Walking Tour of Retro Morioka
Get to know Morioka City in Iwate Prefecture, where historical buildings, crafts, nature, and fun culinary traditions await.
Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization
Just a two-hour bullet train journey from Tokyo, Morioka was once the home of the powerful Nanbu clan, which controlled this region until the 19th century. Discover the city’s long history and many elaborate Meiji-era buildings along with your guide while working up an appetite for some local delicacies.
The guide will tailor your itinerary to the best seasonal sights, but one of the must-see spots is the Bank of Iwate Red Brick Building. Built in 1911, this red-brick structure featuring a green dome is an excellent example of Meiji-era Western-style architecture, a reminder of the exciting period when Japan first opened to ideas from Europe and the United States.
Go back even further in time at Morioka Castle Ruins Park, where the Nanbu clan’s castle once stood. Now a park, you can stroll under cherry blossoms in spring, colorful leaves in fall, and past snow-covered stone walls in winter.
After your tour, you will be ready for Morioka’s most famous challenge: eating wanko soba. Waiters will fill bowl after bowl with more soba until you are quick enough to cover the bowl to stop them. See how many bowls you can pile up.
The city also offers many retro coffee shops, streets lined with temples, and traditional craft workshops to discover.
How to get there
From Tokyo Station, Morioka Station is 2 hours away by Tohoku Shinkansen.