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Iwate Prefecture
 
 
Sakura Spots April


Kitakami Tenshochi | Kitakami City
Along the lef bank of Kitakami River, a river flowing on the eastern side of former post town Kitakami, about 10,000 cherry trees line for 5 kilometers from Sango Bridge. Cherry Blossom Festivals are held every year from mid April to early May, and the area gets crowded with vacationers coming for tour coach and boatrides as well as cherry blossoms.

■Iwate Park | Morioka City
Morioka Castle was the center castle of the Nambu Lord and was located in the center of today Morioka city. Now there are no remains of the castle left in Iwate Park, and only the stone wall and the inner moat silently tells the traces of the past. During the blossoming season about 600 Someiyoshino trees put on marvelous flowers which can be viewed both day and night.

 
Foliage Spots October

■Hachimantai Plateau | Matsuo Village

Hachimantai is a plateau created by a volcano range, and has many swamps, marshes and mountain plants on its surface. To go to the top you can take the tollway, and in autumn you can get a magnificent view of colored leaves on this road. The 1,614m high plateau forms a mild slope, and from the parking area down to Hachimantai marsh runs a nice promenade. A number of hot spring resorts welcome many visitors near the plateau, and from the Akita side you can get the autumn view as you relax in the hot spring.
 
 
Prefectural Guide
 

Ishiwarizakura

In the narrow crack between huge granite rocks grow the Edo-higan cherry tree, which is 1.35 meters in diameters and more than 360 years old.

Magnificent cherry blossoms flower every spring and many people come to appreciate the grand yet harmonious scene of the huge rocks and the old tree.

The tree has been registered the national natural monument back in 1923.

 
Iwate Park
(Iwate Koen)

This park gets covered with gorgeous cherry blossoms in spring, gives a cool green shade to the city in summer, and embellishes itself with brilliant autumn leaves in fall.

But above all the seasons, the park is probably the most attractive in winter when it is covered up with snow looking like a piece of sumie painting (Indian-ink drawing) with the lit up stonewalls creating an illusionary atmosphere.

With benches of Nambu-tekki (local ironware) facing the water and a rich variety of trees such as maple, zelkova and tulip trees thriving, the park provides a quiet and relaxing space for those who visit.

The stonewalls of the castle ruins are built with granite rocks, and the spot is known as one of the Three Major Castle Ruins of Tohoku district.
 

Morioka Handi Works Square
(Morioka Tezukuri-mura)

Here you can have a look at artisans of 10 kinds of handcrafts such as Nambu-tekki, bamboo crafts, straw crafts, wooden toys, pottery, ceramics, dyed goods and local snacks/ sweets etc.
work in 14 different ateliers, and you can even try some of the handcrafts under their instruction.

In this “village” there is also the Nambu-magariya (an L-shaped Iwate-style village house) and showroom where many agricultural tools are put on display and the old lifestyle of local people is introduced.

If you want to bring home some handcrafts, snacks or liquor from Iwate, visit the souvenir shop where you have a choice of more than 4,500 kinds of gifts.

             
 

Hiraizumi

There are many historical and religious sites to visit in this city including Chusonji Temple where the first national architectural treasure Konjikido is, and Motsuji Temple which has the oldest Jodo style Japanese garden.
 

Tono

Tono is widely known for many folktales, but the most famous is probably the kappa (an imaginary water imp) legend which is still speciously told among local people.

The area also grows wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and here you will find unique food such as wasabi beer (which is in vivid green) and wasabi soft cream (with just a hint of wasabi scent and flavor).
 

 
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