Morioka is an old castle town framed by three flowing rivers and a brooding volcano. Once the seat of the Nanbu domain, it is now the prefectural capital and a regional transportation hub. Though the castle itself is long gone, the park in its place and surrounding area make for a pleasant stroll. Morioka is also famous for its cast-iron artisan work.
'Summer grass, all that remains of warrior dreams.' Matsuo Bashō, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (1689) Hiraizumi's grandeur once rivalled that of Kyoto. From 1089 to 1189, three generations of the Ōshu Fujiwara clan used their gold-mining wealth to create a living paradise devoted to the principles of Buddhism.