Silver Covers the Great Outdoors! 5 Amazing Winter Views at Iwate in the Tohoku Region
Out of all the areas in the nature-blessed Tohoku region, Iwate Prefecture is the area that’s the most jam-packed with amazing spots that you must see at least once! Below are 5 recommended winter spots for you to visit in this prefecture.
1. Lonesome Cherry Blossoms (Koiwai Farm, Mt. Iwate)
First on the list is the Lonesome Cherry Blossoms that lives in the magnificent mountain, Mt. Iwate. It resides in Koiwai Farm, and though nobody is quite sure exactly how old it is, people say it was planted around 100 years ago. It was originally planted to protect cows from the sun’s rays during the summer. Its dignified appearance during the winter makes it look almost like a painting!
Koiwai Farm Entrance Fee:
Adults (junior high school and above): 800 JPY (incl. tax)
Children (5 years old – 6th grade elementary school): 300 JPY (incl. tax)
2. Jodogahama Beach
Next up is Jodogahama Beach, which is located in-between Sanriku Fukko National Park and Sanriku Geo Park. The sharp and pointy white rocks with individual expressions that accent the beach make for a picturesque scene. In the summer, there are a lot of visitors who come to swim in the ocean, but there is a different kind of beauty to be seen during the winter with Jodogahama Beach covered in snow.
3. Genbikei Gorge
Next up on the list is Genbikei Gorge, a beauty of nature that was sculpted by Iwai River through erosion. This is a 2km-long dynamic sight that has unusual rocks, ravines, waterfalls in potholes, and more! Some of the best parts are the brushed rock surfaces, clear streams, and riverbanks that are accented by the beauty of all 4 seasons. It is listed as a Place of Scenic Beauty of Japan. You can enjoy the beautiful sight all throughout the year, but you will only be able to view the fairytale-like scenery of all the trees and unusual rocks blanketed by a layer of snow if you come in the middle of winter!
4. Hiraizumi [Konjikido (Golden Hall), Chuson-ji Temple]
Chuson-ji Temple of the Tendai sect is the representative site of Hiraizumi, which is well-known for having several temples, gardens, and historic ruins as World Heritage Sites. The Konjikido (Golden Hall) inside its premises has high historical worth, and has been designated as the No.1 national treasure of Japan. Using ancient techniques, it was built to showcase Sukhavati (Amitabha’s Pure Land), and was completed in 1124. From the Fukudo (type of roof that’s easy to build), you can enjoy a view that contrasts with nature all throughout the year, such as the first buds of spring or autumn foliage. However, you can only experience the gentle atmosphere that comes with the area powdered in snow during winter.
Entrance Fee (Konjikido, Sankozo Museum, Sutra Repository, Old Fukudo):
Adults: 800 JPY
High School Students: 500 JPY
Junior High School Students: 300 JPY
Elementary School Students: 200 JPY
5. Morioka Yuki Akari
Last on the list is the popular winter event, Morioka Yuki Akari, which takes place in Morioka City. It is an exhibition that consists of many Mini Kamakura (snow domes) that have candles, ice carvings, or snow statues inside. The warm light and the pure white snow join to form a magical, romantic world. It will mainly take place at Morioka Castle Ruins Park and Morioka History and Culture Museum. You can also find exhibits at places like Morioka Station Square or Higashi-O-Dori Shoten-gai.
Event Duration: Every year from the 2nd Thursday of February – Saturday of the same week (3-day duration)
Iwate Prefecture is easily accessible via airplane or shinkansen (bullet train) from everywhere in Japan, including Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. You should definitely put some of these spots into your winter travel plan!
*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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