Iwate in the Tohoku region prides itself on its size that is second only to Hokkaido. This is an area filled with nature that is divided by the huge mountain ranges. Here are 5 scenic spots that you should visit when you come to Iwate.
Ryusendo is one of Japan's three major limestone caves, which serves as the habitat for bats as well as one of the country's natural monuments. It is still unknown how long the total extension of the cave is; only about 3,600m has been recorded so far, but it is believed that the cave measures to more than 5,000m. Only about 700m of this cave is open to the public. Furthermore, there are about 8 underground lakes, three of which are open to the public. Here you may enjoy the view of these blue lakes, whose clarity is one of the most transparent in the world.
Entrance Fee: Adults (High School Students and above) 1,000 JPY, Elementary and Middle School Students 500 JPY
A beautiful blue underground lake
Hachimantai is located in northern Akita, with the highlands spreading over with the volcanic group as its center. You may find ski resorts, spas, to drive and trekking courses within the area, as well as nature-filled scenic spots such as the soft rime trees. The only especially recommended to visit would be the 1,613m tall Hachimantai summit. This is a perfect place to cool off, as it is only about 15 ℃ in midsummer. How about taking a walk while gazing upon the Hachimannuma Pond and the beautiful alpine plants?
You may also see other brightly colored plants as Hachimantai is furthermore known as one of the country's leading sightseeing place for autumn leaves. Along the way to the summit, you should see the Hachimantai Aspite Line, as well as the Matsukawa Valley, where many of these plants grow.
Geibikei is one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan, and is a valley that stretches over 2km, which was created by how the river corroded the limestone. You may find a sheer cliff by the stream bank that measures over 100m and is considered as one of the country's most spectacular viewing spots. It may be a good idea to avail of the boat service (back and forth, 90 min) where you may maneuver the boat using a rod. You may enjoy the nature-filled scenery provided by the season, as you pass through the forceful gaps of the bluffs.
Boat Ride: Adults 1,600 JPY, Elementary School Students 860 JPY, Children 200 JPY
Jodogahama is a scenic spot located at the heart of the Sanriku Fukko National Park and the Sanriku Geopark. This spot shows the beautiful contrast between the pine buds and the blue sea, and is also where you may find pointed white rocks lined up next to one another, which are said to have been around for 52 million years. Jodogahama is popular place to swim at especially in the summer due to its extremely clear waters and calm waves.
This picturesque place stretches over a total of about 2km and offers a dynamic sight thanks to its massive rocks, Giant's kettle, and waterfall. Because of the stunning scene one may witness here, Genbikei is considered as one of the country's scenic natural monuments. What is charming about Genbikei is how the waves hit the rocks fiercely, how majestic the water splashes upwards, the downstream view where you may see the calm abyss, as well as how the landscape changes depending on where you view it from. It is recommended not only to visit once the greenery sprouts out, but also when the autumn leaves come about!
These are some beautiful scenic spots that you would want to preserve within a picture. Please try to visit these places when you come to Iwate for a trip.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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