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Iwate Prefecture, proudly the second largest prefecture in Japan, is brimming with attractions throughout its vast land

Iwate Prefecture is located on the Pacific Ocean side of Tohoku, in north-eastern Honshu. The area that Iwate covers is larger than Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures and metropolitan Tokyo put together, making it the second largest prefecture after Hokkaido. Iwate is blessed with abundant nature including mountainous and hilly areas and the ria coast of inlets. The extensive land of this prefecture is also distinctive for the varying climates in each region. The area alongside the Ou Mountains rising in the west experiences heavy snowfall in the winter, as is the climate on the Japan Sea side of Honshu. Meanwhile, the Kitakami Mountains in the east has the climate of highlands and basin areas. And the plains alongside the Kitakami River, which flows in between the east and west, have the extremely hot summers and cold winters that are typical of inland areas. Then there is the coastline, which has only a small variation in daily and yearly temperatures, as is the climate of regions near the ocean. These climate features give Iwate its vibrant seasonal colors and majestic natural scenery, and they have also nurtured its rich history and culture.

It is an approximately 2-hour and 10-minute ride on the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo Station to Morioka Station. With its easy access from Tokyo as well, Iwate Prefecture is a definite “must-see” destination packed with sightseeing spots. Northern Iwate is home to Kuji City, which is famous as the setting for the popular NHK TV drama “Ama-chan.” Hachimantai is located in the central prefectural area that includes Morioka City, the prefectural capital. It has splendid nature and superb scenery, making it a popular place for trekking and driving for sightseeing. Southern Iwate is home to numerous historical sites including the Hiraizumi World Heritage Site, as well as many temples and shrines, Japanese gardens, and archaeological relics. You can experience the prosperity of the Heian Period (794-1185) even today, through the historical sites in Southern Iwate. The ria coast, with its intricate maze of inlets, creates a distinctive coastline that is a reservoir of seafood - in fact, it is one of the world’s three largest fishing areas. This coastal area is well-known not only for its delicious and fresh seafood; it is also a popular sightseeing spot of picturesque places including Jodogahama Beach and the Ryusendo Cave.

Iwate Prefecture is also the birthplace of numerous literary legends, such as the novelist and poet of children’s literature Kenji Miyazawa whose major works include Night on the Galactic Railroad, and the poet Takuboku Ishikawa who wrote A Handful of Sand. Another way to enjoy Iwate is to take a nostalgic tour of the places connected to some of Japan’s literary legends who come from here. Iwate is also well known as one of the leading hot spring areas in Tohoku, with numerous hot spring resorts scattered throughout the prefecture. We hope you enjoy a blissful and healing time of relaxing your mind and body at Iwate’s hot springs!
Read more Hide Iwate Prefecture is located on the Pacific Ocean side of Tohoku, in north-eastern Honshu. The area that Iwate covers is larger than Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures and metropolitan Tokyo put together, making it the second largest prefecture after Hokkaido. Iwate is blessed with abundant nature including mountainous and hilly areas and the ria coast of inlets. The extensive land of this prefecture is also distinctive for the varying climates in each region. The area alongside the Ou Mountains rising in the west experiences heavy snowfall in the winter, as is the climate on the Japan Sea side of Honshu. Meanwhile, the Kitakami Mountains in the east has the climate of highlands and basin areas. And the plains alongside the Kitakami River, which flows in between the east and west, have the extremely hot summers and cold winters that are typical of inland areas. Then there is the coastline, which has only a small variation in daily and yearly temperatures, as is the climate of regions near the ocean. These climate features give Iwate its vibrant seasonal colors and majestic natural scenery, and they have also nurtured its rich history and culture.

It is an approximately 2-hour and 10-minute ride on the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo Station to Morioka Station. With its easy access from Tokyo as well, Iwate Prefecture is a definite “must-see” destination packed with sightseeing spots. Northern Iwate is home to Kuji City, which is famous as the setting for the popular NHK TV drama “Ama-chan.” Hachimantai is located in the central prefectural area that includes Morioka City, the prefectural capital. It has splendid nature and superb scenery, making it a popular place for trekking and driving for sightseeing. Southern Iwate is home to numerous historical sites including the Hiraizumi World Heritage Site, as well as many temples and shrines, Japanese gardens, and archaeological relics. You can experience the prosperity of the Heian Period (794-1185) even today, through the historical sites in Southern Iwate. The ria coast, with its intricate maze of inlets, creates a distinctive coastline that is a reservoir of seafood - in fact, it is one of the world’s three largest fishing areas. This coastal area is well-known not only for its delicious and fresh seafood; it is also a popular sightseeing spot of picturesque places including Jodogahama Beach and the Ryusendo Cave.

Iwate Prefecture is also the birthplace of numerous literary legends, such as the novelist and poet of children’s literature Kenji Miyazawa whose major works include Night on the Galactic Railroad, and the poet Takuboku Ishikawa who wrote A Handful of Sand. Another way to enjoy Iwate is to take a nostalgic tour of the places connected to some of Japan’s literary legends who come from here. Iwate is also well known as one of the leading hot spring areas in Tohoku, with numerous hot spring resorts scattered throughout the prefecture. We hope you enjoy a blissful and healing time of relaxing your mind and body at Iwate’s hot springs!

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