Iwaizumi Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Iwaizumi with this comprehensive travel guide. Discover the cultural and natural attractions of Iwaizumi, including museums, outdoor adventures, hiking and biking trails, and local cuisine. Find useful information on transport, accommodation, and shopping.

Introduction to Iwaizumi

Located in the northern part of Iwate Prefecture, Iwaizumi is a charming town that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Iwaizumi attracts visitors who seek to experience the traditional Japanese way of life surrounded by stunning landscapes.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore the best places to visit, things to do, and experiences to enjoy in Iwaizumi. From hiking and biking trails to museums and local cuisine, this guide covers all aspects of a perfect trip to Iwaizumi, Japan.

List of Places to Visit in Iwaizumi

Before planning your trip, it is essential to know the top attractions that Iwaizumi offers to tourists. Here are some of the must-visit places in Iwaizumi:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Kozo No Sato Historical Village

Kozo No Sato Historical Village is a time capsule that takes you back to the Meiji era of Japan. The village has a well-preserved collection of houses, temples, shrines, and traditional shops that give a glimpse of the rural lifestyle of the time. It is a perfect place to explore Japanese history and culture.

Sokei Shrine

Sokei Shrine is a stunning Shinto shrine nestled on top of a mountain overlooking Iwaizumi town. Surrounded by forests and mountains, the shrine offers breathtaking views of the town and the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk through the surrounding forest and make wishes at the shrine.

Makiba no Ie

Makiba no Ie is a museum that exhibits how the people of Iwaizumi lived in the past. The museum features displays of old farm equipment, traditional household items, and ancient pottery. Visitors can see how the daily life of Japanese people was a hundred years ago.

Natural Attractions of Iwaizumi: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Jodogahama Beach

Jodogahama Beach is a stunning beach with clear blue water and white sand. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and lush green forests. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and taking a boat ride to explore the nearby islands.

Ryusendo Cave

Ryusendo Cave is one of Japan’s most beautiful limestone caves, featuring crystal-clear underground lakes and rivers. The cave is illuminated, creating a mesmerizing sight. Visitors can take a guided tour inside the cave and witness the natural wonders of Japan.

Amihari Onsen

Amihari Onsen is a hot spring resort nestled in the heart of the mountains. Visitors can soak in the natural hot spring water while enjoying the stunning views of nature. The resort also offers outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Iwaizumi

Iwaizumi has a network of hiking and biking trails that offer stunning views of nature. Here are some of the best routes to explore:

Hiking Routes

Tanesashi Coastline

Tanesashi Coastline is a picturesque hiking trail that follows the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. The trail stretches for around 5 kilometers and offers stunning views of the sea, cliffs, and wildflowers.

Kurikoma Quasi-National Park

Kurikoma Quasi-National Park is a vast park that spans across three prefectures, including Iwate. The park offers a range of hiking trails that span across mountains, forests, and wetlands.

Biking Routes

Sanriku Fukko National Park

Sanriku Fukko National Park is a coastal park that offers a scenic bike route that covers around 72 kilometers. The route takes you through stunning coastal scenery, including the Jodogahama Beach and the Tanesashi Coastline.

Mt. Iwate Cycling Course

Mt. Iwate Cycling Course is a challenging route that covers around 106 kilometers. The route passes through mountains, forests, and rivers and offers stunning views of Mt. Iwate and the surrounding landscape.

Best Things to Do in Iwaizumi: Activities and Tours

Apart from exploring the natural and cultural attractions, visitors can enjoy a range of activities and tours in Iwaizumi. Here are the top things to do in Iwaizumi:


Iwaizumi offers excellent surf conditions for beginners and experienced surfers alike. The peaceful waves of the Pacific Ocean make it a perfect location to learn surfing or to enjoy a day in the water.


Kayaking is a popular activity in Iwaizumi, with several rivers and lakes available for kayaking. Visitors can rent kayaks or book a guided tour to explore the serene waterways of Iwaizumi.

Sea Urchin Fishing

Iwaizumi is renowned for its high-quality sea urchins. Visitors can experience sea urchin fishing and savor the fresh delicacy while enjoying the stunning coastal scenery.

Week-Long Itinerary for Iwaizumi

Day 1: Visit Sokei Shrine and enjoy the panoramic view of the town from atop the mountain.

Day 2: Explore Kozo No Sato Historical Village and learn about Japanese culture and traditions.

Day 3: Hike through Tanesashi Coastline and enjoy the scenic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Day 4: Visit Ryusendo Cave and witness the stunning natural wonders of Japan.

Day 5: Go kayaking in the serene waterways of Iwaizumi and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Day 6: Explore Jodogahama Beach and enjoy a boat ride to nearby islands.

Day 7: Relax in Amihari Onsen and soak in the natural hot spring water while enjoying the stunning views of nature.

Food and Drink Scene of Iwaizumi

Iwaizumi is renowned for its traditional cuisine and high-quality seafood. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

Iwate Wanko Soba

Iwate Wanko Soba is a local dish that features small portions of soba noodles served in dozens of small bowls. The dish is usually served with local seafood, including sea urchin and scallops.

Morioka Reimen

Morioka Reimen is a cold noodle dish made with chewy noodles, slices of beef, cucumbers, and kimchi. The dish is perfect for a refreshing summer meal as it is served chilled.

Local Beverages

Iwadate Sake

Iwadate Sake is a popular local sake made with high-quality rice and pure spring water from the mountains of Iwaizumi. The sake has a smooth texture and a subtle flavor that is perfect for pairing with local cuisine.

Nanbu Bijin Beer

Nanbu Bijin Beer is a locally brewed craft beer that offers a range of flavors, including wheat, IPA, and pale ale. The beer is made with high-quality ingredients and pure spring water from the mountains of Iwaizumi.

Where to Stay in Iwaizumi: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Iwaizumi offers a range of accommodation options for tourists, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some of the top places to stay in Iwaizumi:

Shirakami-so Guesthouse

Shirakami-so Guesthouse is a charming guesthouse located in the heart of Iwaizumi. The guesthouse offers a range of traditional Japanese rooms and Western-style rooms, making it suitable for all types of travelers.

Saryo Iwadate Ryokan

Saryo Iwadate Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn located in the mountains of Iwaizumi. The inn offers stunning views of nature and serves exquisite local cuisine.

Community Hostel Iwaizumi

Community Hostel Iwaizumi is a spacious hostel that offers dormitory-style rooms, private rooms, and family rooms. The hostel features a common kitchen, a lounge area, and a terrace where guests can enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

What to Buy in Iwaizumi: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Iwaizumi offers a range of local products and souvenirs that reflect the town’s culture and nature. Here are some of the best things to buy in Iwaizumi:

Hiraizumi Daggers

Hiraizumi Daggers are traditional Japanese knives made with high-quality steel and wood. The knives are renowned for their sharpness and durability and make a perfect souvenir or a gift.

Iwate Wanko Soba

Iwate Wanko Soba is not only a delicious meal but also makes a perfect souvenir to take home. Visitors can buy the soba noodles in packs and cook them at home.

Kumagai Shoyu Soy Sauce

Kumagai Shoyu Soy Sauce is a locally produced soy sauce that is made with high-quality soybeans and wheat. The soy sauce has a rich flavor and is a great addition to any kitchen.

Local Culture and Customs of Iwaizumi

Iwaizumi has a rich cultural heritage that reflects the traditional Japanese way of life. Visitors are expected to respect the local customs and traditions, including:

  • Taking off shoes before entering a home or a temple

  • Being respectful towards the elderly

  • Following the rules and regulations of the hot springs

  • Not littering in public areas

Best Time to Visit Iwaizumi

The best time to visit Iwaizumi is from May to October when the weather is warm and pleasant. The spring season brings blooming flowers, while the summer brings festivals and outdoor adventures. The autumn season offers stunning foliage and mild weather, making it perfect for hiking and biking. The winter season brings snow and offers opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Iwaizumi

To ensure a pleasant trip to Iwaizumi, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Respect the local customs and traditions

  • Try local cuisine and beverages

  • Take off shoes before entering a home or a temple

  • Explore the natural beauty of Iwaizumi


  • Litter in public areas

  • Disrespect the elderlies

  • Ignore the rules and regulations of the hot springs

  • Take pictures or videos of people without their consent

Safety and Health

Safety in Iwaizumi

Iwaizumi is a safe town with relatively low crime rates. However, visitors should take normal safety precautions, such as looking after their belongings and avoiding isolated areas at night.

Health in Iwaizumi

Iwaizumi has modern healthcare facilities, including clinics and hospitals. Visitors are advised to take the necessary health precautions, such as staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen when venturing outdoors.

Getting to Iwaizumi: Transportation Options and Logistics

Iwaizumi is located in Iwate Prefecture, approximately 500 kilometers from Tokyo. Here are the transportation options for reaching Iwaizumi:

Airports Near Iwaizumi

The nearest airports to Iwaizumi are Hanamaki and Sendai airports, approximately two and a half hours by train.

Bus Stations Near Iwaizumi

Iwaizumi is accessible by bus, with regular services from Morioka and Miyako.

Other Options

Visitors can also reach Iwaizumi by train, with the nearest train stations being Iwaizumi and Iwate-Amihari.

How to Get Around in Iwaizumi

The best way to get around Iwaizumi is by car or bicycle. Visitors can rent a car or a bicycle from several rental shops in town. Alternatively, public transportation, including buses and trains, is available for traveling between attractions.

Where to Go Next from Iwaizumi: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Iwaizumi is located near several other popular destinations in Japan. Here are some of the top places to visit near Iwaizumi:

  • Morioka: Morioka is the capital city of Iwate Prefecture, famous for its rich cultural heritage and local cuisine.

  • Matsushima: Matsushima is a scenic town located on the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, renowned for its stunning views of the islands and the Pacific Ocean.

  • Hiraizumi: Hiraizumi is a small town located in Iwate Prefecture, renowned for its ancient Buddhist temples and stunning gardens.


Iwaizumi is a hidden gem of Northern Japan that offers an ideal escape from urban life. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and authentic local cuisine, Iwaizumi is a must-visit destination for Japanese culture enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Plan your trip now to explore the best of Iwaizumi, Japan.