[Photo Corner is looking for a co-editor! Ellen has been doing a stunning job with Photo Corner – but, to our great sadness, she will be going back home to Blighty at the end of this JET year. We have a new fantastic editor eager to get going, but as they’re pretty busy, we’re looking for a co-editor to help keep Photo Corner posting every single volume. If you’re at all interested, or would like more information, email us at GoodMorningAomori@gmail.com – Ed]
By Ellen Fraser
Exploring outside the prefecture is easy to do when an extra day has been slapped on to the weekend, so Alyssa and I took advantage and made some quick plans for a whistle-stop roadtrip around Iwate prefecture.
Iwate probably isn’t on many people’s bucketlists for travel within Japan, and it’s not exactly abundant with famous sightseeing spots, but what it does have to offer is well worth the effort.
Over the course of three days, we travelled from Alyssa’s town, Hashikami, to Goshogake Onsen (technically Akita-ken) in the mountains, then down to Morioka, Geibikei Gorge, Tono, Miyako, Ryusendo Cave, Jodogahama, Kitayamazaki and back to Hashikami. On a budget, we turned the car into a snuggly futon nest and slept in that both nights, only paid tolls on the way down and took the scenic route along the coast back up to Aomori. With fabulous company, gorgeous countryside views (we agreed Iwate’s inaka towns have more of a “tidy” feel than Aomori) and a selection of the bangingest tunes, the driving became as much a part of the experience as did the sightseeing itself.
Here are a few photos from the trip!
Somewhere near the mountains.
Goshogake Onsen: probably the best onsen I’ve ever been to. There are baths filled with volcanic mud, and if you’re lucky someone might give you a massage with it!
Our hilarious tourguide at Geibikei Gorge.
Jodogahama beach, waiting for the sun to rise.
There it is!
Ryusendo cave entrance
A lake 98m deep
The only photo that came out okay. Didn’t want to scare the bats with flash!
There was a washi shop next door. We made our own for 1000 yen!
Final stop: Kitayamazaki.