Iwaki


Iwaki
岩城
Iwaki in Akita
Location in Akita
Location
CountryJapan
RegionTōhoku
PrefectureAkita
Physical characteristics
Area108.10 km²
Population5,792 (as of September, 2012)
Symbols
TreeJapanese Zelkova (ケヤキ)
FlowerCherry Blossom (さくら)
BirdHeron (サギ・鷺)
Town emblem
Town Hall
Address〒018-1392 由利本荘市岩城内道川字新鶴潟50番地
Telephone☎ 0184-73-2468
WebsiteIwaki town website Homepage

Iwaki (岩城町; -machi) is a district of Yurihonjō, Akita, Japan.

Iwaki is located next to the Sea of Japan. The majority of working citizens work in Akita or Honjō, so Iwaki is somewhat a suburb. Local industry include fishing and rice. Kameda and Mitikawa merged with Iwaki in 1955 and in 2005 the Iwaki-city merged into Yurihonjō City. Iwaki is now a district of Yurihonjō, made up of several towns and villages. Matsugasaki merged with Honjō in 1954 and originally had its own elementary school that fed into Honjo Kita but shared an ALT with Iwaki. As of 2014, all 3 elementary schools have been combined to form Iwaki Elementary School in a brand new building near Kameda.

Entertainment

  • Michi no Eki TEL 0184-73-3789 Includes a campground, space for tents, and cabins for rent. There is a port that sits in the ocean 300 meters off shore, connected with a bridge where you can drive, bicycle, or walk out to and watch the waves crash or get a good view of Oga peninsula. People swim and surf during swimming season, but there is no designated swimming area. Camping and driving on the beach is acceptable.
    • Iwaki Onsen Open 9am-10pm Adult ticket 400 yen for 3 hours. This onsen looks out over the beach, ocean, and sunset. The main-floor tub sits against west facing windows, while a lower floor tub sits in front of an open bay door. There is also a sauna and cold bath.
    • There are 2 restaurants and several food stands
      • Quebec Restaurant: Steak, delivery pizza, pasta, and a deck that looks over the ocean and sunsets. Recommended date spot.
      • Omiyage shop and Restaurant: Simple restaurant with pictures of the menu items on the wall. Japanese style food. You can also reserve tatami rooms for parties.
      • Food stands (all close at 5pm) General foods like soft serve,takoyaki, and rolled tacos.
        • Ramen shop: The ramen here is cheap and delicious. The family that runs it are also kind. The ramen names may be traditional, but the ingredients might not.
        • Fresh grilled squid and other sea creature.
    • Co-op: Local farmers fresh produce. Best rice in Japan.
  • Amasagi Wine Castle TEL 0184-74-2100 Plum winery that is open for walk-in self tours. Sits above the town of Kameda almost directly over the Elementary school. Viewing deck. Also, a bit farther up the road is the top of the mountain with a viewstand.
  • Amasagi Castle TEL 0184-74-2525 Sits directly next to the town hall, across the street from the town gymnasium. Historic castle sitting in the middle of Kameda town. Daily self tours of the grounds and buildings. Free English pamphlet included. Souvenir shop, restaurant, and rental rooms for dinner parties. Small gallery rotates historical items.
  • Kameda Art Museum Sitting next to Kameda Elementary school, offers rotating art shows and permanent collection of art and artifacts.
  • Akita Prefectural Boys Nature House This is a cool building with a great view where schools from throughout the prefecture go for camp trips, team building workshops and nature hikes. Located near the Iwaki Prestige Golf course.
  • Wave (Iwaki Library) TEL 0184-73-3673 Pronounced "way bu". The front half of the building is the library with the rear corner a community center including an after school program for elementary students. You are welcome to drop in on the after school program to say hi to students. If you study in the library after school, they likely will say hi to you. The rest of the community center is for health checks and events. With a library card you can check out books, DVDs and use the computers and internet. There is also wi-fi available.
    Weekdays 10:00-18:00 (Fri. till 19:00)
    Saturday 9:00-17:00
    Closed Mondays and national holidays Google Maps Link
  • Waterfall 亀田不動滝 Located near a shrine there is a small parking lot, two story observation deck, and a paved 2 minute walk to the base of the waterfall.
  • Shrines They riddle the landscape of old Japan. How many can you find in Iwaki? Kameda has two working shrines where they still hold ceremonies and have working monks.

Restaurants

  • Somaya: TEL 018-462-6215 Named after the master, Soma. Izakaya with karaoke. Great guy, fun place. Small and smoky. You can reserve the izakaya for parties and he has a new big tv. Google Maps link
  • Cocoro: A bar that sits behind Kyoei the local super. They have a large projector screen. Hours of operation are a mystery.
  • Cruizer: This little coffee shop is south of Kyoei on the same road. Good coffee and great service. They have a variety of Japanese style meals.Google Maps link
  • Iwaki Hotel: Located past the closed water park. They have a cheap all you can eat lunch. Everything else at the hotel is closed, including rooms to rent. As of 2013 I'm almost positive this is closed. Google Maps link
  • Safuron: Japanese style food located across from Akita Bank and next to Somaya.
  • Miti no Eki See above under places of interest.
  • Amasagi Castle Simple noodle dishes.
  • Kiroairaku Ramen 喜怒哀楽 Small shop, recommended by Iwatyu students. Bright orange building near Eneos gas station. Google Maps link

Festivals

  • Matsugasaki Night Festival Last weekend in June. Very small.
  • Michikawa Festival Beginning of June. Very small
  • Kyūhan Festival (旧藩祭). The second weekend of July in Kameda. Saturday night includes entertainment and fireworks. Sunday morning includes a parade of Kameda Elementary school students wearing costumes and dancing. The gymnasium holds an art show of local artists. Anyone is free to submit work.(2011-July 9th and 10th)
  • Sea of Japan Michikawa Firework Display (日本海道川洋上花火大会). This firework festival is at the end of July.
  • Iwaki Harbour Festival (岩城ふれあい港まつり). Takes place at the end of August.
  • Amasagi Wine Festival (天鷺ワインまつり). An annual wine festival that started back in 1993. Held in October.

Sports

  • Sans Sports Land Located above the town hall and gymnasium. A park that includes baseball field, outdoor tennis courts, park golf course, small lake with walking path, a shrine, and a great view of Iwaki.
    • Park golf course: TEL 0184-73-3378 Green fees and rentals are paid at the city hall. 300 yen green fees and 100 yen rentals. Open from April~November, 9am-5pm. 4 courses of 9 holes, par 33 each. Wikipedia explanation of Park Golf
  • Gymnasium: The court is often reserved for clubs but you can ask the care taker for the schedule to either use the court when no one else is, or to join one of the sports clubs. I am currently aware of a volley ball club and a tennis club that anyone can join. The entrance area is large and can be used for jump rope and aerobics while the court is being used.
  • Iwaki Prestige Golf Course Aside from the great views I know nothing about the golf course. Google Maps link

Emergency and Evacuation guide

Please check the local Iwaki phone book for a map of evacuation routes and an emergency kit checklist. Even if you can't read Japanese the pictures and map are easily understood. There are several refugee meeting places, but in the case of a tsunami there is a different evacuation route. Iwaki looses power several times a year due to wind, lightening, snow, ice, etc... So it is important to have food and also batteries for your phone and radio so you can stay in touch. The power outs are usually not long but you never know. Health and safety

Transportation

Trains

The train schedule changes every year or so, but usually only by a few minutes. You can get a time table from Iwaki Minato Station. Time tables only list the main stops and the station you pick your time table up at, so ask for one at Iwaki Minato Station. Hyperdia is also reliable and in English. Generally, it is 400 yen to Akita or Honjō and takes about 25 minutes either way.

  • Stations (from North to South)
    • Michikawa station 道川駅
    • Iwakiminato station 岩城みなと駅
    • Ugokameda station 羽後亀田駅
    • Oriwatari station 折渡駅 (This stop is limited to twice a day)

Car

Michikawa overbridge

Conveniently located 20 minutes by car from Akita Airport, Akita city, and Honjō-town. There are two expressway exits in the area for the Nihon Kaiengan-Tohoku Expressway which is currently free from the Akita Airport exit in the north to the Nikaho exit in the south (as of 2012). The Nikaho length of express way is not on google maps yet. There are 4 gas stations in the area. 3 on the seven (2 near Michikawa and 1 near Matsugasaki), and 1 in Kameda between the school and the train station.

Bus

  • The Hiway Bus is a red bus with the closest stop in front of Lawson. This bus runs from Akita station to Honjō on route 7. It can be used to commute to Matugasaki elementary school. Although the bus times are listed at the bus stop, it can be 5-20 minutes late at the Lawson stop but still arrive on time at Matugasaki. This bus is also useful when the train is stopped due to wind or snow. To get to Matsugasaki one can take the 7:20am bus and have time to get breakfast and good coffee at Circle K. Or catch the 8:07 and have enough time to walk to school on time. If you get off at Matsugasaki Mae bus stop it is 360 yen. If you get off one stop before and walk an extra 2 minutes, it costs 310 yen. Going to Matsugasaki, you need the bus stop across the street from Lawson, or else you will be heading to Akita. Coming home there is a 16:26 bus that is easy to catch when you get off work at 16:15, otherwise you have to wait for the 17:59 bus. The triangle mark on the schedule (in front of the bus stop) means that time is not available on Sundays.
  • Iwaki Bus This bus runs Mon, Tue, and Wed. If you bus to Kameda by the school bus, you have to return by this bus. It is officially closed and headed back to the garage, but it goes by Kyoei Supermarket so the driver can drop you off on their way back to the garage.
  • School bus There is a bus that picks up junior high students in front of Kameda town hall next to Kameda elementary school. You can arrange for the driver to pick you up in the morning at Kyoei Supermarket and take you to Kameda elementary school. This is your only bus option to get to Kameda. But you have to wave the driver down because sometimes he forgets to stop even when you set it up ahead of time.But to return to Iwaki from Kameda, you need to catch the Iwaki local bus indicated above.

Shopping

Iwaki Lawson's in December
  • Kyouei: 10am-7:30pm. This is the local supermarket in Iwaki. It is more expensive then Max Value, but cheaper than the market at Fonte in front of Akita station. Almost half the store is liquor. If you fill up a stamp card you get a free bottle of liquor.
  • Lawson: 24 hour. Usually has bread (Kyoei does not).
  • Family Mart: 24 hour. Very close to Michikawa elementary school on route 7 (about 15minute walk from Lawson's)
  • Miti no Eki co-op: Best prices, freshest food. Delicious rice.
    • Miti no Eki gift shop Not only great snacks and souvenirs, but also kits for making kiritanpo and local wines.

Clinics

There is one local clinic in Iwaki. The doctor speaks very little English, but she will have you wait while she looks up some medical terms in English to try to explain a condition to you. You can ask your JTE to accompany you to the clinic. If you have a flu you are required to get an influenza check since you can not go to a public school if you have influenza. When you first visit the clinic you will need to show your medical insurance card and they will make you a new card for their clinic. You will need to show both cards when you visit. You can call ahead of time to make an appointment, and if you have a flu, they may ask you to wait outside instead of in the lobby.

TEL0184-73-3333
Monday~Saturday 8:30-12:30
Monday~Friday 15:30-17:00
Closed Sundays
Google Maps link

Dentist

There is one dentist office in Iwaki located near the Akita Bank. The dentist and one of the nurses speak a little English. Because the Dentist is concerned about communicating he sometimes asks his friend from the Iwaki English school to come and help translate. Cleanings are around 2000 yen.

Monday~Friday 9:30-12:30 and 15:00-18:30
Saturday & Sunday 9:30-13:30
Closed Tuesdays
Tel (0184) 73-3522
Google Maps link

Schools

Iwaki Junior High School

There is one junior high school and one elementary school in Iwaki. Iwaki originally shared an ALT with Matsugasaki Elementary school. Michikawa and Kameda elementary both fed into Iwaki JHS while Matsugasaki elementary fed into either Iwaki JHS or Honjō Kita JHS. This changed in April 2014 when a new elementary school, Iwaki Elementary School, in Kameda opened and absorbed all three elementary schools. All students now feed into Iwaki Junior High School.

Number of students per year
Year Iwaki Junior High Iwaki Elementary Kameda Elementary Michikawa Elementary Matsugasaki Elementary
2017-2018 133 229
2016-2017 138 240
2015-2016 139 235
2014-2015 123 245
2013-2014 114 71 153 40
2012-2013 120 60 157 48
2011-2012
2010-2011 138 62 168 54


  • Kerosene can be delivered to your apartment from the JA gasoline stand. +81 0184-73-2248 ‎

See also

Pictures

Yurihonjō City
Chōkai • Higashiyuri • Honjō • Iwaki • Nishime • Ouchi • Yashima • Yuri