A land of abundance surrounded with nature’s beauty, Iwate, is one of Japan’s largest prefectures just second to winter wonderland Hokkaido. There are many natural sights and sceneries as well as historical landmarks which you can visit in Iwate. There are also numerous hot springs to go to and relax.
There is no right or wrong timing when visiting Iwate because you can enjoy every season of the year here. And since it is winter already, here are some things you will love in winter in Iwate!
The Matarajin Matsuri is a festival that is held every January in the Motsuji Jogyodo Hall where people pray for good health, prosperity, bountiful harvest amongst other prayers. Men wear loincloths and carry large torches. The parade starts from the station at around 7 pm in the evening. People who are a part of the unlucky age (yakudoshi) will parade to the Jogyodo Hall and the men in loincloths compete with each other to grab what is believed to be the luck-bringing Somin Bag.
When traveling to certain areas, there are times you may want to try out the area’s specialty dishes. In Iwate, the Morioka Reimen Noodles is one of those dishes and is available in a number of establishments in Morioka! The dish is actually Korean by origin but has been altered to suit the Japanese taste. The Morioka Reimen Noodles is served in cold soup with beef, a boiled egg, cucumber, and kimchi with a piece of fruit. The noodle texture is rubbery and you may feel that having cold noodles soup in the winter might is a little odd but why not give the specialty dish a try if you’re in the area!
There are a number of ski resorts available in Iwate in the Shizukuishi, Kitakami and Hachimantai areas where you can get to enjoy snow and winter activities. In Kitakami, the Geto Kogen Ski Resort is best known for its snow quality and offers Skiing and Snowboarding lessons.
In the Hachimantai Resort, there are two ski areas separated for beginners and intermediate to advanced skiers. And the Amihari Onsen Ski Resort in Shizukuishi Town is on the slopes of Mt. Imukura which is surrounded by beautiful forests with trails for all levels of skiers.
As you can see, there is so much to love about Iwate in the winter season. If you’re planning to take a trip to Japan, then why not take a trip to Iwate and experience a rural district escape.