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Morioka

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East Asia : Japan : Tohoku : Iwate : Morioka
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Kitakami river , Mount Iwate

Morioka (盛岡) is in the capital of Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Morioka is a major train station on the Tohoku Shinkansen line.

The most frequent Shinkansen services from Tokyo to Morioka are the all reserved Komachi (こまち) and Hayate (はやて), which normally run coupled together as a single train. The ride takes 2 1/2 hours at a cost of ¥13,840 each way, so you may want to consider purchasing a JR East Rail Pass or Japan Rail Pass beforehand.

Faster Hayabusa (はやぶさ) services make two daily round-trips between Morioka and both Tokyo and Aomori, complementing the other services. Fares for the Hayabusa are slightly higher (¥14,340 from Tokyo).

The Japan Rail Pass and JR East Rail Pass is valid for Ordinary and Green Cars on the Hayate, Komachi and Hayabusa. On the other hand, rail passes will only cover the basic fare if you are willing to try out the premium first class seating on the Hayabusa called "GranClass". To use "GranClass" the limited express and GranClass fare has to be paid (¥14,640 from Tokyo). Without a rail pass, "GranClass" costs ¥22,830 between Tokyo and Morioka.

By bus[edit]

An overnight bus service, the Rakuchin, runs twice nightly from Tokyo Station to Morioka (about 7 1/2 hours, ¥7,850 one way). Other companies offer cheaper, less comfortable rides for as little as ¥5,000.

Get around[edit]

Morioka is a small enough city to walk around. There are some useful transport methods.

By bus[edit]

Iwateken Kotsu bus operates Den-Den-Mushi Bus (with picture of snails painted on each vehicle) which encircles the city central area starting from Morioka main station via castle park and Bus Center. The cost is ¥100 per ride, and run every 10 min both clockwise and anti-clockwise during daytime.

See[edit][add listing]

  • the morioka zoo a great place to check out the animals in a peacefull surrounding


Do[edit][add listing]

Morioka has a number of popular festivals.

  • Chagu Chagu Umakko, 2nd Saturday of June. A parade of 100 colorfully decorated horses.
  • Sansa Odori, August 1-3. The much anticipated summer taiko (Japanese drum festival. Approximately 100,000 participating taiko players, flute players, and dancers parade down the main street, Odori. After the performance is finished, viewers can join in and dance in the street with the performers as a part of "Wa Daiko". A unique vibe, and absolutely free!
  • Funekko Nagashi, August 16th.
  • Hachiman Shrine Festival, September 14-16.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Nambu Sembei - Morioka's traditional wheat crackers.
  • Nambu Ironware
  • Chagu Chagu Umakko - Kids' toy horse.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Morioka Reimen (盛岡冷麺) - Spicy cold noodles severd with half a boiled egg, kim-chi and slide of either apple, watermelon or both.
  • Wankosoba (わんこそば) - Small servings of soba, served "all you can eat".
  • Morioka Jajamen (盛岡じゃじゃ麺) - Chinese Style noodles with miso.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Morioka is a small city, but it offers a number of good drinking options. The water in the area is clean and pure so there are a number of sake breweries. Japanese style 'Izakaya' bars are everywhere, and there are also some German style beer breweries which offer a variety of brews.

  • Ootaru, Oodori (15 minutes walk from the station). Japanese-style eatery with Asahi on tap and ¥1,500 2.5hr nomihodai (all you can drink) deals. Try the Pizza.

As with most cities in Japan, karaoke is a good drinking option, especially if you have a large group. Most places are ¥1,000 an hour, including drinks. A good place is right off Odori on the forth floor across the street from Ootaru.

'FACES' is a western-style and western-owned bar and club near the movie theaters on Eigakan Dori (movie theater street). Great place to meet other English speakers!

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Budget travellers of the male variety will likely quickly have their attention drawn to a heavily advertised capsule hotel and sauna existing directly opposite the train station. The price can be extremely cheap, but be warned however that capsule patrons can expect a rapidly upward sliding price scale on repeat use of the sauna facilities, and you may well wish to use them a second time in the morning because the air conditioning intake for the sleeping capsules lies in the smoker's lounge.

An alternative lies in a relaxation cafe along the main street on the left hand side, 2F, about a 1km from the station. Name begins with a Z~. Essentially this is a manga/internet cafe where the owner has thrown away all pretense of people reading manga and focussed on the essentials, napping, relaxing, sleeping, showering (small surcharge) and maybe checking the internet. Warm Balinese themed decor, seemed brand new as of summer 2009.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Toyoko Inn Morioka-eki Minami, Overlooking the river (3 minutes east of Morioka Station), [1]. A particularly nice Toyoko Inn. Opened in 2009 the odd numbered rooms overlook the river and from a high floor you get a nice sunrise. ¥5,600; winter discounts available.  edit

Get out[edit]

Routes through Morioka
Shin-AomoriNinohe
Iwate-Numakunai ←
 N noframe S  Shin-HamamakiSendai
AkitaKakunodate
Tazawa-ko ←
Shizukuishi ←
 N noframe S  → END → connects to Tōhoku line
AomoriHachinohe  N noframe S  HanamakiSendai
AomoriMatsuo-Hachimantai  N noframe S  HanamakiSendai




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