Morioka: Slow Life, Indie Spirit
In January 2023, the New York Times newspaper introduced Morioka as one of its "52 Places to Go" - second only to London. The capital of Iwate Prefecture was highly praised for its historic architecture; its compactness, making it easy for people to get around on foot; and the abundance of nature, from the nearby mountains to the river that runs through the city center. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Canadian actor Kyle Card visits this city which is little known abroad and often overlooked at home. He explores its independent stores and numerous coffee shops, and chats with the people who call it home.

Bank of Iwate Red Brick Building

Built in 1911, this handsome edifice was designed by the renowned architect Tatsuno Kingo together with Kasai Manji, the same partnership that designed the iconic Tokyo Station building. The Bank of Iwate Red Brick Building is designated as an Important Cultural Property.

Morioka Castle Site Park

In feudal times, Morioka was the seat of the Nanbu domain. The site of the clan's former castle was opened to the public as a park in 1906 and is known for its cherry blossoms in spring.

Mikoda Morning Market

Nicknamed "Morioka's kitchen," this popular street market operates more than 300 days a year, opening each morning at 5 AM.

Access

To reach Morioka from Tokyo, it takes about 120 minutes by the Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train. The city center is about twenty minutes on foot from Morioka Station.