Iwate Prefecture

Iwate is best known for its lacquerware, so it's no surprise that the prefecture's beloved Mascots,"Wanko Kyodai", are comprised of five smiling brothers in the shape of traditional lacquered Japanese bowls ("wanko" in Iwate dialect)! 

Nature worship and traditional folklore fuel the strong air of spirituality in Iwate, as it invites travelers to experience its unique food culture and signature lacquerware.
Read more on Iwate Prefecture


  • Geibikei Gorge
    Amusing rock formations can be spotted at this serene gorge, such as one resembling a lion's nose. You can even feed the eager fish on a flat-bottomed boat ride, to the sound of the boatman's traditional folk-song.

    Learn more about Geibikei Gorge
  • Chusonji Temple
    Founded in 850, Chusonji Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site is revered for the peaceful aura surrounding it. The stunning gold leaf-covered Golden Hall (Konjikido) still stands today as it was built.

    Read more about Chusonji Temple
    Are you game for a Soba eating challenge? Wanko Soba is a style of soba eating unique to Iwate, where you are served a small bowl of noodles which gets refilled as soon as you finish. The current record of the most bowls eaten in Japan is 500 bowls!

    Learn more about WANKO SOBA