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Iwate has a great diversity of sights and experiences depending on the season and region. Let’s have a look at what to do and where to go to find those that will pique your interest.


The majestic nature of Iwate’s coast and mountains has long contributed to the region’s rich culture. Ever since the beginning of recorded history, Iwate has seen unique nature worship passed down across generations, a large number of seasonal festivals, folk dances and indigenous tales. Even the farm and ocean produce are works of art from nature.

In every corner of Iwate, the wilds that undergird the livelihood of the people and cultural experiences that connect directly to the distant past remain in unaltered form. These will soothe your soul, surprise and move you. Iwate is the perfect destination for travelers who want to discover not just the glitz and glamor of Tokyo or Osaka but also the enduring charms of Japan.

A vast land located in the northern part of the main island of Japan

Iwate Prefecture is located in northern Honshu. The interior western border of Iwate consists of the Ou Mountains, a range that stretches about 500km down the spine of Honshu, a third of the length of the entire island. To the east, Iwate faces the Pacific Ocean on its Sanriku coast, featuring a unique geology of mountains dropping into the sea. Here is the “Rias coast”, a deeply indented coastline of small bays and coves.

Iwate can be accessed from all major cities via its domestic airports and stations on the East-Japan Railway Company (JR-East) Tohoku Shinkansen line.

Four Corners of Iwate

Broadly speaking, Iwate can be divided into four areas. First, at the center of the northwest area lies the administrative capital Morioka, around two hours by Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station. The city offers urban convenience, as well as the wilderness of Mt. Hachimantai around an hour’s drive away.

At the heart of the southwestern area is Hanamaki, served by an airport. The area has the World Heritage Site of Hiraizumi with its wealth of history, culture and food heritage, as well as some of Japan’s top ski resorts and hot springs.

The northeast area that includes the coastal cities of Miyako and Kuji is the place to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Sanriku coast and delicacies of land and sea including top-quality seafood and melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef.

Finally, the fourth area is the region from Tono and its rustic views down to the southeast coastal region. The main centers of Tono and Kamaishi run farmstay programs for foreign tourists, so this region is highly recommended for those seeking a homestay experience.


Presented here are some variety-filled model tour routes to discover the diverse attractions of Iwate: mountain and sea, city and wilderness, novelty and history.


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