One of the major sightseeing destinations that represents Japan's northern Iwate Prefecture is Koiwai Farm.
In recent years they have included various tours where you can fully enjoy this farming area. This time we'll share about the most popular spot Makiba Park, and the area around it.
Koiwai Farm: Morioka Japan's Cute, Spacious Tourist Destination
Located about 30-minutes by car from JR Morioka Station. Koiwai Farm is located in Shizukuishi Town, next to Morioka City. The Koiwai Farm brand is known around Japan for their eggs and dairy products. Its 3,000-hectare property is also a major sightseeing destination in the area.
Makiba Park is the area in Koiwai Farm where you can pet animals, ride various rides and explore nature. They offer 10 types of activities that can be enjoyed by all age groups, such as sheep shows, horseback riding, horse tram, kid’s boat ride and archery.
An attraction you will want to experience is the horse tram. The horse tram renovated horsecar and trolley tracks that has been used for 50 years since 1904, for sightseeing. The ride takes about 10 minutes and you can see sheep grazing on pastures and the view of the beautiful forest.
There are other activities that are popular among adults such as the bus tour where you can discover the history of the farm and the tractor bus tour where you can enjoy nature. Since the tour goes to normally off-limits areas, even locals who have visited Koiwai Farm will discover something new.
Meet the Cows at the Birthplace of Koiwai Farm
We strongly recommend taking the Park “n” Dairy Barn Shuttle when going to Kamimaru Cowshed from Makiba Park. This cute little ride offers a nice view of the farm and mountains as it mosey on over to its destination.
Kamimaru Cowshed is split in 4 buildings, in Cowshed No.1 & 4 there are mother cows, Cowshed No. 2 is the birthing shed and Cowshed No. 3 is the calf shed. Out of the 4 cowsheds, it is possible to visit No. 1 & 3. It is a rare opportunity to see cows up close relaxing.
Watching cows grazing is kind of relaxing.
The two brick silos that were built during the Meiji Period are still active to this day. They are the oldest silos in Japan and are designated as a Tangible Cultural Property.
There is a museum in Kamimaru Cowshed area. Here you can learn about the 125 years of Koiwai Farm history.
It explains how they have cultivated the barren wildland into Koiwai Farm with pictures and the dairy equipment used back then are preserved and on display. Lots of interesting facts!
Getting Lunch at Koiwai Farm - Also Try Out the Famous Soft Ice Cream!
After looking around Kamimaru Cowshed and waling back to Makiba Park for 15 minutes, it is probably a good idea to get some food. We headed to the farm restaurant Sanroku Hall, which offers charcoal-grilled Jingisukan (grilled mutton dish) and easy to eat ramen.
At Sanroku Hall, all the dishes are made with ingredients locally grown at Koiwai Farm.
We strongly recommend the Farm Fresh Omelet Rice. There are two types, simple but delicious tomato sauce (1,080 yen) and the rich demi-glace sauce (1,280 yen), both dishes use three fresh eggs from Koiwai Farm. They use rice cooked from milk from the farm. It is quite easy to get hooked on the milk flavor.
Another dish that we recommend, is the extravagant Earth’s Bounty Lunch (2,200 yen). This lunch offers many different ingredients from Koiwai Farm. Dairy products such as cheese and milk, eggs, vegetables, and beef from Koiwai Farm is used. We recommend this dish for people visiting Iwate for the first time.
The Koiwai Farm beef used in the Beef Stew, is tender and lean, which is easy to eat and great for all age groups.
If you want to enjoy more of Koiwai Farm delicacies, you can’t miss the Koiwai Farm Soft Ice Cream!
The soft ice cream made form raw milk is rich and delicious. The most unique feature of it is the texture. A perfect desert to eat under the clear blue sky!
In Makiba Park there are many other facilities and areas to enjoy throughout the seasons, such as the Astronomical Dome where you can see the night sky with stars, and trail paths with rare creatures such as fireflies and forest green tree frogs. Each season has its own charm and makes you want to experience it all!
Koiwai Farm Makiba Park小岩井農場まきば園
- Address Address: 36-1 Maruyachi Shizukuishi Town, Iwate Prefecture
- Phone Number 019-692-4321
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
*Hours may change depending on the season, please check their website for more detail.
Closed: None (may temporarily close)
Fee: Jr. High school student and above 800 yen, 5 years old and up 400 yen (both included tax)
Make Sure to Stop by Koiwai Dairy Factory 5 Minutes Away from Makiba Park by Car
Since we were in the area, we decided to head over to Koiwai Dairy Factory, which is a 5-minute drive away. Here we can take a look at how they make dairy products like milk and butter for free. Reservations are not required and you can stop by anytime.
What they make depends on the time and day you visit, on the day we visited we saw the milk production line. Freshly made milk are put in containers by machine and ready to be shipped around Japan (photographs prohibited).
After looking at the production line, let’s try some dairy product samples. Out of the items we tried, we strongly suggest the yogurt. By carefully letting the yogurt to age for 16 hours in a special tank, the yogurt is mild and edible without sugar.
Koiwai Dairy Factory小岩井乳業小岩井工場
- Address 36-1 Maruyachi Shizukuishi Town, Iwate Prefecture
- Phone Number 019-692-1211
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Closed: Wednesday (shop is closed from Tuesday – Friday)
Phone: 019-692-1211 (available from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., not available on Saturday, Sunday and holidays)
Utilizing its large property Koiwai Farm conducts various businesses and also provides great sightseeing attractions. It is a great open space surround by nature to refresh. We recommend visiting other areas of Koiwai Farm to experience the full charm of the place.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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