[Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area (Iwate Prefecture)] A half-day trip to the hidden nature and world heritage

[Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area (Iwate Prefecture)] A half-day trip to the hidden nature and world heritage

Iwate Prefecture is getting attention from all over the globe for the upcoming Rugby World Cup (a game will be held in
Kamaishi City)
Before and after the game, rugby enthusiasts gather from Japan and abroad, and the entire Iwate Prefecture is expected
to burst with excitement!

A total of 4 support projects will be implemented in Tohoku365 to support the Rugby World Cup

Special features of Iwate to support the Rugby World Cup
This time, in the second round, we are traveling around “Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki Area”, the royal road of sightseeing
route in the southern part of Iwate Prefecture!

You would want to enjoy sightseeing in Iwate Prefecture when you visit Kamaishi City to watch the RWC, wouldn’t you?
In particular, in the Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area, which is located in the southern part of Iwate Prefecture, there
are many tourist attractions that everyone can enjoy, such as “Geibi Gorge”, one of “Japan’s 100 scenic spots”,
“Hiraizumi Chuson-ji”, a Word Heritage Site, and others.

In this article, we will introduce a recommended half-day trip that includes sightseeing spots that should not be missed
when you visit Iwate Prefecture!

How to go to Ichinoseki from Tokyo?

It is easy and convenient to travel from Tokyo to the Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area in Iwate Prefecture.

Boarding station
Tokyo Station
Destination station
Ichinoseki Station
Tohoku Shinkansen “Yamabiko” or Tohoku Shinkansen “Hayabusa”
Time required
around 2 – 2.5 hours
13,020 JPY (Yamabiko), 13,430 JPY (Hayabusa)

Exclusive sukiyaki lunch of “Maesawa Beef”, a beef brand from Iwate

Let’s prepare our stomach before starting the trip!
We went to “Geibi Rest House”, located near Kinukei Station that can be reached in about 40 minutes on the JR Ofunato
Line (bound for Kesennuma) from Ichinoseki Station.
A three-minute walk from this location is the “Geibi Gorge”, known as one of Japan’s 100 scenic spots

This time, we ate the “Maesawa Beef Sukiyaki Osen (3240 yen)” that uses the branded “Maesawa Beef”, a specialty product
of Iwate Prefecture.

Maezawa Beef is one of the top beef brands in Japan, featuring high-quality meat with excellent marbling.
We enjoy the Maesawa Beef in the Sukiyaki style, one of the typical Japanese dishes.

Cooked quickly, the superb Maesawa Beef tastes sweet and melts in the mouth.

Geibi Rest House
Machi 467 Nagasaka Higashiyama, Ichinoseki City, Iwate 029-0302
Opening hours 
Regular holidays
Open all year round
available (free)


A ride down the Geibi Gorge, a place of exquisite beauty.

The Geibi Gorge is a 2-km gorge located in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture.
It is a well-known scenic spot that is included in Japan’s 100 scenic spots

Here, you can experience the “boat journey down the river”, where you can enjoy a 90-minute relaxing boat ride down the
river that cuts through cliff walls that are over 100-meter high!
Enjoy the beauty of each season, such as abundant greenery in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and snow on the tree
branches in winter, in a landscape that looks like an ink painting.

Sparkling water surface and abundant greenery in summer

This time, we visited the place during the lush green season.
The contrasting rugged rock wall, overgrown greenery, and light that shines on the water surface created an unparalleled

The weather was nice, and although it was hot, it felt much better when we passed through the shades.

We saw ducks swimming and following us. They’re so cute!


At “Miyoshigaoka”, the turning point of the boat journey, you can get off the boat and walk around the valley for about
20 minutes.
After walking for a while, you will see “Daigeibi-gan”, a dynamic-looking rock cliff.

Throwing the “Untama”, a famous activity in Geibi Gorge

The Power Spot “Untama Throwing” in Geibi Gorge
It is said that if you can throw a piece of wooden charm, known as the “Untama” or the “lucky charm”, into a hole in the
cliff on the other side of the river, your wish will come true.

There are ten types of lucky charms.
“Happiness”, “Connection”, “Longevity”, “Romance”, “Hope”, “Luck”, “Love”, “Bond”, “Income”, and “Asset”.
It was surprisingly tricky, but some people succeeded in putting multiple charms successively after figuring out how to
do it.

Let’s choose your favorite lucky charms and try it!
Five of the lucky charms are sold for 100 yen.

End the boat trip by listening to the boatman’s song

The climax of the 90-minute boat trip finally arrives!
The last highlight is the boatman song “Geibi Oiwake” that echoes in the great outdoors.

The boatman, who often jokes during the trip down the river, turns to a professional singer when he starts to sing.
The ambiance and excitement of a time trip to the old Japan can only be enjoyed here.

Geibi Gorge Boat Trip
Address: Machi 467 Nagasaka Higashiyama, Ichinoseki City, Iwate 029-0302
1,600 yen Elementary school student: 860 yen Infant: 200 yen *¥Group discount available
Available (free) *Paid parking is available around the dock (500 yen)


World Heritage Site “Hiraizumi Chusonji”

Hiraizumi is located in the southwestern part of Iwate Prefecture, where many temples and ruins can be found.
Hiraizumi, which consists of Chusonji temple, Motsuji temple, Kanjizaioin Ato, Muryokoin Ato, and Mt. Kinkeisan, was
registered as a World Heritage Site in 2011 as the “Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Pure Land

Among them, the famous Chusonji Temple is made of 17 smaller temples.
Not only the main hall and the golden hall, but all other small buildings are collectively called Chusonji.

A pathway that can be enjoyed by walking slowly

The pathway from the main gate of Chusonji Temple to the main hall and the golden hall is unexpectedly long and steep.
There are small temples and gardens that you can find along the way.
Please slowly climb the pathway while enjoying the calming ambiance.

The golden lacquer work of the “Konjiki-do”.

The building that can be seen at the back is the “Shinfukudo”, which was built to house and protect the “Konjiki-do”.

The Konjiki-do was built in 1124 by Fujiwara no Kiyohira.
The inner walls of Konjiki-do are adorned with Radenzaiku, a decoration technique that uses the glossy part of shells.
In this temple, craft techniques that were used when it was built were combined o express the state of “Konjiki-do”

The gold-painted “Konjiki-do” that seems to float in a dimly-lit space is a true masterpiece.

Chusonji Temple
202 Koromonoseki, Hiraizumi, Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate 029-4102
Opening hours
Opens year-round
     March 1 – November 3/8:30~17:00
     November 4 – the end of February/8:30~16:30

Enjoy Iwate Prefecture’s bounty at the Nanbuhan Nagaya Sakaba

At the end of the day, return to Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, and go to a local Japanese-style bar.
At the Nambuhan Nagaya Sakaba, you can find Iwate’s local dishes, fresh seafood from the Sanriku Coast, and the “three
great noodles” of Moriyoka, which are Wanko Soba, Jaja noodles, cold noodles, and others.

Inside the store, you can feel the traditional Japanese ambiance from the tatami room and the entrance to the furnace

Be fascinated by the impressive dance and drum performances

You should not miss coming to the “Sansa Odori Festival”!

The Sansa Dance is a traditional Bon Festival that is celebrated at Morioka City in Iwate Prefecture and its
A famous summer festival “Morioka Sansa Odori Festival”, where you can dance on the streets and various locations in
Morioka city, is held in August every year.
Not only dancing, but the dancers also hold a drum on their chests or blowing a flute.

There are two daily performances of Sansa Dance at the Nanbuhan Nagaya Sakaba, which start at 19:00 and 21:00.

Everyone will surely be fascinated by the graceful dance in the dimly-lit store.
Experience the whole of Iwate at the “Nanbuhan Nagaya Sakaba” where you can experience not only Iwate’s delicacies but
also its traditional culture!

Nanbuhan Nagaya Sakaba (Odori Iwate Ginko-tonari Branch)
2-6-4 Odori, Morioka-shi, Iwate 020-0022
Opening hours


In the Hiraizumi and Ichinoseki area in the southern part of Iwate Prefecture, there are many unique spots where you can
feel the nature, history, and traditional culture of Japan.
The upcoming Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan Tournament.
How about going to Japan and enjoy the Iwate Prefecture in Tohoku?

At Tohoku365, we strive to minimize the use and disposal of plastic bottles and cups.

Please use a tumbler or water bottle when visiting the locations introduced here.


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