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Earth : Asia : East Asia : Japan : Honshu : Tohoku : Iwate
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Japan iwate map small.png
Flag of Iwate Prefecture.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Morioka
Government Japanese Prefecture
Currency Japanese Yen (¥)
Area 15,278.40 km2
Population 1,330,530(2010 est)
Language Japanese(No official language)
Religion n/a
Electricity 100V/50 or 60Hz (U.S. plug, commonly 2-prong without ground)
Time Zone UTC +9(No DST)

Iwate prefecture (岩手県 Iwate-ken) is in the northeastern Tohoku region of the main Japanese island Honshu.


Iwate is just a stone's throw away from Miyagi, and the largest city in Tohoku, Sendai. The coastal areas were damaged very heavily by the 2011 Tsunami but the area has been recovering steadily since then.

This is a great place for people wanting to experience "deep Japan", with towns and cities steeped in history, agriculture and scenery. The "Golden Route" within Iwate is usually considered to be the route between Hiraizumi, Tono and Hanamaki.


  • Morioka — The prefectural capital.
  • Hachimantai
  • Hanamaki — Hanamaki is most famous as the birthplace of Kenji Miyazawa and for its onsen.
  • Hiraizumi — once rivaled Kyoto, but now known for two temples and a poet who visited 400 years ago.
  • Ichinoseki
  • Iwaizumi — the town has Ryusendo, one of Japan's three famous caves.
  • Kamaishi
  • Kuji— a small city known for its amber production and alma diver women.
  • Kuzumaki — has rich nature.

Other destinations[edit]

  • Ryusendo lime stone cave - located in Iwaizumi, considered one of the three major lime stone caves in Japan.It also boasts one of the largest underground lakes in Japan, with crystal-clear water.


Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • There is Hanamaki Iwate Airport at Hanamaki but it only has limited domestic services and occasional flights to other locations in East Asia.
  • The main airport in Tohoku is Sendai Aiport but international services are largely confined to East Asia.
  • Most foreign visitors are likely to enter through Haneda or Narita in wider Tokyo and make their way north by train.

By train[edit]

Do note that the JR Rail Pass and the JR East Rail Pass covers all JR lines through Iwate.

  • The Tohoku Shinkansen barrels through Ichinoseki and Morioka on its way from Sendai north to Aomori.
  • IGR Iwate Ginga Tetsudo It's north train of Iwate
  • JR Yamada Line
  • JR Hanawa Line
  • JR Tazawako Line
  • JR Iwaizumi Line One of JR's least frequent service lines with 3 daily round-trip services between Moichi and Iwaizumi.
  • Sanriku Railway (Kita-Lias Line) runs between Miyako (Iwate) and Kuji.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Geibikei Gorge (near Ichinoseki)-enjoy a ride on one of the boats and listen to the singing of your guide. Feed koi carp in warmer weather, enjoy the changing leaves in the fall and the snow in the winter.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • tetsukuri mura(盛岡手づくり村, "handmade village")

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Azumaya you can eat wanko-soba
  • Pyon pyon Sya It's famouse for Reimen (cold noodles) shop. There are many chain shops in Iwate and Tokyo.

Drink[edit][add listing]


  • Many places in Iwate have farm-stay / home-stay programs - a great way to get to meet the locals and more importantly, live like the locals. Try the various Minshuku (home-stays) at Tono for example.
  • Hotel Oshuku Onsen Choeikan, 〒020-0574 Shizukuishi, Oshuku, 6−7, +81 19-695-2121, [1]. An onsen ryokan that uses natural hot-spring water for its baths. There is staff that speak fluent English, which helps with appreciating what you are eating at dinner. Call ahead to arrange complimentary pick-up from Shizukuishi station, on the Tawazako line. $150 in the off-season.  edit

Get out[edit]

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