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Iwate

Iwate is a prefecture in the northern part of Tohoku, and is the second largest prefecture in Japan after Hokkaido. Chuson-ji, a temple part of the World Heritage Site Hiraizumi, is a must-see. You can see the temples, garden, and ruins that were created to look like the perfect world surrounded by lush nature. Other recommendations are the town of Tono, which still retains a traditional appearance, and Koiwai Farm, where you can enjoy activities and meals within nature. You can also check out Ryusendo, an impressive limestone farm filled with some of the world's clearest underground pools, and the Sanriku coast, which has unique topography like Jodogahama (rock formations in the sea around which people like to swim) and beautiful scenery. If you visit Iwate, you absolutely must try their three great noodle dishes: wanko soba, Morioka reimen, and Morioka jajamen. All of these have their own unique deliciousness. Please try their local specialties such as locally produced brand beef, seafood dishes using scallops, saury, or oysters, or dishes like hittsumi-jiru stew. For souvenirs, Nanbu-tekki ironware teapots and windchimes, Nanbu senbei rice crackers, Kamome no Tamago sweets, or sake from Nanbu Toji are highly recommended. There are also many hot springs, such as Hanamaki Onsen or Osawa Onsen, so you can spend a leisurely time in a ryokan (traditional inn) after sightseeing.

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