Ichinoseki (一関市) is the southmost city in Iwate Prefecture. Having a wealth of beautiful natural landscapes, it is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway from the big city’s hustle and bustle. If you are a foodie, Ichinoseki should also be of your interest. The city also has a unique mochi culture, meaning you will have your first mochi set menu for lunch!
Table of Contents
- West Side of JR Ichinoseki Station
- Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center (一関市観光協会)
- Fujisei (三彩館ふじせい)
- The Former Numata Family Samurai Residence (旧沼田家武家住宅)
- Shōeidō (松栄堂)
- Urashima Park (浦しま公園)
- Sake Brewery Sekino Ichi (世嬉の一酒造)
- Tsuriyama Park (釣山公園)
- Ganjoji Temple (願成寺)
- Aoba Chokurian (青葉 直利庵)
- Genbikei Gorge (厳美渓)
- Roadside Station Genbikei (道の駅 厳美渓) and Restaurant Pettankun (ペッタンくん)
- Matsurube Observation Hill (祭畤被災地 展望の丘)
- Shinyu Onsen (真湯温泉センター·温泉交流館)
- Mountain Spring Buna no Megumi (須川岳秘水 ぶなの恵み)
- Sukawa Kōgen (須川高原)
- East Side of JR Ichinoseki Station
- Hanaizumi Flower World (花と泉の公園)
- Michinoku Hydrangea Garden (みちのくあじさい園)
- Geibikei Gorge (猊鼻渓)
- Kamisukikan (紙すき館)
- Yūgendō Cave (幽玄洞)
- Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility (千厩酒のくら交流施設)
- Tategamori Ark Farm (Ark館ヶ森)
Ichinoseki’s Cherry Blossom and Autumn Foliage Season
- Ichinoseki’s cherry blossom season usually peaks around mid-April.
- Ichinoseki’s fall foliage season is usually from:
Ichinoseki’s Mochi Culture
While rice cakes can easily be found across Japan, the mochi in Ichinoseki really stands out! When you visit the city, you will have your first mochi cuisine. The rice cake there isn’t just eaten as a dessert, but as a main dish too!
This custom started with an order given by the Date Domain (伊達藩) that ruled Ichinoseki. The locals were asked to offer rice cakes to the gods to pray for peace and safety in the province. However, people from Ichinoseki were very poor and couldn’t make rice cakes by using only sticky rice. Grains were thus added to the rice flour. To make the rice cake more delicious, various seasonings were developed. As a result, Ichinoseki has now introduced more than 300 ways to eat plain mochi!
Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center (一関市観光協会)
The first thing you do when arriving at a city you plan to explore is to visit its tourist information center. You will usually find some useful information and tips even if you have your day all planned out.
Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center is conveniently located close to the station’s west exit. The sightseeing pamphlets are also available in English, so remember to stop by! The friendly staff will also assist you if you run into any issues.
- Bicycle rental is available from 9 am to 5 pm.
- The cost is 300 yen per hour or 500 yen per day.
- Luggage storage service is available at the Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center too.
Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
- The tourist information center is located right next to the ticket machine at JR Ichinoseki Station’s west exit. You can also visit the Ichinoseki Tourist Association, a one-minute walk from the west exit.
Just a 3-minute walk from Ichinoseki Station west exit, Fujisei is a popular restaurant offering Mochi Rice Cake Cuisine. Its rice cakes are made from the most premium glutinous rice, Koganemochi (こがねもち), making the handmade rice cake served here much nicer! The staff there are friendly too.
The signatory dish is the Genso Hitoguchi Mochizen (元祖ひと口もち膳). The box is divided into 9 sections. Aside from the space in the middle filled with grated radish, each includes a bite-sized rice cake topped with a different flavor, allowing you to enjoy the rice cake in different ways. Although rice cakes are usually used in dessert dishes, the Genso Hitoguchi Mochizen has more savory flavors, such as ginger and nattō.
The set menu also comes with a bowl of Ozōni (お雑煮), which is a traditional soup dish with vegetables and mochi rice cake.
Apparently, the set menu was eaten during ceremonial occasions and events in Ichinoseki. It was customary to moisten your mouth/throat with grated radish. You then start with the red bean-flavored rice cake and finish off with the Ozōni.
Another dish that you can enjoy is the Oroshi Agemochi (おろし揚げ餅). The deep-fried rice cake is topped with grated radish, dried bonito flakes, and shallot. If you can’t eat seafood and shallot, ask the staff to exclude them when preparing your order. The rice cake is still nice with grated radish!
Important: Hitoguchi Mochi Zen has non-vegetarian flavored mochi. The chicken broth is used to cook the Ozōni. You can use the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to assist with communication.
Fujisei’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Fujisei is open from 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
- The last order is taken at 8 pm.
- The restaurant is a 2-minute walk from JR Fujisei Station (一ノ関駅).
The Former Numata Family Samurai Residence (旧沼田家武家住宅)
If you are curious about how fancy a chief retainer’s residence in the region was during the Edo period, visit the Former Numata Family Samurai Residence.
The Numata clan was the chief retainer of Ichinoseki Domain (一関藩). The residence that was determined to be built in the first half of the 18th century miraculously escaped from the fate of collapsing due to the repeated floods of the Iwai River (磐井川) nearby.
The residence looks relatively simple compared to those in Kanazawa or Kakunodate, making visitors almost think it is a commoner’s house. But once you see the Shoin-tsukuri style room and the dry Japanese garden at the back, you will be convinced that the residence once belonged to a samurai family.
The samurai residence in Ichinoseki was constructed based on a commoner’s house style. Features specific to the samurai class were then added based on the owner’s rank. The other reason that the residence wasn’t splendidly decorated was due to Ichinoseki Domain’s financial circumstances at the time.
What to Pay Attention to at the Former Numata Family Samurai Residence
While there aren’t many exhibits inside the building, items such as sword chests for storing swords also imply that samurais used to live there. You will also find the living utensils used in the late 19th century there.
What you can pay attention to as you stroll around the residence is the height of the floor in certain rooms. If a part of the floor is higher, only those of a higher social status could sit in that area. In the bedroom, the ceiling is low. The house was constructed this way so that if an assassin appeared, he could not swing a sword or spear properly.
If you understand Japanese, the staff can give you a tour around the residence. There is also a video of the restoration work.
Entry is free. So it is also a good spot to stop by while waiting for the next bullet train to your next destination!
The Former Numata Family Samurai Residence’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- The Former Numata Family Samurai Residence is open from:
- 9 am to 4 pm from April to October
- 10 am to 3 pm from November to March
- It closes on Mondays and from the end of December to the beginning of January
- If Monday is a public holiday, it will close on the next business day
- The confectionery maker is an 8-minute walk from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅).
Shōeidō is Ichinoseki‘s representative traditional confectionary maker, established in 1903. It is very good at creating gorgeously shaped sweets made from local ingredients, reflecting the local cultures and current seasons. Traditionally, the mochi rice cake can be found in all seasonal events in Ichinoseki. This is why the local traditional sweets makers, such as Shōeidō, have created a variety of mochi sweets to reflect this mochi culture.
Shōeidō’s Signatory Traditional Confectionary
Amongst them, Gomaori Dango (ごま摺り団子) is one of the representative sweets. Unconventionally, black sesame syrup filled the rice cake instead of pouring it all over it. The nice aroma of black sesame will spread inside your mouth with just one bite!
Tip: Because the rice cake is filled with black sesame syrup, it is best to put the entire dango in your mouth and close it properly before chewing it. Otherwise, the syrup will spill over.
Another signatory sweet is called Tamura no Ume (田村の梅). It is a confectionary created as a specialty of Ichinoseki under the request of the descendant of the Tamura clan, whose ancestor used to be Ichonoseki Domain’s feudal lord. This is why it was named after his family name, Tamura.
The plum-infused red bean paste is wrapped with sweetened white bean paste. The entire confectionary is then wrapped in a lightly pickled perilla’s leaf, giving it a refreshing flavor that is usually not found in traditional Japanese confectionaries. Tamura no Ume, which has been sold for more than 100 years, not only has a plum taste but has a plum blossom shape to it!
The main store close to Ichinoseki Station also has a cafe serving various dine-in-only desserts. So before venturing too far away from Ichinose Station, stop by Shōeidō for their Gomaori Dango.
Shōeidō’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Shōeidō is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
- The cafe is open from 10 am to 4 pm (L. O.).
- The shop is closed on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays
- The confectionery maker is a 15-minute walk from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅).
☛ Check with the staff to see if the storage is open. It is a small museum with items related to Shōeidō, including the confectionary mold on display. Other interesting items can also be found there!
☛ Shōeidō also holds traditional sweet workshops between 10 am and 3 pm from Thursday to Tuesday. The cost is 1,500 yen. If interested, please make a reservation by submitting an enquiry form HERE. Ensure that you can understand some basic Japanese to participate. Taking an interpreter with you will also make the session a lot smoother.
Urashima Park (浦しま公園)
Urashima Park was renovated from the reception hall (迎賓館) of the Tamura clan, the feudal lord of the Ichinoseki Domain. The pure Japanese-style garden is filled with a large variety of flowers and trees, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of this Japanese garden throughout the seasons. During the fall foliage season, the park is especially stunning!
Entry is free, and it also has a public toilet, so how about taking a relaxing stroll while waiting for the next bullet train?
The park also has a tea room called Nishiki-an (にしき庵), which can be rented out from 9 am to 5 pm. The cost is 300 yen per hour. Please call the city government’s Urban Development Division (都市整備課) at +81-191-21-2111 if you wish to use it.
Urashima Park’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- Urashima Park is open from:
- 7 am to 7 pm from February to October
- 7 am to 5 pm from November to January
- Urashima Park is a 10-minute walk from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅).
Sake Brewery Sekino Ichi (世嬉の一酒造)
Sake Brewery Sekino Ichi isn’t an ordinary alcoholic facility. It is also a place to discover Ichionoseki‘s culture. Besides Japanese sake and beer, the sake brewer also has a restaurant offering mouthwatering traditional and modern cuisines, and other various cultural activities.
So refer to our Sekino Ichi article for more information!
Tsuriyama Park (釣山公園)
Tsuriyama Park was transformed from the Ichinoseki Castle (一関城). Although the main castle structure was demolished, the Japanese garden, wells, and moat ruins are reminiscent of the glorious castle from a few centuries ago. Because the park is located atop a hill, it is a great spot to overlook Ichinoseki‘s cityscape!
For a convenient yet nice cherry blossom and fall foliage spot close to Ichinoseki Station, visit Tsuriyama Park. Nighttime illumination may be on, especially in autumn! In addition, there are also hydrangea and azalea that you can adore from late spring to early summer.
Note that the park itself is a low mountain. The slopes can be tiring to climb.
- Tsuriyama Park’s cherry blossom season is usually from mid to late April.
- Tsuriyama Park’s fall foliage season is usually from late October to early November.
Tsuriyama Park is a 10-minute walk from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅).
Ganjoji Temple (願成寺)
Ganjoji Temple is located on a hill about 500 meters south of JR Ichinoseki Station. The temple was erected in 1385 but suffered from three fire incidents in 1567, 1750, and 1771. Most of the buildings in the precinct were restored/renovated by the end of the 20th century. But the Buddha statues have a much longer history, mostly from the 14th century!
The magnificent Sanmon Gate was reconstructed in 1998. Even by looking at the photo, you can see that the gate is majestic! The wooden tower gate has three rooms on the second floor decorated with intricate carvings. The guardian gods placed inside on the first floor will also catch your attention as the sculptor did a great job in making them look fierce and powerful.
Although the courtyard past the gate isn’t wide, it is a beautiful site. The traditional buildings are amazing and worth examining if you are interested in Japan’s architecture. The main worship hall’s last renovation was completed in 1984. The hill at the back of the temple is a forested hilly graveyard.
- Ganjoji Temple is a 15-minute walk from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅).
Aoba Chokurian (青葉 直利庵)
If you don’t mind consuming non-vegetarian broth, visit Aoba Chokurian, and you will be surprised by how thick the soba noodles there are. The noodles there are so famous that people from other prefectures (even Tokyo) would come to Ichinoseki for them.
Aoba Chokurian’s soba noodles are thick because the founder wanted his customers to chew the noodles to taste the sweetness of the buckwheat. The noodles he made in his restaurant are long and as thick as udon noodles, making it hard for anyone to swallow them in whole!
Another special thing about Aoba Chokurian is the condiment. Instead of wasabi, chilli-infused grated radish is used. So don’t be surprised to see a lump of red mysterious thing next to the sliced shallot!
Note that the order is made and paid first at the register at the back of the restaurant before being seated. Also, the volume of the noodles at Aoba Chokurian is large, even for a normal portion order.
Aoba Chokurian’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Aoba Chokurian is open from 11 am to 3 pm.
- The restaurant is a 15 to 20-minute walk from JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅).
Tip: Arrive early as the restaurant is very popular. It can be full shortly after the restaurant opens.
Genbikei Gorge (厳美渓)
Genbikei, one of the most beautiful spots in the Tohōku region, is a 2km gorge created by the continuous erosions of the Iwai River. Walking on the well-maintained promenade along the gorge, it only takes around 45 minutes to explore the dynamic landscape.
Another main reason that Genbikei Gorge is so popular is due to the Kakkō Dango. The rice cakes will come “flying” at you from the teahouse across the bank after an order is placed!
For more information, refer to our article on Genbikei Gorge!
Roadside Station Genbikei (道の駅 厳美渓) and Restaurant Pettankun (ペッタンくん)
Located just a 5 to 10-minute walk from Genbikei Gorge, the Roadside Station Genbikei is the perfect resting spot after exploring the gorge. It has a restaurant serving mochi cuisine and a museum filled with amazing exhibits.
For more information, refer to our Roadside Station Genbikei article!
Matsurube Observation Hill (祭畤被災地 展望の丘)
You might still remember the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that severely impacted the Tōhoku region. Three years prior to that earthquake, another large earthquake struck the Iwate and Miyagi Prefecture. The Matsurube Observation Hill serves as a reminder of those disastrous events.
Walking along the promenade leading to the observation hill, the badly damaged former national highway that leads to the collapsed bridge is located just adjacent to you. None of these roads and the bridge were repaired as it allows the visitors to see how powerful Mother Nature can be!
For reassurance, the bridge will not collapse further by future earthquakes. Measures have been taken to stabilize the bridge girders. Although all in Japanese, explanation panels with images are placed around the park for visitors.
Important: There is no toilet facility in the park. Also, the promenade can be slippery when wet.
How to Get to Matsurube Observation Hill
- From Ichinoseki Station, take Iwateken Kōtsū’s bus service and get off at Bunanomori Matsurube-kan (ぶなの森まつるべ館).
- The bus trip takes around 60 minutes.
- The park is then a 5-minute walk.
Shinyu Onsen (真湯温泉センター·温泉交流館)
Ichinoseki also has natural hot springs, and one of the better-known ones is Shinyu Onsen. It is just a few stops from Matsurube Observation Hill. Although there is only one onsen facility around the area, it is a recreation zone with a hot spring and outdoor activity facility. Tennis, camping, hiking, and skiing in winter can all be enjoyed at Shinyu Onsen. If you don’t like camping, cottages are available for rent!
Contrasting the strongly acidic springs at Sukawa Onsen, Shinyu Onsen’s hot spring is neutral. The locals have used Shinyu Onsen to help their skin recover from the damage or potential damage that Sukawa Onsen’s acidic spring has caused.
Although Shinyu Onsen doesn’t have a private hot spring tub, the indoor and outdoor pools are connected to different spring sources. The hot spring in the open-air pool is brown due to the onsen’s iron deposit, so don’t mistake it for mud water!
You might notice a slight metal smell when you indulge yourself in it. As the hot spring facility is located in a cedar forest, it will feel like you are bathing in the wild!
- As the hot spring in the indoor pool is circulated, chlorine is used to ensure hygiene.
- Coin-operated lockers are available in the changing rooms.
Note that Shinyu Onsen only takes reservations via phone for overnight stays. Their phone number is +81-191-39-2713. It is best if you can speak Japanese as there might not be any English-speaking staff.
For more information, refer to Shinyu Onsen’s official website HERE and translate it by using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.
Shinyu Onsen’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information
- Shinyu Onsen is open from 10 am to 7 pm.
- The restaurant is open from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.
- For day visitors, the cost is 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for elementary school students.
- From Ichinoseki Station, take Iwateken Kōtsū’s Sugawa Onsen Line (須川温泉線) and get off at Shinyu Sensō (真湯山荘).
- Refer to HERE and scroll down to “須川温泉線” for the timetable in Japanese. “平日” means weekdays, and “土日祝日” means weekends and public holidays.
Mountain Spring Buna no Megumi (須川岳秘水 ぶなの恵み)
The water fountain on the National Highway 342 is around 30 minutes from Genbikei Gorge. It was chosen to be one of the 100 Famous Waters of the Heisei Era (平成の名水100選). Because the mountain spring there is sweet and delicious, many locals visiting it will bring buckets of water home. It is even used to make beer!
Around the Buna no Megumi, there is a small parking lot, giving you enough space to draw the water safely. Different from many other water fountains in the mountain, the spring at Buna no Megumi comes out of a dragon’s mouth – just like the purification fountain in a temple or a shrine!
A few bamboo tubes are also set up to increase the number of drawing points.
Tip: If it is packed around Buna no Megumi, the waiting time shouldn’t be long, as it is not a place where people will be lingering around.
Sukawa Kōgen (須川高原)
Sukawa Kōgen is the plateau halfway up Mt. Kurikoma (栗駒山). You can find the unique volcanic landscape at Sukawa Kōgen, including lakes, marshes, wetlands, and alpine plants. In autumn, the vivid color that spreads across the mountain is another reason why people visit the spot.
For more information about what to do at this stunning spot, refer to our Sukawa Kōgen article!
Hanaizumi Flower World (花と泉の公園)
In spring and summer, for a stunning photo with gorgeous flowers, visit Hanaizumi Flower World. It is the biggest peony garden in the Tōhoku region. Amongst the 4,000 peonies, there are around 320 peony species. If you plan to visit Ichinoseki between May and early June, the annual Peony Festival (ぼたんしゃくやく祭り) might be on!
Besides peony, wisteria will also be blooming in May!
Various activities are also available for you to join at Hanaizumi Flower World, including making your own stone oven pizza and dried flower and herbs handicrafts.
Tip: The peony season at Hanaizumi Flower World is from late April to early May.
Hanaizumi Flower World’s Opening Hours, Admission Fee, and Access Information
- Hanaizumi Flower World is open from:
- 9 am to 5 pm from April to October
- 10 am to 6 pm from November to March
- The garden is closed on Wednesdays from November to February and from the end of December to the beginning of January.
- The admission cost to the peony garden during the Peony Festival is 700 yen for adults and 350 yen for elementary and junior high school students.
- The admission fee for the Begonia Greenhouse is 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for children.
- From JR Ichinoseki Station (一ノ関駅), take a train to JR Hanaizumi Station (花泉駅). The trip will take around 20 minutes. From Hanaizumi Station, it will be a 5-minute drive to Hanaizumi Flower World.
Michinoku Hydrangea Garden (みちのくあじさい園)
If you visit Ichinoseki in June or July, ensure that Michinoku Hydrangea Garden is on your itinerary. On garden’s vast land of around 150,000㎡, 40,000 hydrangeas of 400 types are growing in the cedar forest. Taking a leisurely walk on the garden’s promenade is the best way to enjoy Japan’s summer.
For more information, refer to our article on Michinoku Hydrangea Garden!
Geibikei Gorge (猊鼻渓)
Another famous gorge in Ichinoseki is Geibikei Gorge. While there is no promenade along the gorge for you to walk on, taking the traditional boat that travels between the cliffs over 100 meters is the best way to enjoy Geibikei.
While in Japanese only, the boatman will introduce you to the must-see spots at Geibikei Gorge during the boat ride. He will even sing the traditional song to you!
The 90-minute trip also includes a short break at the other end of the gorge, where you can enjoy nature and participate in a small ritual.
For more information, refer to our article on Geibikei Gorge!
If you are after some traditional souvenirs, visit Kamisukikan for washi paper. The washi paper maker was first founded more than 800 years ago. It is said that the founder was the fugitive of Hiraizumi‘s Fujiwara clan, which was destroyed by the army led by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first Shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate.
The handmade washi paper made from mulberry is extremely durable compared to other washi paper. Paper-based stationery, postcards, envelopes, and colored paper made of washi paper are sold at the facility.
You can also join a washi paper-making workshop, which will only take around 15 to 30 minutes. In addition to the plain washi paper, you can dye it with colors of your own choosing and stick leaves on it. The final product is then shipped to you around one week’s time. The cost, excluding shipping costs, is:
- 1,000 yen for one person
- 1,500 yen for two people
- 700 yen per person if there are three or more people in your group
Important: Check with the staff if they can ship it to an overseas address before joining the washi paper-making workshop.
Kamisukikan’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- Kamisukikan is open from:
- 9 am to 5 pm from June to November
- 10 am to 3 pm from December to March
- Kamisukikan is a 5-minute walk from JR Geibikei Station (猊鼻渓駅).
Yūgendō Cave (幽玄洞)
Yūgendō is a cave you can explore after visiting Geibikei Gorge. The cave that was 50 meters below water 350 million years ago is Japan’s oldest limestone cave!
Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility (千厩酒のくら交流施設)
If you are interested in getting a rough idea of what the Japanese refer to as the Taishō Roman, visit the Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility. The complex, comprising 25 buildings from the last few centuries, epitomises the dramatic changes to the townscape from the Edo to the Taishō periods. It is also a great spot for coffee and cheap snacks!
For more information, refer to our Senmaya Sake no Kura Community Facility article.
Tategamori Ark Farm (Ark館ヶ森)
Tategamori Ark Farm is a tourist farm with a vast land of approximately 100 hectares! It opened as a place for producers and consumers to meet in 1992. On its vast land, there are organic vegetable farms, and the fresh produce is harvested and used by the organic restaurant in the farm. You can also see and interact with more than twenty kinds of animals living there, including ponies, donkeys, sheep, chickens, deer, goats, and rabbits!
Besides meeting the lovely animals, the farm has three garden areas to entertain your five senses.
Around Japan’s Golden Week (from the end of April to the beginning of May), more than 30,000 tulips will bloom. In early summer, the lavender’s elegant fragrance surrounds the farm. Observation decks and terraces are built next to the flower fields, allowing you to overlook the stunning floral scenery from above.
- The tulip season is usually from mid-April to mid-May.
- You might be able to see both tulip and cherry blossom blooming at the same time in mid-April!
- The lavender season is usually from mid-June to late July.
- The salvia season is usually from mid-September to October.
Joining one of their workshops is another way to enjoy Tategamori Ark Farm. In addition to plant/flower-related workshops, children can also enjoy picking up freshly laid eggs! If you want to experience picking the eggs up only and not bring any eggs back with you, this activity is free to join!
Important: A reservation is usually required for these activities. Refer to HERE for more information.
Tip: The farm also has excursion buses connecting you to various attractions on its vast ground!
Tategamori Ark Farm’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information
- Tategamori Ark Farm is open from:
- 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays
- 10 am to 6 pm on weekends and public holidays
- Note that different facilities on the farm have different business hours.
- The farm will be closed from the end of December to the beginning of January.
- The admission cost is:
- 1,000 yen for adults (1,200 yen during floral season)
- 500 yen for children from 4 to elementary school students (600 yen during floral season)
- Tategamori Ark Farm is a 20-minute drive from JR Hanaizumi Station (花泉駅).
Arizuka Park (蟻塚公園) and Mt. Murone (室根山)
Mt. Murone is the perfect spot to adore cherry blossoms and azaleas while enjoying nature and outdoor activities. It even has an astronomical observatory! On a clear day, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic mountainous and ocean view from the summit.
For more information, refer to our Mt. Murone article!
Enjoy a Cultural and Scenery Feast in Hiraizumi Town
Hiraizumi town (平泉町), once Kyoto’s rival for its refined culture and elegant surroundings in the 12th century, still retains its charm and traces of former greatness. If you are after a cultural and scenery feast, it is the destination that you don’t want to miss!
To find out more about this town (that isn’t too far from Genbikei Gorge), refer to our article on Hiraizumi!