Winters in Iwate are harsh and cold. The largest prefectural land mass on the island of Honshu (the main island of Japan) almost all of Iwate is categorised as a deep snowfall district. Because of this, the people of Iwate have naturally come to know many ways to enjoy the snow.
A perfect example is how they love their annual “Winter Festival”. For instance, the Morioka “Yuki Akari” (Snow Light) Festival in Morioka City features candlelit mini snow-huts. The festival’s crisp air brightens up the cold winter nights by its mystical floating mood. The Iwate “Yuki Matsuri” (Snow Festival) in Shizukuishi is a popular event which showcases snow sculptures of current things of interest, stage shows, fireworks and more… These popular events welcome visitors from far and wide across Japan.
There are also winter-only events which flourish across Iwate. Sanriku Railway trains – which only run up and down the North Riasu coastline in winter – operate with heated “Kotatsu” tables in all carriages. In the popular mountain climbing areas of Hachimantai City, trekking events are held where visitors observe the famous “Snow Monster” (trees covered with frost).
It goes without saying that winter sports are extremely popular, with Iwate Prefecture offering many different ski resorts. The “Shizukuishi Ski Resort” is a great example, being the largest in Japan’s northern “Tohoku” region, where many international skiing competitions are held. There are many and varied skiing courses suitable for absolute beginners through to the most advanced. Further, an abundance of high quality powdered snow fields can entertain the most discerning of winter sports lovers.
Enjoy the snow, bear the cold… but please take advantage of the wisdom of Tohoku to experience the joy of winter.
Wondering how to enjoy Iwate in Winter? Take a driving tour with JTB!
There are two driving packages for the Tohoku region including Iwate:
And there’s also even a more flexible guided coath tour you can go on to: