Thanks to the New York Times showcasing Morioka in its list of 52 Places to Go in 2023, the city streets are now packed with foreign travelers! It’s all anyone can talk about. (Yes, I realize someone might think I’m a foreign tourist as well, but after three years with no international tourism, it’s been such a breath of fresh air to see so many new people in town.)

In fact, it looks like there’s even more tourism blessing the city than there was before the pandemic. It’s not surprising – Morioka is not only an awesome destination in itself, but its shinkansen station makes it a great hub for visiting other areas of Tohoku, like Aomori and Akita. Plus, it’s just so convenient to get here from Tokyo. One train, two hours, and you’re here!

But once you reach the station, what’s next? This past winter, we shared a number of spots you can walk to throughout the city, but what if you only have a little bit of time? Well, within five minutes from the station, you can arrive at a pretty cool open-air farmers market, or a lineup of trendy restaurants by the Kitakami River. Morioka – you can get to all the good stuff right away!

Yo-ichi Market in Zaimokucho, Morioka City
Held every Saturday from April to November – 15:10-18:30

   Yo-ichi is the classic showcase of all the best Morioka has to offer! Every Saturday (outside of winter), this street in the Zaimokucho area of Morioka comes alive with local sellers and stalls selling their wares. You’ve got farmers with cheap, fresh veggies, restaurants with fried foods, people selling their old things, and local brewery Baeren setting up a few taps where you can purchase a craft ale.

This market has actually been running for 50 years as of 2023. In Japanese, the word Yo-ichi written simply with the hiragana character “yo” plus the character for “market (ichi).” Yo can mean a number of different things – It can stand for “萬”, which means “many things; a variety.” It can stand for “良”, which means good; it can stand for “与”, which means “to give.” It could even stand for “喜”, which means a feeling of joy and satisfaction. You’ll find that Morioka’s Yo-ichi Market represents all these things, and more.

You can get here by walking directly from the station (follow the signs for “Zaimokucho”), and just see what the vibe is like. I recommend going earlier rather than later, as some stalls pack up early. The market can get crowded too!

Kippushi – a block of restaurants by Kaiunbashi Bridge

   Morioka has three major rivers crisscrossing through town, and yet, there didn’t used to be a lot of real estate dedicated to making the most of those rivers. That all changed with the construction of Kippushi in 2019. This hip block of restaurants and cafes are built in pre-fab structures right by the juncture of Kitakami River and Kaiunbashi Bridge – literally a hop, step, and jump away from the station.

There’s something for everyone, and the wide-open space is great for buying some food and eating outdoors, plus it’s lit up beautifully at night.

There’s a European-style bistro, Japanese izakaya, gelato and a craft brewery among other things…including a place where you can grill up meat and vegetables at the table (try the lamb from Tono!). There’s also access to the underground bicycle parking area, with rental bikes available if you want to head further into the city in style.    At certain times of the year, you can also camp by the riverbed or set up events there (reservations required).

Those are just two places to visit five minutes away from Morioka Station. There’s also tons of restaurants and shops literally right next door to the station (and don’t forget the department store Fesan that is actually attached to the station).

Finally found your way to Morioka? There’s tons to do right after you step off the shinkansen train. Just go where you heart takes you!





さて、駅に着いたら、次は何をすればいいのでしょう?この冬、THE KITAKAMI TIMESにおいて街中を歩いて回れるスポットを紹介しましたが、時間がないときはどうすればいいのでしょう?実は、駅から5分もあれば、ファーマーズマーケットや、北上川沿いのおしゃれなレストランに行くことができます。盛岡は、いいものがすぐに手に入るんです!

盛岡市の「材木町 よ市」


例えば、"萬 "は "多くのもの、様々なもの"を意味します。"良 "は "良い "を表し、"与 "は "与える "を表します。さらに、喜びや満足感を意味する「喜」を表すこともできます。盛岡の「よ市」には、そんな意味が込められているのです。