Iwate, Japan Jun. 19 Wed 7:41PM

24.4 / 75.8

Japan Off the Beaten Path

Iwate Prefecture, or Iwate-ken, is located in the Tohoku region of northern Japan along the Pacific coast. Iwate is a rural prefecture known for its scenic beauty of rugged coastlines, soft pink cherry blossom trees, and historic temples. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture on Japan's main island, Honshu, making it the perfect place to get off the beaten path in Japan. 

Cherry Blossoms at Mizusawa Park in Iwate

This is a place you can go to get away, to get away from the bustle of densely populated urban areas. Unwind with serene scenic beauty, and wander tranquil temple and shrine areas sure to give you peace of mind. Iwate is most known for its beautiful landscapes, full of natural beauty and perfect for nature lovers. 

The serenity of Iwate juxtaposes wonderfully with the friendly and lively people of Iwate, bringing a vibrancy that makes Iwate sparkle.

Kappabuchi Pond, Tono Iwate

Iwate is known for having a more natural landscape, with gorgeous mountain backdrop views, abundant greenery, and beautiful waters from lakes, oceans, and rivers. For those drawn to nature, Iwate is a perfect destination for your Japan trip. Iwate enjoys all four seasons beautifully, with snow in the winter that brings skiing and snowboarding aplenty. Fall brings autumn leaves that set a perfect backdrop against the cliffs while you drift through the rivers on a boat ride through the gorges. Summer brings warmth and light that only summer can. And spring brings gorgeous cherry blossoms that bring calm and whimsy to you. Since Iwate is lesser known and traveled to than other popular cherry blossom locations, you can truly enjoy the vibe that the sakuras bring. 

Cherry Blossoms in Kitakami, IwateCherry Blossoms in Kitakami, Iwate

Genbi River, IwateGenbi River, Iwate

Like many other places in the Tohoku region, Iwate's coast was devastated after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. While the region is still in recovery, it is entirely safe to visit.

There are also many historical buildings, old shrines and temples, and the like - many of them nestled between the trees of Iwate. Iwate is also home to many traditional types of crafting, and there are some historical crafting sites that showcase the traditional methods of the past. Iwate was once ruled by samurai families and was divided into a northern and southern regions. Due to this, you can find some differences between Northern Iwate and Southern Iwate if you visit. 

Many of the temples, shrines, and gardens are from anywhere between the 9th and 12th century, and are designated as World Heritage Sites. 

Takkokuno Iwaya

Kamaishi Mine Site


Michinoku Festival in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture

Many people are also delighted to see the many cultural traditions alive in Iwate. The people of Iwate bring infectious energy with their many festivals and events. There is a deep sense of community here, with the people keeping their traditions alive. Check out Morioka's, Sansa Odori Festival which takes place in August, or Michinoku Festival in Kitakami for some traditional performances.

Visit Tohoku


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