Tenshochi is located by the serene Kitakami River. It’s famous for being one of the leading cherry blossom viewing spots in Tohoku. Here, 10,000 mainly Somei-Yoshino cherry trees, which reach full bloom in late April, attract tons of visitors every year. The cherry tree avenue stretches out for 2 km from Sangobashi (bridge) and has been listed as one of "Japan’s Top 100 spots for viewing cherry blossoms."
In addition to the cherry trees, 100,000 vivid azaleas also color the area. Tenshochi Park has an area of 300 hectares and is blessed with abundant trees and beautiful scenery like colored leaves in fall. A walk down the avenue is also quite pleasant anytime throughout the year.
cherry bloosom in spring
beautiful azaleas in late spring
colored leaves in fall
cold winter by the Kitakami River
The views are marvelous and the cherry-tree avenue along the Kitakami River can be viewed from the top of Jingaoka (hill).
At the end of the cherry tree avenue lies Tenshochi Rest House. The large white building gets its design from a rice granary that was used back when hiratabune (shipping boat) transported goods along the Kitakami River.
Tenshochi Rest House
During the Edo era, the biggest port on the Kitakami River was in Kurosawajiri (now Kitakami city). As a passage port between the upper and lower parts of the Kitakami River, hiratabune sent rice shipments to Edo (now Tokyo). Today, Tenshochi Rest House has two hiratabune which have been restored. They are still kept in the cove. There is also a restaurant and a souvenir shop inside Tenshochi Rest House. The restaurant serves seasonal dishes using local fresh vegetables as well as local dishes such as handmade noodles and pounded rice. The shop also sells local specialties of Kitakami.
Also located in Tenshochi is the Kitakami Yakyokuhi (Kitakami Serenade Monument). This monument is devoted to a sad song that was sung by locals during the war and postwar. Later, the song became popular all over Japan. The song’s lyrics were inscribed into the monument in 1974 by the lyricist and composer himself. If you push the button near the monument, the song will play.
There is a bridge called "Sangobashi” (length: 253.8m Width: 5.5m) over the Kitakami River on the way to Tenshochi park from the central Kitakami. This bridge has a history of 104 years and was used be a toll bridge. The bridge needed to be repaired several times because it was built by wood and easy to be destroyed by natural disaster. It was rebuilt with the present material and form 16 years ago.
Michinoku Folklore Village is one of the many historical open-air museums found throughout Tohoku. It exhibits historical structures such as a pit structure house, a Samurai’s house, a merchant's house, and a Nanbu Magari house (in which a man and a horse live together). The museum depicts the lifestyles of local people who once lived along the Kitakami River.
Currently, there are twenty-nine traditional buildings which depict the Edo era up to the Taisho era. The buildings are divided and arranged into four zones according to their unique characteristics. There is also an old small hill which indicates the territorial border between Nanbu and Date and is designed as a National Historic Site.
the territorial border
The Pit dwelling (a replica from the Jomon period) is of original form. Hoshikawa's house (from the end of the Edo period) is a common style of Nanbu Magari house (a private house with stable connected to the main house). This house depicts the tender-hearted relationship between horse and owner.
the Pit House
Nanbu Magari house
The oldest house of all is Kanno's House, which became a nationally designated important cultural property in 1965, and illustrates what a typical private home used to look like in Iwate prefecture. Oizumi's House allows visitors to experience the traditional and unique construction style of a home of the samurai class. There is a traditional Japanese-style room and kitchen.
One can also enjoy beautiful views throughout the year.
cherry-blossom in spring
colored leaves in fall
icy pond and snow in winter
◆Map of Michinoku Folklore Village
[as of 2012]
See a larger image or Download → http://www.kitakami-kanko.jp/english/ftp/michinokuminzokumuramap.pdf
◆Information about the facilities
[as of 2012]
See a larger image or Download → http://www.kitakami-kanko.jp/english/ftp/michinokuminzokumurahouse.pdf
The Museum of Contemporary Japanese Poetry, Tanka and Haiku is the only comprehensive museum dedicated to poetry in Japan.
After opening in a corner of Shiika no Mori Park in 1990, it began accumulating and housing materials related to poetry, tanka, and haiku from the Meiji period onward, regardless of whether they were famous works or not, and putting forth present-day poetry through a variety of activities.
There is an exhibition room where every year an exhibit which shows "Present Day" of poetry is updated. The exhibit is based on many unique viewpoints.
Located in INOUE Yasushi Memorial Hall (dedicated to Yasushi Inoue who helped establish this literary museum) there is a "jewel box" which "the charms of literature" can also be experienced.
INOUE Yasushi Memorial Hall
Adjacent to the museun is also YAMAGUCHI Seison Home & Grounds. In this home one can appreciate and reminds of old times. The house and garden belong to a local haiku poet, Seison Yamaguchi, who was originally from Morioka.
YAMAGUCHI Seison Home & Grounds (adjacent)
- Shiika no Mori Park
Shiika no Mori Park is located in the south side of The Museum of Compemporary Japanese Poetry, Tanka and Haiku. The ground is 4 ha. broad that allows people to picnic, play with balls, jog and more and has always been a fun place for citizens.