NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]


The Ou Mountains lie in the west with Kitakami Mountains spanning out to the east of Iwate Prefecture. Kitakami River, the largest river in the Tohoku region, flows between the two mountain ranges into the plains. The coastal area is a combination of cliffs as high as 200 meters that continues for 8 kilometers, and a rias formed by the foothills of Kitakami Mountain sinking underwater. The contrast of these two different landforms creates an attractive landscape. The area is also known for being one of the most abundant fishing grounds in the world.

  • Hotel Morinokaze Oushuku

    Hotel Morinokaze is a spa resort hotel surrounded by the nature of Shizukuishi Town. The hotel attracts many guests with their cuisine prepared from carefully selected ingredients, and various accommodation plans. Guests can enjoy the spectacular view of Shuho Iwate Mountains from the large open-air bath, the pride of the hotel.
    10-64-1 Oshuku, Shizukuishi, Iwate
  • Hakuryu, Main Store

    The first shop to serve ”Morioka Jajamen”, one of Morioka’s three great noodles. This is a local gourmet dish using a secret recipe meat ”miso”, cucumber, and green onion on warm ”udon” noodles with a dash of chili oil and garlic. It is also popular to finish off the meal with Zhidan soup by saving a single helping of noodles, and adding broth and a beaten egg.
    5-15 Uchimaru, Moriokashi
  • ”Chusonji” – head temple of the Tendai sect in the Tohoku region

    Chusonji temple was founded by Jikaku Taishi Ennin in 850. In the 12th century, Kiyohira Fujiwara, who was the lord of the region at the time, ordered a large scale extension of the temple. ”Konjikido”, or “the Golden Hall,” is elaborately decorated with gold leaf inlaid with mother-of-pearl. ”Kyozo” or ”Kyodo” is a storehouse for Buddhist scriptures and artworks from the Heian era which are declared as National Treasure. Also, the architecture is said to depict the ”land of Perfect Bliss” and designated as a World Cultural Heritage in 2011.
    202 Hiraizumi-Koromonoseki, Hiraizumi-chō, Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate
  • Takkoku-no-iwaya Bishamondo Bettou Takkokuseikouji

    ”Takkoku-no-Iwaya” is a rock cave where the founder Sakanoue no Tamuramaro commemorated his victory over the local Emishi tribes by dedicating the cave to Bishamonten, making the cave a temple. In 2000, there was a large festival to commemorate the 1200th anniversary of its founding. Despite several fires throughout its history, the temple was rebuilt and standing strong to this day. Visitors can see ”Carved Buddha Face on the Rock”, and a large statue of ”Fudo Myo-o”.
    16 Kitazawa, Hiraizumi, Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate
  • Tekiseisha

    The town of Jobojimachi is known as one of the top producers of lacquer products in Japan, and is home to ”lacquer scraping craftsmen” who are now a rare breed. Learn about and enjoy lacquer products by visiting both the lacquer studio and shop at ”Tekiseisha”. Sometimes, the craftsmen travel around Japan to introduce and promote the culture of lacquer craftwork.
    23-6 Jobojimachi Onyamanaka Maeta, Ninohe, Iwate
  • Miyako City ”Gyosai” Market

    There are a wide variety of shops at the Miyako City ”Gyosai”(fish and vegetable) Market, including seafood shops selling fresh seafood from the Sanriku coast which is known for being one of the most bountiful fishing grounds in Japan, fruit shops and shops selling delicacies from the mountains. An abundance of products from each season is available, such as sea urchin, abalone, saury, salmon roe, and ”Matsumo” seaweed. You can request home delivery service, so the products are perfect gifts.
    1-1 Satsukicho, Miyako, Iwate
  • Hachiyozan Tendaiji Temple

    It is said that this temple was founded by the monk, Gyoki, under the command of Emperor Shomu in 728 during the Nara period. The main wooden Buddha statue, the standing image of Shokannon (”Keisen bodhisattva”), the main hall, and the Diva gate, ”Nioumon”, are designated as the nation’s Important Cultural Treasures. Within the temple grounds, spring water gushes from the roots of the Katsura trees. Being an ancient temple, Tendaiji attracted the faith of many people for many years, and now stands in quiet beauty.
    33-1, Jobojimachi Oyamakubo, Ninohe, Iwate
  • Kogensha

    ”Kogensha”started as a publishing company in 1924. Kenji Miyazawa, a poet and author of children’s literature met with the founder of ”Kogensha” and published a collection of children’s stories ”The Restaurant of Many Orders”. The company now sells a variety of handcrafts created by local people, such as accessories, books, and decorative items. There are two stores in Morioka, and 2 stores in Sendai.
    2-18 Zaimokucho, Morioka, Iwate
  • Sekiguchiya Kashiho

    Sekiguchiya Kashiho is a traditional confectionery shop that makes and sells Morioka sweets, originally created as a preserved food in the cold region. They use ingredients such as ”mochi” rice, beans, molasses, and sugar syrup to make traditional local sweets like ”Tankiri”, Ginger candy, and ”Karame mochi”. The sweets are also popular as gifts for children since no artificial preservatives or additives are used.
    2-3 Shimeicho, Morioka, Iwate
  • Holz Furniture and interior

    Holz Furniture and Interior offers a selection of furniture and interior items that are functional and tastefully designed from Japan and abroad. Also available, original items using carefully chosen materials that add individuality and color to your lifestyle.
    1-3-10 Saien, Morioka, Iwate
  • Fukuda Bakery

    Everybody in Morioka knows the traditional Fukuda Bakery. Customers can choose from 50 types of fillings such as peanuts, bean paste, whipped cream, and jam for their own, customized soft ”Koppepan” type of bread. *Every item is handmade and may sell out early.
    12-11 Nagatacho, Morioka, Iwate
  • Fukusenji Temple, Komagi, Matsuzaki-cho, Tono, Iwate

    7-57-1 Komagi, Matsuzaki-cho, Tono, Iwate
  • Genkiya, Morioka Shop

    Takagenseibaku Corporation manages ”Genkiya”. The company is known for raising and selling ”Hakkinton” or platinum pork. They carefully select the feed, raise the pork with care, and create delicious dishes to draw out the flavor of the Hakkinton pork. The ”shabu shabu” and ”Hakkinton tender kakuni” are memorable dishes that are hard to forget.
    3-4-1 Odori, 2F Cross Terrace Bldg., Morioka, Iwate
  • A scenic beauty, ”Kita Yamazaki”

    The 8 kilometer coastline is made up of a cliff that is 200 meters tall, strange shaped rocks, and caves of various sizes caused by erosion. ”Kita Yamazaki” is also designated as ”Sanriku Fukko National Park” (Former ”Rikuchu-kaigan National Park”).
    Kitayama, Tanohatamura, Shimoheigun, Iwate
  • Marukan Department Store

    Marukan Department Store is located in Hanamaki City. The large cafeteria has more than 200 items on the menu and is a favorite gathering point for locals. An especially popular item is the 10 layered soft serve ice cream. It is a local custom to eat the tall ice cream with chopsticks.
    6-2 Kamicho, Marukan Bldg. 6F, Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Iwate Hanamaki Onsen, Kappo Ryokan, Hiromitei

    Hiromitei is a traditional Japanese style inn which serves Japanese cuisine using ingredients harvested locally in Iwate Prefecture. Guests can have these dishes served in their rooms. The ”onsen” is also popular, with plenty of hot spring water pulled from Hanamaki hot springs.
    1-88-1 Yumoto, Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Seirokaku

    A well established restaurant that serves ”reimen” or cold noodles, one of the three great noodles of Morioka. Many fans order the cold, transparent and chewy hand-rolled noodles dipped in the slowly stewed, full-bodied soup. Customers can choose from 7 levels of spiciness.
    World In GEN Plaza 2F, 15-5 Moriokaekimaedori, Morioka, Iwate
  • Jodogahama Park Hotel

    Jodogahama Park Hotel is located on a hill where guests can enjoy looking down at Miyako City’s scenic spot, ”Jodogahama”. Guests can enjoy the different fresh seafood each season acquired from the Sanriku coast. From the hotel’s indoor and outdoor baths, enjoy the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, as well as the beautiful colors of the earliest sunrise in Japan.
    32-4 Hitachi Hamacho, Miyako, Iwate
  • Takamura Memorial Museum, Takamura Lodge

    A sculptor and a poet, Kotaro Takamura created many art pieces during World War II. During the War, he had evacuated to Hanamaki city, and after the War, he built a simple cabin where he lived for 7 years. This cabin is now called ”Takamura Lodge”, being preserved and shown to the public. In the memorial museum, visitors can follow his life in this town by looking at his original works and scripts that are on display.
    3-91 Ota, Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Yusen Shidate

    Yusen Shidate is located on the riverside with mountains on either side. Guests can relax and take in the famous hot spring of Shidodaira, Iwate. Every room has a private outdoor hot spring bath with flowing water directly from the source. There also is a foot bath on the facilities. Professional massage and spa are also popular.
    11-2 Shidotaira, Yuguchi, Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Nanbu Magariya, Chiba House

    The Chiba family’s house was built approximately 200 years ago, and is comprised of living quarters and a adjoining horse stable. Since the architecture represents the regional culture of the time, the house is designated an Important Cultural Property. Currently, the parts that are not used as the living quarter are open to the public. Visitors can also see the tools and furniture that had been used in the old days.
    1-14 Kamiayaori, Ayaoricho, Tono, Iwate
  • Scenic Spot Geibikei Gorge Boat Ride

    ”Geibikei” is a 2 kilometer gorge surrounded by soaring cliffs. There are impressive rocks and waterfalls scattered throughout the gorge, and is designated as one of the scenic spots of Japan. The boat ride down the river is very popular with tourists where they can enjoy the scenic beauty of the gorge as they listen to the boatman explain about the gorge.
    Machiaza 467, Nagasaka, Higashiyamacho, Ichinoseki, Iwate
  • Cafe & Diner, Cocokana

    Cokokana is a cafe located on the street in front of Tono station. They use seasonal ingredients harvested locally for their dishes, and also serve sweets. This is an ideal spot for a rest when exploring the Toya area, the setting for many folklore.
    2-1 Chuo-Dori, Tono, Iwate
  • Unagi Zen

    Zen specializes in the best tasting ”unagi” or eel. Live ”unagi” is fished from the tank after an order is placed, processed, and grilled slowly over charcoal. Customers can also enjoy fresh seafood caught from the Sanriku coast, which is a treasure chest of fresh and high quality ingredients, or vegetables harvested from local mountains.
    1-1-2 Saien, Morioka, Iwate
  • Historical Park ”Esashi Fujiwara no Sato”

    ”Esashi Fujiwara no Sato” is a historical theme park which replicates the architecture of the Heian era. It follows the footsteps of the Northern Fujiwara Family, and visitors can enjoy the rich historical heritage of Hiraizumi. Since the park is famous for being a filming location for films and dramas, it is also known as the ”Hollywood of Michinoku”, drawing many tourists throughout the year.
    86-1 Konamaru, Iwayado, Esashi, Oshu, Iwate
  • Washinoo Co., Ltd.

    Washinoo Co., Ltd. was established in 1829. Since Mount Iwate is also called Ganju-san, meaning ”the mountain of eagle”, the sake made in the brewery located at the foothill of the mountain was named ”Washi no O” or ”The Tail of an Eagle”. The rich sake taste is created using traditional techniques and detailed care.
    158 Dai 22 chiwari, Oobuke, Hachimantaishi, Iwate
  • Suisen Shuzo Company

    Established in 1931, Suisen Shuzo Company is the only sake brewery in Rikuzentakata City and brew trademark brands ”Suisen” and ”Yukikko”. The brewery was greatly damaged by the Great East Japan earthquake, but the new factory was completed in August 2012. Their goal is ”to brew ”sake” that is mellow, rich and doesn’t become boring”. They continue to brew ”sake” while contributing to the local rebuilding efforts.
    136-1 Kunabatake, Ikawacho, Ofunato, Iwate
  • Shinnamari Hot Spring, Musubi No Yado Airinkan

    Yusen Shidate is located on the riverside with mountains on either side. Guests can relax and take in the famous hot spring of Shidotaira, Iwate. Every room has a private outdoor hot spring bath with flowing water directly from the source. There is also a foot bath on the facilities. Professional massage and spa are also popular.
    23 Namari Nishinamari, Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Tsukinowa Shuzo Limited

    Tsukinowa Shuzo Limited is a long-established ”sake” brewery, founded in 1886. Currently, they have a young team with an average age of 30 led by the 5th generation chief brewer, Yuko Yokozawa. They strive to expand brewing methods by using traditional methods while also challenging new ingredients like ”mochi” rice or Japanese millet.
    101 Mukaihata, Kosuiji, Shiwa, Shiwa District, Iwate
  • Yakiniku Ryuen

    A Korean style barbeque restaurant where one can enjoy Maezawa beef from Oshu City. Enjoy fresh and juicy beef which has been locally sourced. Advanced reservations are recommended.
    2-11 Fukuro-Machi Mizusawa-Ku, Oshu, Iwate
  • Azumaya Honten (Main Store)

    Azumaya is a long established ”soba”shop where they serve ”Wanko Soba”, a noodle traditionally served at celebratory occasions in Iwate. Customers are given a bowl with a small amount of ”soba”, and when that is empty, the server will keep filling the bowl saying, ”hai jan-jan” until the customer asks them to stop. Enjoy a truly delicious Morioka tradition that locals are proud of.
    1-8-3 Nakanohashidori, Morioka, Iwate
  • Hotel Metropolitan Morioka

    A city hotel located on the upper floors of ”Fes”An”, the JR Morioka Station Building. The hotel provides top notch service to their guests as ”a genuinely hotel like hotel”. An annex hotel ”Hotel Metropolitan Morioka New Wing” is located on Ekimaekita Street, 3 minutes from the station. The convenient location draws a wide variety of guests, ranging from tourists to business people.
    1-44 Moriokaekimaedori, Morioka, Iwate
  • Joint Venture Company Kawamura Shuzoten

    Established in 1922. They succeed traditional Nanbu ”sake” brewing techniques which have been handed down for generations at Ishidoriyacho in Hanamaki city, a town known as the homeground for Nanbu style ”sake” brewing. Their flagship brands are ”Nanbuzeki” and ”Yoemon”, named after the founder. They try to remain in close synchronicity with local nature by using home grown rice, etc.
    12-132 Isidoriyacho, Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Minna no Ie (A Home for Everyone)

    Takatacho, Rikuzentakata, Iwate