Morioka Travel Guide

Morioka is an area located in the inland part of Iwate Prefecture.

Morioka is the central city of Iwate Prefecture, abundant in both nature and historical elegance. Its winters are cold, with the temperature lows frequently dropping below freezing. The cherry trees bloom about 1 month later than Tokyo’s, meaning they are in full bloom for Golden Week in early May.

Koiwai Farm is one of Morioka’s most representative sightseeing spots. In addition to livestock and agriculture, they also have cow and sheep pastures for visitors to observe, horseback riding, and they even have butter and ice cream making workshops. They also have guided tours; you can enjoy these tours in all 4 seasons, with cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn foliage in the fall. Koiwai Farm is also the location in which the snow-themed “Iwate Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival)” is held in early February every year.

Morioka has several other must-see events aside from the Iwate Yuki Matsuri. Every year in June the Chagu Chagu Umakko Horse Festival is held; this is a traditional activity done in order to show gratitude to horses used in agricultural work. The festival involves around 100 horses and their riders dressed up in luxurious and gorgeous clothes. They start at Takizawa City’s Onikoshisozen Shrine and ride all the way to Morioka Hachimangu, a distance of around 13km.

As for food, we recommend noodle dishes such as wanko soba, reimen, and jajamen. Wanko soba in particular is a unique experience: the waiter stands right next to your table, and whenever you finish a bowl of noodles they immediately refill your bowl with more noodles. Then when you finish that bowl you’re immediately given more noodles, and the process repeats. It’s not an eating contest, so enjoy your noodles at your own pace, with condiments if you like.

To get to Morioka Station the Tohoku Shinkansen is most convenient. From Tokyo Station to Morioka Station the minimum time is around 2 hours and 14 minutes; from Hokkaido’s Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station it takes a minimum of 2 hours. For traveling around Morioka you can use a car or a bus.

Tourism information: Morioka

Map: Morioka