Oshu City Tourism Office
1-8 Odori, Esashi, Oshu,
Iwate, Japan 023-1192
silver road


Oshu City Information

The current city of Oshu was formed in 20 Feb, 2006 wiyh merger of 2 cities, 2 towns and 1 village of Mizusawa City, Esashi City, Maesawa Town, Isawa Town, and Koromogawa Village.
Total Area : 993,35 square kilpmeters
Population : 130,171
The region is located in a fertile valley between two mountain ranges and is bisected by two fast flowling rivers, which provides for a beautiful natural environment of water and greenery.

Mizusawa area ... "Little Kyoto of Michinoku"

hibusematsuriLocated in the center of Oshu City, Mizusawa was castle town of the Rusu Clan (part of the Date Clan), and relics of the castle town such as old samurai homes can be found here and there throughout the area.
Hitaka Hibuse (Fire Prevention) Festival held on the 28th and 29th of April is a traditional event passed down from the days when the Lord of Mizusawa Castle ruled the area. The sight of the lavishly decorated "Hayashi Carts" being pulled around the streets accompanied by distinctive music like viewing a gorgeous historical picture scroll.

Esashi area ... "Time travel into the distant past"

esashi-fujiwara heritage parkApproximately 900 years ago, Esashi was the birthplace of Lord Fujiwara Kiyohira,the founder of the Oshu Fujiwara Clan that dreamed of a paradise in the Oshu-Hiraizumi area and built a magnificent city here. The relics of the exquisite culture created over four generations of the Oshu Fujiwara Clan are candidates for world heritage listing, and this cultural achievement has been acknowledged and celebrated in the creation of magnificent Esashi Fujiwara Heritage Park. The approximately 120 buildings in the park have all been constructed meticulously based on historical evidence, brilliantly recreating the townscape of the Heian Period.

Maesawa area ... "The home of Japan's most delicious Japanese Wagyu beef"

maesawabeefMaesawa in known throughout Japan as the home of Maesawa beef, regarded masterpiece of meat. Maeswa beef cattle are raised in suitably cool climate, fed carefully selected food, and cared for with devoted individual attention. The beef from such cattle is ideal ---- vividly marbled, melt on the tongue, and has a rich flavor. The Cattle Museum is a unique facility that you could only find in a famous beef-producing area. As the only cattle museum in Japan, it presents displays from both a biological perspective and a humanities-based perspective showing the relationship between humans and cattle, etc. The Shiratoridate Residence Ruins, situated on the banks of the Kitakami River is expected to becomethe core zone of the "Hiraizumi Cultural Properties" which are candidates for world heritage listing, and is a valuable relic in terms of telling the history that formed the cornerstone for establishment of Oshu-Hiraizumi culture.

Isawa area ... "Natural Beauty that Appeals to the Five Senses"

yakeishiThe Isawa region is an area rich with nature that comprises the Yakeishi Mountains to the west and the Isawa River, springing from the Ou Mountains, to the east, forming the Isawa Alluvial Fan. Yakeishidake, the main mountain at a height of 1547.9m in the Yakeishi Mountains, which comprise most of the Kurikoma National Park, is a treasure chest of nature blessed with lakes, virgin forest, and some 300 species of alpine plants. Hiking courses have been provided.

Koromogawa area ... "Japan's Best View of the Stars"

koromogawa_skyThe Koromogawa region has the clearest, most beautiful night sky in Japan and has been named by the Environment Agency (now the Ministry of the Environment) in two consecutive years - in the summer of 2002 and the winter of 2003 - as having the "Best Starry Sky in Japan" according to nationwide continuous observations of the night sky. A stone monument proclaiming "Japan's Best View of the Stars" has been erected at the Kitamata Regional Center on the grounds of the Kitamata Elementary School, which is where the observations were made. Close nearby in the Star Plaza is the region's symbol - the dome-shaped observatory.