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Iwate Prefecture is situated in northern Honshu, Japan. It can be reached from the nation’s capital, Tokyo in just over 2 hours by Shinkansen superexpress. The Shinkansen stops at Morioka, Iwate’s largest city. Domestic flights to Iwate-Hanamaki Airport, the only airport in Iwate, are available from the major cities including Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

The JR Tohoku Shinkansen connecting Tokyo and Iwate

By Train

From Tokyo and cities near Iwate such as Aomori, Akita and Sendai, it is most convenient to use the East Japan Railway Company (JR-East) Shinkansen. JR-East sells special unlimited access tickets to foreign travelers, which you are well advised to take advantage of for rail travel.

The Japan Rail Pass is a ticket that allows unlimited use of all JR lines and trains (with certain exceptions) including the Tohoku Shinkansen as well as all JR buses.The JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) provides unlimited travel on all JR lines and trains in the eastern part of Honshu, including the Tohoku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Iwate, as well as those of affiliated companies.The JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass, in addition to this, allows unlimited rides on some of the JR lines and trains in Hokkaido including Sapporo. Choose the ticket to suit the scope of your tour. Check out the conditions of use and other details on the official websites of each ticket.

Iwate-Hanamaki Airport

The terminal also has restaurants and duty-free stores

By Plane (Domestic flights)

There is one airport called Iwate-Hanamaki Airport in Iwate. If you arrive by plane in Iwate, transfer to domestic flights at Shin-Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Nagoya Airport, Osaka-International Airport (Itami Airport) or Fukuoka Airport.

  • Airline flying from Shin-Chitose / JAL
  • Airline flying from Nagoya / JAL
  • Airline flying from Osaka-Itami / JAL
  • Airline flying from Fukuoka / JAL

The Japan Rail Pass gives you unlimited rides on JR Bus Tohoku, as well as trains

By Express Bus

Highway bus service is also available from Tokyo and cities close to Iwate. You can not only go straight to Morioka, the prefectural capital, but also cities in eastern Iwate not reached by the Shinkansen such as Kamaishi and Miyako. They take longer than the Shinkansen but are around 5,000 to 10,000 yen cheaper. Search bus routes and fares on Japan Bus-Gateway and it will also direct you to websites where you can book tickets.



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