Located at the junction of the Shizukuishi and Kakkonda Rivers, Shizukuishi is a small town in the Ōu Mountains of Iwate Prefecture. Archaeological findings suggest the area has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period and served as a battlefield during the 11th-century Zenkunen War. Today, Shizukuishi is famed for its annual hemp festival.
Things to do in Shizukuishi
A short drive north of Shizukuishi is Koiwai Farm, a dairy farm established in 1891. Today, it encompasses around 3,000 hectares of pastures, farm buildings and cedar forest. At Makiba Park, you can play mini-golf or test your archery skills before enjoying lunch at one of the eateries. In the historic heart of the farm is the Kamimaru Cowshed, plus a small museum detailing the property’s history.
On the other side of Shizukuishi is Yu-Yu Farm, an equestrian centre offering horseback riding lessons and “yabusame” (horseback archery). You can combine your visit with a stop at Goshoko Large Park, which overlooks the shores of Gosho Lake. Kids will love the thrilling slide and playground equipment, while art enthusiasts will find inspiration at the Goshokokawamura Museum.
In the winter months, you can hit the wide trails of the Iwate Kogen Snow Park, which offers magnificent views across the region. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of the two advanced runs while families can head to the kid-friendly sledding slope. Also nearby is the Shizukuishi Ski Resort with its forested ski slopes and traditional onsen.
Getting around Shizukuishi
Shizukuishi is around 30 minutes’ drive from Morioka and 45 minutes from Iwate Hanamaki Airport, which has flights to destinations across Japan. Akita Airport is 1.5 hours away. The Akita Shinkansen stops at the Shizukuishi railway station while buses travel throughout the town.