When to travel?

Iwate is located at the Pacific Ocean side, so that the weather in winter is milder in these areas.  However, if you are planning to go to the inner part of the prefecture or to the mountain side, then it is better to be prepared well.

Best season: May-Oct
Winter activity: Jan-Mar
Cherry blossoms: Apr
Foliage: Nov

Events / Festivals

June: Chagu Chagu Umako (チャグチャグ馬コ), Takizawa 滝沢
Aug: Morioka Sansa festival (盛岡さんさ祭), Morioka
Aug: Sanriku Ofunato summer festival (三陸・大船渡夏祭り), Ofunato 大船渡
Sep: Hanamaki festival (花巻祭), Hanamaki 花巻

Touristic spots

Capital: Morioka(盛岡)

40 minutes away from Hanamaki airport, this city was developed under the governance of Nambu Family.  The castle was demolished however, the remaining site which is now used as a park, which still shows the long history and offers a relaxing ambiance with cherry blossoms or foliage, depends on the season.

Mt. Iwate, which is also called as Nambu Fuji, can be seen from the city if the weather permits.

Former Iwate Morioka bank, by the same designer of Tokyo Station.
Morioka Shiroato park (盛岡城跡公園) offers place to relax and feel the season.
Mt. Iwate (岩手山), a symbol of the prefecture.


Iwate’s second biggest city.  A famous poet, Kenji Miyazawa (宮沢賢治), was born in this city and we can still see so monuments related to this poet.  Mt. Hayachine (早池峰山), which is nominated as one of the 100 greatest mountains in Japan can be accessed from this city, too.

Idyllic Japanese countryside in Hanamaki city.
Mt. Hayachine (早池峰山), 1917m.

Appi Plateau(安比高原)

This ski resort is gaining more popularity in recent years, thanks to the redevelopment of touristic hotels and attractions.  The plateau is at the height of 800-900 meters so that it provides cool weather in summer, and offers longer ski season.  There is a farm where you can enjoy dairy products, and the forests to enjoy hiking, too.

Great snow quality and view.

Koiwai farm (小岩井農場)

This is the biggest private farm established back in 1891.  The farm is located at the mountain so that the cold wind and the ashes from the mountain had been hitting the farm, which has made the production very difficult.  Spending more than 10 years to solve the problem, they have finally succeeded in making the farm more productive.

We can see more than 300 sheep, along with the restaurants that sell fresh dairy products.

More than 300 sheep in the farm.
Ippon Zakura (一本桜) near Koiwai farm.

Tono (遠野)

Tono is a home for all the Japanese people as it reminds us of the old times in the countryside, like in a picture book.  It is also a home for many fairy tales which is known to every Japanese people.

In the time of the harvest.
Steam train running between Hanamaki and Kamaishi (釜石), from April to September.

Geibikei gorge(猊鼻渓)

Ride on the boat and cruse down the Satetsu river.  What makes the river cruise so unique is that the boatmen sing a local song while passengers also rowing a boat.  In the seasons of foliage or wisteria, the view gets even more amazing.

Cruising down the river in the season of foliage.

Getou Hot spring (夏油温泉)

It is said that this hot spring is one of the most hidden ones in Japan.  The hot spring is located in the rich nature, and the people can enjoy their great view.

The water has so much calcium and we can see this in the water.  However, as Muslim tourists, please be reminded that some of them are mixed-bath, so carefully choose before going inside.

Tsunagi(繋) Hot spring

While Getou Hot spring is difficult to access, Tsunagi Hot spring is only 30 minutes away from Morioka.  There are various hotels available, so it could be a great idea to chill and relax in one of these Japanese traditional inns.