Top things to do

Soba in Morioka

Azumaya Honten

Customers line up and tour buses roll in for this hugely popular wanko-soba restaurant. As per tradition, the waiter will refill your tiny bowl with soba (buckwheat noodles) as soon as you've put the last one down. …
Japanese Curry in Morioka

Karē Kōbō Chalten

Serving the best curry we tried in the whole of northern Japan, this small, charming restaurant makes nothing except creamy plates of curry. The wonderful vegetarian option uses eight different vegetables diced to a…
Coffee in Morioka

Cappuccino Shiki

Perfectly placed to catch caffeine addicts as they tumble off their train and out into the bustle of Morioka, this cosy, dark-wood coffee shop has great espresso and a hip vibe. Toasted sandwiches are also available…
Homewares in Morioka

Kamasada Honten

Morioka is known for its nanbu tekki (cast ironware), notably tea kettles. There are some beautiful examples at this venerable shop, along with more affordable items such as wind chimes and incense holders.
Dance in Morioka

Sansa Odori

In Morioka's most famous festival, thousands of dancers take to the streets, celebrating the banishment of an evil ogre that once upon a time plagued the city.
Udon in Morioka

Pairon Honten

Jaja-men (flat noodle with miso and minced meat) joints are all over town, but this hole-in-the wall is still the leader. Ordering is a breeze: just ask for shō (small), chū (medium) or dai (large). When you're fini…
Park in Morioka

Iwate-kōen

If you head east on foot from the train station along Kaiun-bashi for about 20 minutes, you’ll eventually come to this landscaped park, where Morioka-jō once stood. All that remains of the castle, completed in 1633 …
Landmark in Morioka

Rock-Splitting Cherry Tree

A huge cracked granite boulder sits in front of the Morioka District Court, out of which sprouts this large cherry tree, said to be almost four hundred years old. The tree is a much-loved local attraction, though th…
Korean in Morioka

Pyonpyonsha

This yummy Korean noodle place is perfect for a quick bite after getting off your train, before exploring the city sights. There's often a line out the door at lunchtime, but there's plenty of seating inside, over t…
Indian in Morioka

Nepina's Kitchen Nirvana

Morioka has a handful of subcontinental restaurants. The best is found in a small shopping arcade not far from the train station. Tandoori options feature prominently. Dinner sets and all-you-can-drink specials (gos…