Of the 47 prefectures in Japan, Iwate is the second largest following Hokkaido.
There are many unique ski slopes here, and skiers can choose what suits their preference. For example, in Hachimantai city in the northwest area as well as in Shizukuishi area in central prefecture, many slopes are adjacent to resort hotels and therefore, these areas are recommended to visitors who wish to spend a luxurious vacation. Southern area ski slopes have plenty of snowfalls to allow the season to stretch from early December to early May. Including the slope where the Alpine Ski World Cup was held, Iwate prefecture has a variety of large-scale ski slopes where visitors can enjoy dynamic skiing.
Every slope is blessed with ample natural snowfalls, and as such, ski resorts in Iwate are of the highest quality with dry powder snow during the coldest months. There are also many hot springs, and bathing facilities are found on the ski slopes and in the hotels operated by the slopes.
Skiers can relax themselves after skiing. Since Shinkansen goes to the capital city of Morioka, visitors can travel to the area in only 2 hours and 15 minutes from Tokyo. Downtown areas flourish around the station from which the city's symbol, Mt. Iwate, can be viewed.
Visitors must try the three great noodles of Morioka: Morioka cold noodle, Morioka zhajianmian noodle, and "wankosoba." Morioka cold noodle that features textured opaque noodles and Morioka zhajianmian which is an arrangement of a popular Chinese noodle dish can be enjoyed casually near the ski slopes, in the central city area, and in the eateries in the station. Wankosoba is an amusing way of eating soba noodles where one mouth full of soba is put in a bowl one after another to compete the number of bowls one can eat.
In addition, cheese and butter as well as confectionaries produced by Koiwai Farm with over 120 years of history are known nationwide as brand products. There is never a shortage of local gourmet items including the simple local dishes such as "hittsumi" and “Nambu senbei." "Nambu tekki" (Nambu ironware) is Iwate's most famous traditional art craft with almost 400 years of history.
Iron kettles, pots, and frying pans made by artisans reflect the aesthetic functional beauty of traditional Japan. They are popular not only in Japan but also overseas because the longer they are used, the better they become. Chuson-ji temple in Hiraizumi that was registered as the World Cultural Heritage in 2011 is a tourist spot that should not be missed. Many cultural assets are preserved here including the Konjiki-do (Golden Hall) that still maintains its original building.