photo by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)
Featuring both mountains and sea, Iwate is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Japanese main island. The capital is Morioka.
The prefecture offers beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring, swimming in the summer, incredible autumn sceneries, winter sports, and remarkable festivals all year round.
- MORIOKA CITY
- Located in Iwate prefecture, Morioka city is one of Tohoku’s most pleasant cities.
Being a former castle town, one of its main attractions is the Morioka Castle Ruins Park, the place where Morioka Castle once stood.
- WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
- Iwate’s wide land can be divided in three parts. In the central and northern region there are Morioka city, Hachimantai, a mountain plateau with beautiful natural scenery and rustic hot spring resorts, and the Koiwai Farm, a 3000-hectare private farm located at the base of Mt.Iwate, famous for its dairy products ( approximately 750,000 people visit each year).
The southern area is home to famous hot spring resorts and the Rikuchu Kaigan National Park.
- GETTING THERE
- By airplane
Tokyo and Morioka are connected to each other by the JR Tohoku Shinkansen ( bullet train). A one way ride takes approximately 2.5 hours, seats reservations being mandatory on the train.
Many highway buses operate from the National Capital region to Iwate, for example, from Tokyo to Morioka, from Shinagawa to Miyako, from Ikebukuro to Kamaishi, from Ikebukuro and Omiya to Hanamaki, from Yokohama to Morioka, from Shinjuku to Tono.
- CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
- The prefecture’s climate varies by region.
Most of Iwate inland areas are mountainous. A large difference between summer and winter, and between night and day is felt in these areas. They receive abundant snow falls each year and are home to some of the best ski resorts in Japan.
The coastal areas are cool in summer and not as cold and with lesser snow than the inland areas in winter. Spring comes comparatively early.
With an average of 22.0 °C, August is the warmest month and at -4.1 °C on average, January is the coldest month of the year.
- WHAT TO WEAR
- During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves. Snow boots are advisable if you are going to the mountains.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket should keep you warm.
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