Mt. Iwate and Morioka
Kitakami river in Morioka

Morioka (盛岡) is the capital of Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

Get in

By train

Morioka is a major train station on the Tohoku Shinkansen line.

The most frequent Shinkansen services from Tokyo to Morioka are the all reserved Komachi (こまち) and Hayate (はやて), which normally run coupled together as a single train. The ride takes 2 1/2 hours at a cost of ¥13,840 each way, so you may want to consider purchasing a JR East Rail Pass or Japan Rail Pass beforehand.

Faster Hayabusa (はやぶさ) services make two daily round-trips between Morioka and both Tokyo and Aomori, complementing the other services. Fares for the Hayabusa are slightly higher (¥14,340 from Tokyo).

The Japan Rail Pass and JR East Rail Pass are valid for travel on the Hayate, Komachi and Hayabusa. On the other hand, rail passes will only cover the basic fare if you are willing to try out the premium first class seating on the Hayabusa called "GranClass". To use "GranClass" the limited express and GranClass fare has to be paid (¥14,640 from Tokyo). Without a rail pass, "GranClass" costs ¥22,830 between Tokyo and Morioka.

By bus

An overnight bus service, the Rakuchin, runs twice nightly from Tokyo Station to Morioka (about 7 1/2 hours, ¥7,850 one way). Other companies offer cheaper, less comfortable rides for as little as ¥5,000.

Get around

Morioka is a small enough city to walk around. There are some useful transport methods.

By bus

Iwateken Kotsu bus operates Den-Den-Mushi Bus (with picture of snails painted on each vehicle) which encircles the city central area starting from Morioka main station via castle park and Bus Center. The cost is ¥100 per ride, and run every 10 min both clockwise and anti-clockwise during daytime.



Festivals and events

Morioka has a number of popular festivals.




Morioka is a small city, but it offers a number of good drinking options. The water in the area is clean and pure so there are a number of sake breweries. Japanese style 'Izakaya' bars are everywhere, and there are also some German style beer breweries which offer a variety of brews.

As with most cities in Japan, karaoke is a good drinking option, especially if you have a large group. Most places are ¥1,000 an hour, including drinks. A good place is right off Odori on the forth floor across the street from Ootaru.

'FACES' is a western-style and western-owned bar and club near the movie theaters on Eigakan Dori (movie theater street). Great place to meet other English speakers!



Budget travellers of the male variety will likely quickly have their attention drawn to a heavily advertised capsule hotel and sauna existing directly opposite the train station. The price can be extremely cheap, but be warned however that capsule patrons can expect a rapidly upward sliding price scale on repeat use of the sauna facilities, and you may well wish to use them a second time in the morning because the air conditioning intake for the sleeping capsules lies in the smoker's lounge.

An alternative lies in a relaxation cafe along the main street on the left hand side, 2F, about a 1km from the station. Name begins with a Z~. Essentially this is a manga/internet cafe where the owner has thrown away all pretense of people reading manga and focussed on the essentials, napping, relaxing, sleeping, showering (small surcharge) and maybe checking the internet. Warm Balinese themed decor, seemed brand new as of summer 2009.


Go next

Routes through Morioka

Shin-Aomori Ninohe ← Iwate-Numakunai  N  S  Shin-Hamamaki Sendai
Akita Kakunodate ← Tazawa-ko ← Shizukuishi  N  S  END connects to Tōhoku line
Aomori Hachinohe  N  S  Hanamaki Sendai
Aomori Matsuo-Hachimantai  N  S  Hanamaki Sendai

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, November 28, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.