Kitayamazaki and Unosu Cliffs

Kitayamazaki Cliffs – Rikuchu Coast

Koiwai Farm

Michinoku Hydrangea Festival

Venue: Michinoku Hydrangea Park When: Early May – Late Jul 2021 Michinoku Hydrangea Park is open for a short time in the summer annually. The flower event is focused on the rainy-season flower, the ajisai, or hydrangea. Many hydrangeas here are harvested and sold throughout other areas of Japan. Michinoku Park offers a dedicated hydrangea […]

Moguranpia Machinaka Aquarium

This fish welcomes you Outside Banners Three storey building Starfish that bunch together in the corner of the tank Pool of seaweed Cute turtle Play and experience for being a reporter for this awesome model. A selection of costumes. Fish mosaic composed of little fish. Small aquarium with small cute fishes inside. Inside Taking a […]

Morioka City From Atop Malios

Distant mountains Morioka Station down below Looking East Looking East Looking East Looking South Morioka is a bustling city whose metropolitan skyline rises against the grand Mount Iwate in the distance. After spending hours and days wandering about in between Morioka’s skyscrapers, temples, and bridges, it is certainly refreshing to step back, and up, to […]

Mount Goyo, the Top of Iwate

The plateau around Mount Goyo The map of the different trails, we took the one on the top right The start of the hike A cedar growing in a crack in a boulder A nice place to spend the night Looks like someone dropped the boulders there Mount Goyo (五葉山) and the surrounding park straddles […]

Mt. Iwate Yakehashiri Lava Flow

Mt. Iwate in the distance erupted nearly 300 years ago to create this sea of black The walk along the lava flow is bumpy and takes about 30 minutes A map of the hiking course. Take the right path through the lava flow then head back the same way or along the left along the […]

NICE Project for Tohoku Survivors

Rikuzentakata Rikuzentakata Jagasaki Rikuzentakata NICE (Never-ending International workCamps Exchange) is an NGO that organizes volunteer projects in Japan. Each year, they look for international volunteers for an English Summer Camp for kids in Iwate Prefecture that you can participate in. After the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami shook the eastern part of Japan on March 11, […]

Rokando Cave

Ten-no-Iwado waterfall photographed from the rock chamber entrance. Fresh and healthy box lunch featuring ingredients grown locally in the Sumita area. The guide, Sasaki-san explains about erosive processes caused by the action of water on the marble rock face. Eroded marble rock face. Ridges in the rock face caused by changes in the water level […]

Ryusendo Cave

This ryu statue welcomes you at the main gate. Main bridge to Ryusendo Cave. The adventure inside Ryusendo Cave starts here! Jizo stalagmites. Stalactites descend from the ceiling above. Tertiary subterranean lake that is 98 meters deep. This ryu statue welcomes you at the main gate. Deep in the eastern base of the jagged Mount […]

Sakura Season at Iwate’s Takamatsu Park

Mid – Late Apr The beautiful pond at Takamatsu Park, Iwate (Photo: Yuichi/CC By SA 2.0) Venue: Takamatsu Park, Iwate When: Mid – Late Apr 2022 The timing of the cherry blossom season is dependent on the forecast data released by the Japan Meteorological Agency each winter, which is subject to change. Our listings are […]

Sakurayama Shrine

Sakurayama Shrine A small garden is behind the shrine. Follow a path along the shrine and find a huge boulder shaped like a samurai helmet. (Photo: Joymsk140 / Morioka is the capital of Iwate Prefecture and a self proclaimed castle town of the north. The problem is there is no castle to be found. […]

Takamatsu no Ike Pond

A great place to escape the city The pond is spectacular all year round The pond is home to 60,000 birds during October to April The pond is surrounded by a nice walkway which has plenty of seating There are numerous water activities available for rental, including fish feeding for the children Takamatsu no Ike […]

Taneyamagahara in Iwate

The view from "Forest Playland Taneyama" (遊ン林ラド種山) A Matasaburo of the Wind statue welcomes you at Taneyama Plateau's Constellation Forest  Walking directions to Taneyama Plateau Dandelion fluff spread out before you A Taneyamagahara guide board Across the meadow, you can see the radar observatory of Mt. Monomi 450km from Tokyo north along the Tohoku Expressway, transfer from the Mizusawa […]

The Farm Life and Legends of Tono

The view of Tono from Mt. Takashimizu Helping in the soybean fields The Yamaguchi water mill in winter Say goodbye to the urban sprawl of modern Japan. Rural Japan is still alive and well—and in Tono, a small town in the rustic prefecture of Iwate, it’s intimately connected to nature and local history. Here, civilization […]

The Jagged Beauty of Genbikei Gorge

Upstream, the river churns as the wild rapids make their way through the narrow gorge The walkway allows visitors to walk over the jagged rocks of the gorge There is a beautiful walkway on one side of the river, where you can enjoy the seasonal colors of the dense foliage The Goramba Bridge is the […]

The Kamaishi Unosumai Tsunami Memorial Museum

A children drawing of the day The museum’s west side A giant rugby ball in front of the museum The museum’s main entrance Some recovered personal items A fire fighter’s jacket Kamaishi is located on the coast of Iwate on the Pacific side of Japan. Iwate is located in North East Japan called Tohoku in […]

Three Summit Hike Around Geto Onsen

Geto onsen in fall with Mt Ushigata in the background Geto onsen is part of the Kurikoma park The map of the hikes starting point The first fork in the trail A colourful mushroom Old tree making the trail Geto Onsen is located in the Kurikoma Quasi National Park that stretches from Kitakami in the […]


When the sun is fully visible The lighthouse at Todogasaki The sun is brighter now Hikers in the night The official si on the most eastern point of Honshu Looking for a good spot Todogasaki or Cape Todo in English is the eastern most point of Japan's main island, Honshu. It's now part of a […]

Unosu Dangai Tunnels

A gap in the rocks Unosu Dangai at sunrise The entrance of the first tunnel The second tunnel after a short beach Light an the end of the 3rd tunnel The 4th tunnel is quite straight The Sanriku Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of Tohoku. The jagged edge gives it many beautiful […]

Visit to Genbikei Gorge

Genbikei Gorge Most people go to Hiraizumi in Iwate for the temples listed as World Heritage Sites. Of course these are a must see, but if you are a nature and scenery buff like me, then you can’t go to this area and miss seeing this stunning gorge (Genbikei), as well as another one called […]

Wild Flowers of Iwate and Tohoku

Cypripedium Japonicum, クマガイソウ, blooms in June Another shot of the Cypripedium Japonicum Heloniopsis Orientalis, しょじょうばかま、blooms in early April near streams Another color of the Heloniopsis Orientalis A white Anemone Pseudoaltaica, かきずきいちげ, blooms in April A Japanese Violet, スミレ also blooms in April While Iwate may lack some of the features of the bigger cities, it […]

Yugendo Cave

The cave features narrow walkways with low overhead clearance, giving it a nice and rustic feeling The cave has a layer from the mid-Paleozoic era which indicates that the cave is about 350 million years old and was once 50 meters below sea level The cave is famous for various speleothems including stalactite, pillar, soda […]

Route 45 and the Sanriku Coast

The entrance of the Kabushima shrine Deep fried paradise The Hasshoku center in Hachinohe The airplane museum in Misawa A giant pot for cook offs Seagulls waiting for treats Route 45 is the main link that connects the coastal cities and towns of the Sanriku Coast. Sanriku, meaning 3 lands or territories, stretches from Miyagi […]

Spring Valley Ski Resort

One of the runs at Spring Valley. Another view out into the mountains from the top of Spring Valley. High-speed view of some trees off the main runs. The Sendai area is home to the largest population in Tohoku but sadly most of the big mountains for snowboarding are in Yamagata or Iwate. Spring Valley, […]

Accommodation in Kanegasaki, Iwate

The indoor and outdoor onsen baths at Midori-no-Sato Ryokan-Hotel Midori-no-Sato The extensive compound behind Midori-no-Sato Sengaishi Onsen Yumoto Azamakan Yumoto Azamakan’s outdoor onsen bath Nagaoka Onsen’s Yume-no-yu Just north of the World Heritage area of Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture, lies Kanegasaki, a lovely town that is known for its historic samurai district. If you visit […]

Farmhouse stay in Sumita

Local food cooked on a hot plate over a danro, or hearth. Entrance hall to the farmhouse. A traditional buddhist altar (butsudan) set in a tatami room. Hatsumi Sasaki demonstrates the traditional craft of zōri making. Hatsumi Sasaki grafts wefts together prior to weaving zōri. Guest enjoying a filling farmhouse breakfast! Local food cooked on a hot plate […]

Hotel Folkloro Hanamaki Towa

A hotel with a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, a tasteful local winery, a majestic mountain, and a peaceful farm all within a one-hour driving radius sounds pretty grand, doesn’t it? Welcome to Hotel Folkloro Hanamaki Towa! In addition to being ideally located near a few of Iwate’s incredible attractions, why not also enjoy complimentary […]

Hotel Pearl City Morioka

Outside Hotel Pearl City Morioka Main reception area The lobby is comfortable and cleanly kept Comfortable bedrooms Comfortable bedrooms The desk area in a bedroom, complete with television, refrigerator, tea-making facilities and writing space Outside Hotel Pearl City Morioka Hotel Pearl City Morioka is a hotel ideally situated right in the heart of Morioka. From Morioka […]

Yamayuri Hotel, Dai Onsen

A Japanese style room, at night this becomes the bedroom. The entrance, very Japanese The hotel from the outside The entrance is protected by a set of heavy wooden doors.   The lobby from the outside The lobby While in my previous installment I introduced a small hot spring place called Dai Onsen, this time I […]

A Trip to Furusato Mura, Tono

Within the farmhouses, you can watch demonstrations of traditional activities such as weaving Silk going through the loom in Furusato Mura The silk thread is kept neatly by the loom The traditional looms are enormous, manually operated mechanisms The fabric is dyed in circular bowls by hand This particular shade of blue is unique to […]

Chiba Family Magariya

Main section of ‘L’ shaped Chiba Family Magariya. Storehouse beside the Magariya. View behind the Magariya showing surrounding hills. Main section of ‘L’ shaped Chiba Family Magariya. When travelling along the highway between Tono and Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture, you may not even realize that this place exists. Located on the right hand side of […]

Chuson-ji Temple in Iwate

Approach to Chuson-ji Golden Hall Fujiwara Statue Motsu-ji Motsu-ji Geibi-kei Approach to Chuson-ji (Photo: ryohei) Chuson-ji temple was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2011. It is located at Hiraizumi in the middle of Iwate prefecture. It was originally founded in the 9th Century by a high-ranked Buddhist monk, Jikaku from Mt. Hiei-zan in […]

Folklore Museum, Michinoku Village

Straw footwear The start of the museum A wheel to mark the mud before planting rice Rice processing tools Different kinds of rice grown at that time Straw hoods The folklore museum at Michinoku Folklore Village, in Kitakami, is one of the most complete that I have seen depicting how life was for country folks […]

Former Numata Family Residence

The house features typical Edo Period architecture The entrance to the Former Numata Family Samurai Residence The interior of the house is immaculately maintained and gives visitors a glimpse of how the Samurai lived There is a Japanese guide on site who will happily show you around the house The interior decor of the house […]

Fukusenji Temple

The 5 story pagoda is the centrepiece of the hillside temple grounds One of my favourite buildings on the temple grounds One of the most impressive temples in all of Tono The most impressive temple is located at the top of the hill, well worth the walk An impressive gate at the entrance to Fukusenji […]

Boat Ride Through Geibikei Gorge

Geibikei Gorge Most people go to Hiraizumi in Iwate for the temples listed as World Heritage Sites. Of course, these are a must-see, but if you are a nature and scenery buff like me, then you can’t go to this area and miss seeing this beautiful gorge (Geibikei), and another one called Genbikei. The names […]

Giant Wooden Statue of Bishamonten

The great Bishamonten with other old statues inside a new, purpose-built storage building. The statue itself is more than 1,000 years old and was carved from a single cypress tree. Tsuchizawa Station in Towa City is the closest station to Kumano Shrine Bishamondo (Bishamon Hall). Stones of a Mandala in the grounds of a temple […]

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