Visiting / Enjoyment "Spots"

  • Oshu Space and Astronomy Museum

    Oshu Space and Astronomy Museum
    Oshu Space and Astronomy Museum

    The museum is housed in what was the main building of the old latitude observatory built in 1967, and provides a quiet atmosphere of active preservation. It houses displays of historic astronomical devices and the structure of the universe. There is also a 4-D theater where you can enjoy three-dimensional films. Various events and seminars are held throughout the year.

    Address:
    2-12 Hoshi-ga-Oka, Mizusawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-24-2020
    Hours:
    9:00 ~ 17:00 (Entrance allowed until 16:30)
    Holidays:
    Tuesdays (if a national holiday, the following day), Dec. 29 ~ Jan. 3
    Home page:
    http://users.catv-mic.ne.jp/~yugakukan/
    Nearest public transportation:
    19 minute walk from Mizusawa Station
  • Kokuseki-ji Temple

    Kokuseki-ji Temple
    Kokuseki-ji Temple

    There are many valuable treasures housed in this temple, including standing statues of Shintenno, a seated statue of Yakushi Nyorai and a statue of Jikaku Daishi, the principal idols of this temple, all designated Important Cultural Properties by the national government. The temple is famous for its annual SOMIN-SAI Festival (also known as the Festival of Naked Men and Fire) held on the seventh day of the New Year under the lunar calendar.

    Address:
    17 Aza Yamauchi, Kuroishi-cho, Mizusawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-26-4168
    Hours:
    9:00 ~ 16:00
    Holidays:
    No scheduled holidays
    Home page:
    http://www.kokusekiji.jp/
    Nearest public transportation:
    Kokuseki-ji Temple Bus Stop on the Kokuseki-ji Temple Line, Seibo Line and Odaira Line run by Iwate Bus
    Other:
    Entrance fee: Adults - 300 yen, Elementary, junior high school students - 200 yen
    (Group discount, 20 or more people, Adults - 200 yen, Elementary, junior high school students - 150 yen)
    ※ Feel free to visit the grounds for free.
  • Shobo-ji Temple

    Shobo-ji Temple
    Shobo-ji Temple

    The SOMON (main gate), HONDO (main building of the temple) and KURI (quarters of the head priest) at Shobo-ji Temple have been designated Important Cultural Properties by the national government. The thatched roof of the HONDO, said to be the grandest in Japan, is one of the many highlights you can see. You can participate in Zen meditation here (reservations required). It is an experience you will treasure.

    Address:
    129 Aza Shobo-ji, Kuroishi-cho, Mizusawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-26-4041
    Hours:
    Hours for visiting
    April ~ October 9:00 ~ 17:00
    November ~ March 9:00 ~ 16:00
    Nearest public transportation:
    Shobo-ji Temple Bus Stop on the Shobo-ji Temple Line, run by Iwate Bus
    Other:
    Entrance fee: Adults - 400 yen, Junior high school students - 200 yen, Children - 100 yen
    (Group discount: 10% discount for groups of 30 or more)
  • Kura-machi Mall

    Kura-machi Mall
    Kura-machi Mall

    Located near Heritage Park Fujiwara-no-Sato, this street (reserved for pedestrians) maintains the atmosphere of Kura-machi. The Kurokabe Glass Gallery features displays of glassware from both domestic and foreign sources. The gallery also offers tours and workshops.

    Location:
    Naka-machi and Kawara-machi areas of Esashi, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-35-0051 (Kurobune Co.)
    Home page:
    http://www.yumeplaza.jp/spot/kuramachi.html
    Nearest public transportation:
    Naka-machi Bus Stop (Iwasui Line, Iwakuro Line) on Oshu Bus or Iwate Bus
  • Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park

    Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park
    Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park

    This magnificent theme park recreates the splendor of Heian period architecture that prospered during the four generations of the Fujiwara clan. The park has been used as locations for filming TV and movies, and sometimes filming is open to the public. You can enjoy learning the legends and folktales of Esashi, as well as its history, by donning the armor of warriors, trying your hand at archery and putting on kimono of the period.

    Address:
    86-1 Konamaru, Iwayado, Esashi, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-35-7791
    Hours:
    09:00 ~ 17:00 (closes at 16:00 during the winter - Nov. 1 ~ end of February)
    ※ Entrance possible through one hour before closing time.
    Holidays:
    Open year round
    Home page:
    http://www.fujiwaranosato.com
    Nearest public transportation:
    Fujiwara-no-Sato Bus Stop by Oshu Bus
  • Abarayama Heights

    Abarayama Heights
    Abarayama Heights

    The Abarayama Pasture located here is run by the city, and vivid clusters of azaleas are in full bloom between the end of May and the beginning of June. A monument inscribed with a poem by Miyazawa Kenji is located at the peak, and you can take in the magnificent view, including the Kitakami Mountains, the Ou Mountains and the Kitakami Basin at a single glance.

    Location:
    The Abarayama District of Ide, Esashi, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-35-2111 (ext. 331, 332)
    Open:
    The mountain opens on the last Sunday of May
  • Taneyama-ga-Hara (Taneyama Heights)

    Taneyama-ga-Hara (Taneyama Heights)
    Taneyama-ga-Hara (Taneyama Heights)

    These heights are located at altitudes of approximately 600-870m above sea level. You can overlook neighboring mountains and the Kitakami Basin from Mt. Monomi and Tateishi. These mountains are known to have been loved by Miyazawa Kenji, and there is even a monument inscribed with one of his poems. A campground and other facilities known as "Taneyama Heights - Seiza-no-Mori," located roughly in the center of the heights, is open from May to the middle of November.

    Address:
    66-21 Aza Ohata, Yonesato, Esashi, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-38-2366
    Taneyama Heights - Seiza-no-Mori
    Home page:
    http://www.esashi-iwate.gr.jp/seiza/
  • Isawa Marugoto Information Center

    Isawa Marugoto Information Center
    Isawa Marugoto Information Center

    Get the latest information on the Yakeishi Mountains, as well as many other sightseeing spots and facilities such as a landscape of scattered houses complete with traditional style fences. There is a cafe and small farmers' market in the same location, perfect for taking a break and getting information during your drive.

    Address:
    139 Aza Kamidobashi, Wakayanagi, Isawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-46-0360
    Hours:
    09:00 ~ 16:30
    Holidays:
    Wednesdays, Winter vacation (Dec. 29 ~ end of February)
    Home page:
    https://www.oshu-kankou.jp/marugoto/
    Nearest public transportation:
    Tokusuien Bus Stop (Umadome Line) run by Iwate Bus
  • Isawa Dam (Lake Oshu)

    Isawa Dam (Lake Oshu)
    Isawa Dam (Lake Oshu)

    Isawa Dam is Japan's largest rock-fill dam, with a height of 132m, a crest length of 723m, a dam volume of around 1,350m3 and a total reservoir capacity of 143 million m3. You can get a great view of the magnificent scale of the dam and of Lake Oshu from the Lake Oshu Observation Tower. (Closed during winter; Large-sized buses not allowed.)

    Address:
    6 Yokodake-Zensan, Wakayanagi, Isawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-49-2981
    Kitakami River Dam Integrated Dam Group Operation Office, Isawa Dam Management Branch
    Home page:
    http://www.thr.mlit.go.jp/kitakato/
    Nearest public transportation:
    Himekayu Ski Slopes Bus Stop (Umadome Line) run by Iwate Bus
  • Tokusuien (A History of Water)

    Tokusuien (A History of Water)
    Tokusuien (A History of Water)

    This park, bringing together agriculture and water, commemorates the history of water. You can find Japan's best construction of a cylindrical water diversion mechanism, treaded water wheel and a hand-crafted fishing raft. There are many things you can see and experience in these facilities.

    Address:
    Area in Kamidobashi, Wakayanagi, Isawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-46-2111 (ext. 134)
    Nearest public transportation:
    Tokusuien Bus Stop (Umadome Line) run by Iwate Bus
  • Cattle Museum

    Cattle Museum
    Cattle Museum

    This is Japan's only museum dedicated to cattle. The museum does research and has displays on Maesawa Beef and other cattle from around the world, and houses stuffed animals, frames, fossils and more to introduce the relationship between cattle and mankind, and, of course, beef cuisine. Groups who make prior reservations can learn how to make butter or do some cheese tasting.

    Address:
    103-1 Minami-Jinba, Maesawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-56-7666
    Hours:
    09:30 ~ 17:00 (Entrance is allowed until 16:30)
    Holidays:
    Mondays (if a national holiday, the following day)
    Year-end, New Year's (Dec. 28 ~ Jan. 4)
    Home page:
    http://www.isop.ne.jp/atrui/mhaku.html
    Nearest public transportation:
    7 minute taxi ride from Maesawa Station
    Other:
    Entrance fees: General - 400 yen, High school students - 300 yen, Junior high school student - 200 yen
    (Discounts for groups of 20 or more: General - 300 yen, High school students - 200 yen, Junior high school student - 100 yen)
  • Shirotori-tate Remains (Proposed World Heritage Site)

    Shirotori-tate Remains (Proposed World Heritage Site)
    Shirotori-tate Remains

    The Shirotori-tate Remains are said to be from the castle of Shirotori-Hachiro Norito and Yukito, children of Abe-no-Yuritoki, from a powerful family at the end of the Heian era. It is said that after Abe was defeated by father and son Minamoto-no-Yoriyoshi and Yoshiie in the Zen Kunen no Eki (Former Nine Years' War) and the line died out, Shirotori lived in the castle at the end of the Muromachi era.

    Location:
    Shirotori-tate area of Maesawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    Oshu City Hall, Esashi Branch Office, World Heritage Site Registration Promotion Room: 0197-35-2111 (Ext. 444)
    Hours:
    10:00 ~ 16:00 (Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays from April 28 through October 28 only)
  • Chojo-ga-Hara Temple Remains (Proposed World Heritage Site)

    Chojo-ga-Hara Temple Remains (Proposed World Heritage Site)
    Chojo-ga-Hara Temple Remains

    It is thought that this temple was erected by the Abe clan, a powerful family from Oshu. These are precious remains that show the Buddhist culture blossoming in this era inspired the Hiraizumi culture even before Kiyohira Fujiwara erected Chuson-ji Temple.

    Location:
    Tanaka-nishi area of Koromogawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    Oshu City Hall, Esashi Branch Office, World Heritage Site Registration Promotion Room: 0197-35-2111 (Ext. 444)
    Nearest public transportation:
    Chojo-ga-Hara Temple Remains bus stop (Koromo-Sato Line) on Hayachine Buses and Oshu-Koromogawa municipal buses
  • Koromogawa Furusato Natural Learning Center

    Koromogawa Furusato Natural Learning Center
    Natural Learning Center

    There are facilities for lodging and camping here. Make soba noodles or sausage in the midst of nature. Examine nature in the big woods or catch char (a type of fish). There is so much to experience here.

    Address:
    109-3 Shimo-Omori, Koromogawa, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
    Phone number:
    0197-52-6180
    During winter closing: 0197-52-3111 (Ext. 217)
    Open:
    April 1 ~ end of October
    Nearest public transportation:
    Approximately 34 minute car ride from the Hiraizumi-Maesawa Interchange