Seeking the treasures of Morioka & Iwate: places to go in 2023

Discover the culture, food, and historical buildings that make Morioka and Iwate Prefecture so special.

Enjoy a special experience you can only have in autumn.
The "Morioka Premium Town Walk" is a special event that includes a visit to a Jazz Café in a historical building designated as a National Important Cultural Property, where visitors cannot normally eat or drink, and a Morioka Traditional Sake Brewery Tour where you can observe the highly polished sake brewing techniques of the “Nanbu Toji” master brewer and sample sake specially brewed for sake competitions, which is not available on the market.

The event will also feature a premium buffet that can only be experienced on this day and in this location at the Morioka Castle Ruins in Morioka and three world-class World Heritage sites (Hiraizumi, Hashino Iron Mine and Smelting Site, and Goshono Site). At this special event, visitors will be able to get their fill of Iwate's food and local sake while viewing traditional local arts that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Wanko soba is a traditional specialty dish representative of Iwate Prefecture. The waiter will fill the bowls with one bite-size serving of soba after another, and the bowls will stack up higher the more you eat. Take your shot at the first Wanko Soba World Championship!

Each special experience in Morioka City and its World Heritage Sites will be sure to leave unforgettable memories.

CONTENTS

01. Bistro Wanko

  • Sample Image
About Bistro Wanko
A premium buffet will be held at Morioka Castle Ruins Park and the 3 World Heritage Sites in Iwate Prefecture, where you can enjoy local ingredients, traditional cuisine, and local sake. Stage attractions including local performing arts are also planned!
* "Wanko" is a word in the local dialect referring to small wooden bowls.

Hiraizumi Venue (World Heritage Site Hiraizumi Kanjizaio-in Ruins Special Venue)
Experience traditional culture by the waterside, surrounded by the whispers of the Buddhist Pure Land
Hiraizumi

Morioka Venue (Morioka Castle Ruins Park Special Venue)
Enjoy Wanko cuisine at a castle site gaining global attention


Morioka Castle Ruins

Kamaishi Venue (World Heritage Site Hashino Iron Mine and Smelting Site Special Venue)
Gaze at the light and fire of the birthplace of Japan's modern age
Hashino Iron Mine and Smelting Site

Ichinohe Venue (Special Venue in Goshono Jomon Park)
Surround yourself with autumn colors and enjoy the bounty of a forest from antiquity
Goshono Site

02. International Wanko Soba Championship - Have fun and make new friends over a bowl of wanko soba

October 1(Sun)
About International Wanko Soba World Championship
The “International Wanko Soba Championship” will be held for the first time in Morioka City. there are championships with children's groups and general groups for the public. Everyone can enjoy the Wanko Soba” tournament.

03. Morioka Traditional Sake Brewery Tour - Try artisanal sake only available here!

Saturdays and Sundays in September and October
*Except October 7(Sat) and 8(Sun)
Morioka Traditional Sake Brewery Tour - Try artisanal sake only available here!
You can observe the refined sake brewing skills and the traditional handmade process of the “Nanbu Toji” master brewer.
You can also taste sake created for the sake appraisal competition that is not usually sold on the market on this special tour.

04. Jazz Live Show and Café - A limited two-day event at one of the most famous buildings in Morioka

October 21(Sat)-22(Sun)
Enjoy Jazz in a café at the Bank of Iwate Red Brick Building, designated a National Important Cultural Property.
The Bank of Iwate Red Brick Building, built in the Taisho Era and featured in the New York Times, is a fusion of the architectural beauty of the West and the East. For a limited time, you can enjoy jazz and coffee in this historic building.
Enjoy a one-of-kind experience at this unique jazz café and take in the history and culture of Morioka.

TICKETS

  • ■ Morioka Traditional Sake Brewery TourJPY 3,600
  • ■ Exclusive Jazz Live Show and CaféJPY 5,000
  • ■ Bistro Wanko
    • Hiraizumi (Special Venue)JPY 5,500
    • Morioka Castle Ruins Park
      (Special Venue)
      • Premium CourseJPY 15,000
      • Buffet CourseJPY 5,500
    • Hashino Iron Mine (Special Venue)JPY 6,000
    • Goshono Jomon Park (Special Venue)JPY 5,500
  • ■ Wanko Soba World Championship
    • ExperienceJPY 1,700
    • Wanko Soba World ChampionshipJPY 2,200

SPOT

About Morioka City,
Iwate Prefecture

Iwate Prefecture is the largest prefecture in Honshu (the main island of Japan) by area, and is a city with a sense of openness that is perfect for traveling by car, motorbike, or bicycle.

Morioka City was introduced as the second city after London in the New York Times January, 2023 article "52 Places to Go in 2023." This article describes it as a "walkable gem" and it is attracting more and more attention.

WORLD HERITAGE

Iwate Prefecture is one of the few prefectures in Japan that has 3 World Heritage Sites!
Important sites in the history and industrial development of each of Japan’s historic periods— the Jomon period, the Heian period, the Edo period, and the Meiji period— can all be found here in Iwate. Enjoy a tour of Iwate’s World Heritage Sites!

Hiraizumi
  • Hiraizumi
In June 2011, "Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land" was registered as a World Heritage site.
Among the properties that comprise the Hiraizumi World Heritage Site are the national treasure Chuson-ji Konjikido, the Motsu-ji Garden (designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty), the Chuson-ji temple grounds, the Motsu-ji temple grounds, and the Muryokoin site (designated as a Special Historic Site).
Hashino Iron Mine and Smelting Site
  • Hashino Iron Mine and Smelting Site
Registered as a World Heritage Site in July 2015 as one of the sites in the group "Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining."
The Hashino Iron Mine is the site of Japan's oldest existing Western-style blast furnace and tells the story of the iron-manufacturing production process that pioneered Japan's industrialization from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji era.
Goshono Site
  • 御所野遺跡
This site was registered as a World Heritage site as one of the sites in the group "Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan" in July, 2021.
The Goshono Ruins site is a long east-west plateau with hills on the east side of the site scattered with ruins of ancient settlements. It is thought to be the site of a settlement where people were living for approximately 500 years during the latter half of the Middle Jomon Period.
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ACCESS

■To Morioka city center
  • From Aomori Station to Morioka Station = 70-100 minutes by local train or Shinkansen
  • From Hanamaki Station to Morioka Station = 40 minutes by local train
  • From Tokyo Station to Morioka Station = 130 minutes by Shinkansen
*15-minute walk from Morioka Station
The sake brewery tour facility is located 10 minutes by car.
■To Hiraizumi
  • From Aomori Station to Hiraizumi Station = 180 minutes by local train or Shinkansen
  • From Hanamaki Station to Hiraizumi Station = 50 minutes by local train
  • From Tokyo Station to Hiraizumi Station = 160 minutes by Shinkansen or local train
*10-minute walk from Hiraizumi Station
■To Hashino Iron Mine and Smelting Site
  • From Hanamaki Station = 80 minutes by car
  • From Aomori Station to Shin-Hanamaki Station = 120 minutes by Shinkansen (then 75 minutes by car)
  • From Tokyo Station to Kitakami Station = 180 minutes by Shinkansen (then 75 minutes by car)
■To the Goshono Jomon Site
  • From Aomori Station to Ninohe Station = 60 minutes by local train or Shinkansen
  • From Shin-Hanamaki Station to Ninohe Station = 75 minutes by Shinkansen
  • From Tokyo Station to Ninohe Station = 160 minutes by Shinkansen
*15 minutes by car from Ninohe Station

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