Yakehashiri is a cooled and hardened lava flow on the northeastern slope of Mt. Iwate. The lava was from the 1732 explosion, and stretches for about 3 km, reaching a width of about 1.5 km at the lower end. Even after 280 years, no plant life grows on the barren black rocks which form a layer of about 5 to 10 meters thick. There are lava blocks of various sizes, from those that fit the palm of your hand to those with diameters of over 1 m; you are not allowed to take one home because they are national natural monuments. There is a 1-km walkway on the lava; a round-trip will take about two hours. There are facilities such as a campground, a hot spring, and a restaurant nearby.
The Aspite Line is a 27-km mountain sightseeing road that runs through Towada-Hachimantai National Park straddling Iwate and Akita. With a rest house at the peak, it is one of the best roads in the country for a scenic drive, especially in fall when you can enjoy the panorama of colorful beeches and maples at every curve. The Aspite Line is closed during winter due to heavy snow, but in late April, the road is reopened with impressively high walls of snow on both sides; the snow walls, which can reach a height of 6 m in some places, are so smooth and vertical that the snow appears as if it has been sliced with a knife. Experience the beauty of both winter and spring on the Aspite Line, by driving through the corridor of snow which will then lead to cherry blossoms in bloom at the base of Hachimantai.
Morioka Castle was a beautiful three-story castle which served as the residence of the Nambu lords. Its construction began in 1598, and by 1609, Morioka had developed as a castle town. However, the age of the samurai eventually came to a close, and the castle was demolished in 1874. The site became desolate after the demolition, but it was revived in 1906 as Iwate Park; in 2006, the park was given a new nickname “Morioka Castle Site Park” to commemorate its 100th anniversary. Though the castle no longer stands today, you can still see the beautiful stone walls throughout the park.
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