Top 10 Things to do in Oshu, Japan

December 27, 2017 Veronika Gaddis

Discover the best top things to do in Oshu, Japan including Kokusekiji Temple, Esashi-Fuijiwara Heritage Park, Shiraito Streets Exchange Center, Mizusawa Park, Shoboji Temple, Komagata Shrine, Mizusawa VERA Observatory, Takano Choei Memorial, Goto Shinpei Memorial, Mizusawa Horse Tracks.
Restaurants in Oshu

1. Kokusekiji Temple

Mizusawakukuroishicho, Oshu 023-0101, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-26-4168
Excellent
51%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 18 reviews

Kokusekiji Temple

Reviewed By bakatori - Singapore

Men wearing only their fundoshi in the mid winter was what drew me to this temple.
I spent half of my life living in the equator. Keeping myself warm in the winter itself is a feat.
The thought of men naked except the little piece of fundoshi, running around the snow for a satchel that contains good luck fascinates me.
I have to see this, I have to attend this festival even at the expense of losing one night's sleep.
This event, Kokusekiji Sominsai takes place on the 6th & 7th day of lunar new year, I attended the 7th day from evening till the next morning.
I had attended the Godaison Sominsai in Hanamaki early in that morning, and I have to admit it was not my intention to attend the night festival as well.
The freezing temperature in the morning was more than I could handle, I could only imagine the cold would be even worst in the middle of the night.
However Curiosity got the best of me. At JR MizusawaEsashi station, the tourist information counter provided me with all the information I required-pamphlets containing detailed information on how to reach this far away from the beaten path temple.
Buses were provided from both JR MizusawaEsashi and Mizusawa station.
Note the timing and try to arrive early as due to snow condition, trains may be delayed and in turn cause you to miss the bus service. It happened to me, and I had to wait out in the extreme cold which almost had me canceling this adventure.
I took the last train to JR Mizusawa and took the last bus to Kokusekiji.
By the time I reached there, the river dunking was over. The participants were now on the wooden platform made from piled logs, a fire was burning steadily under them. They were chanting(in Japanese of course) waving theirs lanterns to the rhythm of their chanting, encouraging and helping one another to hold on against the cold and smoke. It was snowing, temperature was steadily falling, the crowd was maddening. Camera clicking, flashlights blinding, people chanting, burning sticks waving....
I could not in details describe the night to you. I have no words to describe my encounters to you. It was too surreal, too bizarre.
I had dozed off on my feet in front of the burning platform under the falling snow and almost fell face flat into the burning logs because it was too cold to seek shelter in the temple.
The temperature then was minus 7 degree, without taking into consideration the wind factor, I was out in the cold in the middle of the night, I could not even turn back and abandon my quest because there was no transport out of this place till next morning 6:30am.
My body was totally numb. 3 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of leggings, 1 pair of jeans, 4 pieces of woolen top and a wind breaker were not enough to keep the freeze away.
When the cold was simply too much for me, I had asked myself "Am I just dumb or simply suicidal?"
However looking at the participants with nothing (except their loincloth) but their faith, pitting their endurance against nature.
Helpless yet defiant.
I did not follow the naked, jostling crowd to the spot where they wrestle for the satchel.
While I was waiting for the bus to arrive, a lone participant returned, apparently he has enough snow and cold for the day.
I also saw quite a number of participants from the earlier gominsai at Godaison here at kokusekiji.
Looks like running around in the buff during winter can be pretty addictive.
My final verdict for this impromptu adventure -
I'll be back because now I'm a believer.



2. Esashi-Fuijiwara Heritage Park

86-1 Konamaru Iwayado, Esdashi-ku, Oshu 023-1101, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-35-7791
Excellent
19%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 36 reviews

Esashi-Fuijiwara Heritage Park

Reviewed By Anna T - None

Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park (sometimes known as Esashi Fujiwara no Sato) was a crowd-pleaser, with something for everyone: traditional costumes and armor to try on, trick art, deer dances, and my favorite, the archery corner, which I could have done all day.
Enjoy the park for as long as you like, then pop to the nearby restaurant for some seriously tasty noodles. We went during the summer, so I went for Morioka Reimen and some apple ice cream.
We went by car, but if you don’t have one the easiest way is via taxi. The staff are friendly, eager to please, and foreigner-friendly. I’ll definitely bring my friends and family here the next time they visit.

3. Shiraito Streets Exchange Center

2_12 Nishine Urakoji, Kanegasaki-cho, Isawa-gun 029-4503, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-41-2355
Excellent
0%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
100%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 1 reviews

Shiraito Streets Exchange Center

Reviewed By hosakin - 福岡

県道108号線沿いにある古民家風建物。農家を移築して建てられたようで、武家屋敷内案内施設の名称もあります。本施設は、単なる和風建築や見学のための建物ではなく、地域づくりの拠点施設のようです。金ヶ崎町城内諏訪小路地区は国指定重要伝統的建造物群保存地区。保存地区内住宅は、非公開となっておりますので、小路(道路)からの景観をお楽しみください、とのこと。白糸の意味は不明。町外からの観光客誘致に成功し、交流人口の拡大に繋がることを期待しています。

4. Mizusawa Park

1-1 Mizusawakunakauwanocho, Oshu 023-0857, Iwate Prefecture
Excellent
18%
Good
57%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 16 reviews

Mizusawa Park

Reviewed By Sean M - Folsom, California

Mizusawa Park is the largest park in the Mizusawa ward. It is a fantastic spot for cherry blossoms in springtime (Usually sometime in April to May in this area). It also houses a community center, single basketball hoop, track/soccer field, baseball stadium. There's a small animal area that houses peacocks and a monkey. There is a parking lot by the community center. There is also a shrine within the park as well where one can buy charms and fortunes. Also a small playground in the north park alongside some tennis courts.

5. Shoboji Temple

129 Shoboji, Mizusawakukuroishicho, Oshu 023-0101, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-26-4041
Excellent
30%
Good
60%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 10 reviews

Shoboji Temple

Reviewed By yuval_adler - Japan

This is an impressive temple, not appearing at English language guides, at Iwate. The building itself is impressive, lovely with autumn leaves, and includes some important artifacts. Entrance is on the right side, where we change shoes to slippers, and walk upstairs by an adjacent corridor that protects us from the cold. Comment to TripAdvisor: How about specifying the name SHOHOJI also in Engish?

6. Komagata Shrine

1-83 Nakauwanocho Mizusawa-ku | Mizusawa Park, Oshu 023-0857, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-23-2851
Excellent
25%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 8 reviews

Komagata Shrine

Reviewed By ゆみゆみ070 - Okayama, Japan

水沢駅からは徒歩10分くらいの距離だったので、歩きました。
水沢公園に隣接する場所に神社はありました。
明治以前は駒ヶ岳山頂に祀られていたそうです。

7. Mizusawa VERA Observatory

2-12 Mizusawakuhoshigaokacho, Oshu 023-0861, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-22-7111
Excellent
33%
Good
67%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Mizusawa VERA Observatory

Reviewed By 町田の熊 - Machida, Japan

世界的に大事な観測をしている施設にしては、誰でもが自由に構内に入れます。以前は、緯度観測所と読んでいましたが、今は名前が変わっています。構内には大きな望遠鏡がありますが、なんのチェックも無く傍まで行くことが出来ます。どんな観測をしているのかの説明版がありますが、難しい過ぎてなかなか理解できませんが、とにかく大変な研究をしているということだけは理解できました。また、資料館もありますが訪問したのが火曜日で丁度休館日でした。訪問する際には注意願います。

8. Takano Choei Memorial

1-9, Nakauwano, Mizusawa-ku, Oshu 023-0857, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-23-6034
Excellent
34%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 6 reviews

Takano Choei Memorial

Reviewed By 町田の熊 - Machida, Japan

水沢公園の一角にあります。
水沢で生誕してから、自害するまでの生涯が判り易く展示されています。
投獄後、火事にまぎれて脱獄をしましたが、点々と逃げ延びたルートが展示されています。更に国の重要文化財に指定された書簡・著書を始め、数多くの書簡・著述書・翻訳書が多数展示されています。
歴史に興味のある方は、一見の価値があると思います。

9. Goto Shinpei Memorial

4-1, Otemachi, Mizusawa-ku, Oshu 023-0053, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-25-7870
Excellent
22%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 9 reviews

Goto Shinpei Memorial

Reviewed By 町田の熊 - Machida, Japan

この夏の帰省時に久しぶりに訪れましたが、以前に比べると入館者が多くなっている感じです。ここに来るたびに彼の業績を目にして感動を覚えますが、昨年の大震災からの復興には、後藤新平の様な人が必要と誰しもが思ったのではないかと思います。その思いで来館する人が増えているのではないかと思っています。我々の様な中高年ではなく、若い人も訪れているのが嬉しかったです。

10. Mizusawa Horse Tracks

1-2 Akuto, Anetaicho, Mizusawa-ku, Oshu 023-0831, Iwate Prefecture +81 197-23-2999
Excellent
0%
Good
70%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
10%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 10 reviews

Mizusawa Horse Tracks

Reviewed By ディープ産駒 - Tokyo, Japan

春の桜を見ながら水沢競馬場へ行きました。
この時期はさすがに寒いです。
でも、皆さん熱心に競馬を楽しんでいます。
特にパドックは小さくて、距離が近い。馬の息遣いが聞こえてきます。
川沿いだから寒いんですね。

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