amusement Park is a thrilling alternative for travelers of all ages and especially for those looking to keep their kids entertained. There’s a general entrance fee of 400 yen to the park which lets you stroll the grounds from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. If you want to ride the go-karts, the powerful Apollo, or the ferris wheel, you’ll need to purchase separate ride tickets at the entrance. After the adrenaline rush you can make the one kilometer walk over to the observation deck and admire Mount Iwate at the opposite side of town.

  • Shopping Morioka’s Handmade Crafts

    Shopping Morioka’s Handmade Crafts

    Shopping Morioka’s Handmade Crafts

    Morioka is a city of craftsmen and rich artistic traditions, and before you leave you might want to do some shopping and take home a unique handmade souvenir. There’s lots to choose from: the Nambu tekki iron ware, dye fabrics, and other products like handmade fishing rods. If you also want get a chance to interact with a craftsman, check out Sasaki Ryuta’s studio in the Natayacho neighbourhood. A local musician putting a modern spin on traditional dye art techniques, during the day, Ryuta-san creates cool textile pieces employing the Katazome dyeing method which uses wood charcoal as printing material. At night you might catch him performing in one of the mellow bars around town.

    Morioka
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Moriokaekimaedori
    Phone
    盛岡城跡
    Address
    岩手県盛岡市内丸
    Phone
    Morioka Castle Site Park
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 1-37
    Phone
    Hoonji
    Address
    Iwate Morioka Nasukawacho 31-5
    Phone
    0196514415
  • Morioka History and Culture Museum
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 1-50
    Phone
    0196812100
    Iwayama Parkland
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Shinjou Iwashi Park
    Phone
    0196251430
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