Photo of Iwate

About Iwate

Iwate is the most easterly prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu. Morioka, its capital, is a city of just 270,000 people, and Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture aside from Hokkaido. The scenery, however, is dramatic - a number of rocky cliffs dotted along the shoreline lead to the Pacific Ocean in the east, whilst the Ōu mountains in the west still contain a number of active volcanoes. The Kitakimi River, Japan's fourth longest, runs right through the prefecture, and its basin is vital in providing the area with lush and fertile land. Our collection of the best places to stay in Iwate include spa retreats designed to unwind and take in the gorgeous scenery.

Historically, the region's riches came from its abundance of natural resources. Nowadays, however, it's more well-known for being a major manufacturer of semiconductors and communications materials. More interestingly, there are still a number of onsens - or hot springs - which makes Iwate a lovely area for tourists. Iwate might not be what you typically conjure up when thinking of Japan, with a distinct lack of high-rises and technology, but it's a splendid retreat for those wanting to get back in touch with nature and enjoy a peaceful rural retreat. Each area has its own very distinct historic and cultural heritage, so it's perfect if you want to get to know the 'real' Japan.

To avoid disappointment, be sure to book ahead - the best places to stay in Iwate can get quickly booked up.

What Not To Miss

  • Hiraizumi, an ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once the home to a family that ruled over a third of Japan. Nowadays, it's filled with numerous temples and gardens that make it an utterly fascinating visit.
  • If you want to make the most out of the area's natural beauty then be sure to visit Genbikei or Geibikei Gorge (yes, despite the similarity in names, they are actually different!). With spectacular gorges, views, and forest, you won't be disappointed.
  • Jodogahama Beach, with its white pebbles and number of nearby rocky islands, is a truly stunning place to spend the afternoon.

The best places to stay in Iwate

For a spa retreat

  • Yamado Ryokan is a stunning spa resort with twelve guest suites with private outdoor baths and exemplary cuisine. A gorgeous getaway.

For an apartment

If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

Still not sure?

  • Expand your search to include all our properties in Hakodate or Zao Onsen.
  • Browse through the best places to stay in Japan.
  • Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.

Best Hotels in Iwate

  • Yamado Ryokan Waga-gun, Iwate Prefecture 12 rooms from £428

    A spa resort offering just twelve guest suites. Rooms are traditional and simple in style and boasts a private semi open-air bath flowing with 100% natural hot spring water. Feast on exemplary local culinary delights of northern Tohoku and unwind in the tranquil mountain surrounds.

    Back to Nature  -  Nestled in the mountains and situated next to a river. Featuring a peaceful ambience and décor inspired by Japanese sensibility
    Spa  -  Wellness facilities include open-air bath, hot spring bath and massage
    Great walks  -  Beautiful mountain walks and trails in the surrounding area
    Restrictions on children  -  Children older than 14 years are welcome
    Check prices