• Mt.Iwate & A single cherry tree (Copyright)©KOIWAI FARM,LTD.

  • children taking part in the Iwate Jr. Multi-Support Plan

  • IAAF World Youth Championships and Japan-Korea-China Junior Sports Exchange Meet participant Manato Sasaki (Morioka Minami High School, Iwate Super Kids Program)

  • Sansa Odori Parade (photo taken August 2014)(Copyright)Morioka Sansa Odori Festival Organizing Committee

  • Iwate Golden Foods (Iwate's main local foods)

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Iwate is located in the northeastern part of Honshu. It’s 122km wide, 189km long, and 500km from Tokyo. Its surface area is 13,562km², which makes it the second-largest of all 47 prefectures after Hokkaido. The capital city of Morioka has the same latitude as Washington DC, Beijing and Madrid.

Iwate prepares top athletes for the world stage and has produced 42 Olympians to date, 4 of whom have won medals. The Iwate Super Kids Program raises the prefecture’s competitiveness and identifies talented children at an early age by developing their training and instilling the attitude of an athlete. In the ten years since its inception, participants have represented Japan at junior and national levels. Additionally, with one eye on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Iwate is striving to improve the training environment for its juniors. It has held motivational workshops across the prefecture for children, guardians and coaches. Furthermore, ahead of the 2016 National Sports Festival, medical support staff are being deployed to enrich the support network for competitors. This is just one of the many projects in place.

80% of Iwate is covered in forests. The Ou Mountains on its western border run parallel to the Kitakami River, and the jagged rock formations like the Kitayamazaki Cliffs in the east represent the best coastal scenery that Japan has to offer. Each region has its own weather patterns, but all share an overall coolness with four distinct seasons: the long winter, the blossoming spring, the intense summer and the beautiful autumn. Many well-known people came from Iwate, such as Nitobe Inazō (best known as the author of “Bushido”), who spent his life working towards world peace. Iwate has two World Heritage sites: Hiraizumi, left behind in the Heian era (794 to 1185) by the Northern Fujiwara family, and the Hashino Iron Mining Site, which represents the modernization of iron industries in Japan. Traditional performance art is passed down through the generations. One example is Hayachine Kagura, which UNESCO recognizes as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Another is Sansa Odori, the world’s largest taiko drum parade. Iwate’s natural features have led to a unique food culture. Its nationally-renowned agricultural products, as well as the marine products caught off the Sanriku coast, are becoming increasingly well-known, both at home and abroad.

Camp grounds in this area