Discover New Experience
Visit Koiwai Farm,
Home of Green Nature
An Art Museum of the Great Outdoors
An experience to remember:
visit the Koiwai Farm and learn from
120 years of history!
A lonesome cherry blossoms in full bloom on the Koiwai Farm in the spring, with Mt. Iwate Fuji (also known as Mt.Iwate) in the background. This beautiful tree is said to have been planted some 100 years ago.
The origin of Zipangu, a mysterious land of gold, lies within Iwate
A natural ideal, an ideal nature – Koiwai Farm
In his much-examined travelogue, Marco Polo recounts his own obsession with a legendary land of gold called Zipangu, which is now thought to refer to the Tohoku region of Japan, namely Iwate Prefecture.
Iwate has been home to a rich culture for centuries. The Konjiki-dō or 'Golden Hall' at Chūson-ji Temple has a recorded history stretching back one thousand years. More recently, Iwate was the location for one of the more unusual success stories following the drive to industrialize and modernize Japan. Iwate is the site of one of Japan’s largest privately-owned dairy farms, Koiwai Farm. The farm encapsulates coexistence with nature, one of the most important challenges that we face today.
So come and visit us at Koiwai Farm – and take the opportunity to have unique experiences that can only take place here.
Iwate Prefecture can be divided largely into four areas – northern, central, southern, and coastal districts – with regard to the cultural and historical development of the region. The northern part of Iwate Prefecture has its southern border running along the interior of the prefecture, and the northern parts of the coastal district shares similar geographical features. The region is home to an important Buddhist temple in Tendai-ji, as well as the Joboji-nuri lacquerware technique, which has been known for the quality of its deep lustre since the 7th century. Kuji Amber, which hails from this region, is an important cultural artifact and the ocean waters just offshore provide some of the best seafood in the country.
The central district of Iwate Prefecture is home to some of the best scenery in the region. Visually the landscape is dominated by rolling fields of crops and the local delicacies are known far and wide. The largest city in the region, Morioka, is situated here, and the area is also home to natural hot springs, which has provided a place to bathe and relax for Iwate residents for centuries.
The southern part of Iwate Prefecture is the industrial and farming heartland, as well as being home to a number of historically significant sites. The area around Hiraizumi, in addition to the writings held at Chusonji and Motsuji are just some of the rich cultural and architectural sites of importance in the area. This is a great region to visit if you are looking to become familiar with the history and culture of Iwate.
Iwate Sanriku – another name for coastal zone famous across the nation as a whole - is where some of the best seafood in the country is caught and sold at market. This stretch of coastline, from the north to the south, has its own distinct stories and specialities when it comes to seafood, however visitors to the area are often surprised at how striking the coastline scenery is. An experience not to be missed!
- A Miracle Forest
- An afforestation project that has taken over 100 years – from barren volcanic ash to a lush,
natural forest. A miracle forest that has transformed the southern foothills of
Mt. Iwate into beautiful verdant scenery – an Art Museum of the Great Outdoors.
The great Japanese poet and writer of fairytales Kenji Miyazawa saw Iwate as a pastoral ideal. Miyazawa also went on to describe the southern foothills of Mt. Iwate as a ‘miracle’ – referring to the vast acres of green woodland that took hold over barren volcanic soil, which is where Koiwai Farm calls home.
This land was once sterile volcanic ash. Nothing grew here. At the end of the Edo Period, which saw the sun set on the samurai class, Japan embarked on a period of industrial growth and modernization now known as the Meiji Period. Masaru Inoue, a bureaucrat and later to become famous as the “Father of the Japanese Railway” was also a pioneer of the railway in the Tohoku Region. Inoue envisaged green expanses of woodland where others only saw barren soil. Part of his vision was Koiwai Farm, which was founded in 1891.
The name Koiwai comes from the Kanji characters in surnames of the three founders – Gishin Ono (the “Ko” 小) was the vice-president of the Japan Rail Company, Yanosuke Iwasaki (the “Iwa” 岩) was the president of Mitsubishi Corp. and lastly Masaru Inoue (the final “I” 井) – the chief executive of the National Railway Agency. At the time it was founded, the site of the Koiwai Farm was barren land. The founders embarked on a soil improvement program that also involved the planting of countless trees to enrich the soil – a program that continues to this day.
In 1899, responsibility for the still-incomplete Koiwai Farm passed to Hisaya Iwasaki, the third president of Mitsubishi Corp. Iwasaki was passionately interested in the Koiwai project and saw the potential of the Koiwai site as a diary farm capable of providing grazing pasture for dairy cattle. He had vision and saw in his mind’s eye the possibility of creating an ideal farming environment right here in Iwate.
In the 120 years since the Koiwai Farm was founded, the once barren soil is now covered with cedar, red pine, larch, etc. The miracle described by Kenji Miyazawa has become a reality, with contented dairy cattle grazing in the shade of tall trees, alongside herds of sheep. The coops at Koiwai Farm are home to some 60,000 healthy chickens. The vision of Hisaya Iwasaki has proven to be accurate.
Civilization leaves its mark on arid land – or so the saying goes. The Japanese, for as long as there have been people living on these islands, are a people who mark the passage of time and significant events, both good and bad, with the planting of trees. They leave a forest for future generations. The same can be said of the trees surrounding Meiji Jingu in Harajuku, Tokyo. Koiwai Farm is proud to be part of this continuing Japanese tradition.
The fundamental concept behind the design and layout of the Meiji Shrine and grounds was a ‘forest that seems to stretch on and on forever. The trees should be, as much as possible, the same as woodland in nature.’ Koiwai Farm has taken the same attitude and approach to reforestation in Iwate. Since the first trees were planted over 120 years ago, Koiwai Farm has overseen something of a miracle as a forest was born to create an ‘Art Museum of the Great Outdoors’ – come see for yourself!
Japanese Designated Cultural Properties
Since Koiwai Farm was founded in 1891, the farm has built up over 100 years of history and is now home to several Designated Cultural Properties, as mandated by the Government of Japan.
As Japan raced towards modernization in the years following 1891,
these buildings have been preserved as they represent important steps for Japanese architects and builders as they learned and put into practice western design and construction techniques.
- Head Office
(built in 1903)
- Four-Storey Warehouse
(built in 1916)
- Cattle Barn No. 1
(built in 1934)
- Cattle Barn No. 2
(built in 1908)
- Cattle Barn No. 3
(built in 1935)
- Cattle Barn No. 4
(built in 1908)
- Silo No. 1 and Silo No. 2
(built in 1907/1908 –
the oldest silos in Japan)
- Naturally Cooled Storage
Facility (built 1905)
Why not take a tour round some of these historically and architecturally important buildings and structures?
We will arrange a bus that will take you round Koiwai Farm where you will have the chance to visit production facilities that are normally not open to the public, along with several buildings named as Designated Cultural Properties.
This bus tour is a unique opportunity to see, feel and touch 120 years of history at Koiwai Farm, from the dairy buildings through to the woodland, the hallmark of quality and care can be seen everywhere.
Please do not worry about the language barrier on this tour – even if you do not understand Japanese this tour is a great opportunity to witness first hand and photograph some historically significant structures as well as beautiful scenery.
Duration: approx. 45 minutes
Adults (13 years and older): 800 yen; 5-12 years old: 400 yen
No service while in Winter - Restart from 21st APR 2017
Koiwai Farm Gallery
- Breathtaking Natural Scenery
- The writer and poet Kenji Miyazawa described the natural environment that forms
the backdrop to the Koiwai Farm as a “miracle” of nature. The distinct
seasonal changes of the Japanese archipelago can be witnessed in their splendor
at this unique location. Click through to see some of the wonderful scenery of the region.
Mt. Iwate Fuji
The other name of the imposing mountain Mt. Iwate that overlooks Koiwai Farm is “Mt. Iwate-Fuji”. The tallest peak in the northern Tohoku Region at 2038m, the beauty of the mountain has to be seen to be believed. Mt. Iwate is fully deserving of its moniker referencing Mt. Fuji, the most important of all Japanese mountains. One of the most striking vistas in Japan is the majesty of the snow-capped mountain in spring as seen from Koiwai Farm as the cherry trees begin to bloom.
Mt. Iwate Fuji has been venerated as a sacred peak since ancient times. On the various paths up the mountain one can find several stone Buddhist statues. Looking northeast from the peak, one can see a range of mountains stretch out into the distance.
Hiking in the region is one of the best ways to get closer to the ancient history and culture of Japan.
Dining & Foods
An outstanding menu – food experiences unique to Koiwai Farm
Omurice – Omlette and Rice – Japanese comfort food
Beware – Japanese Omurice is habit-forming! One of the most beloved
dishes in Japan awaits you at Koiwai Farm.
Omurice combines an omelette, one of the most well-known egg dishes in the world, with rice flavored with small morsels of chicken. Omurice – created in Japan – is where rice meets omelette.
At Koiwai Farm, we replace the chicken with our signature product, namely fresh milk, to create milk-rice. This is combined with freshly-laid eggs from our chicken coop to create a unique take on the omurice concept.
The omelette has a light texture due to the fresh eggs fried in our own butter – try this dish and you will soon see why the Japanese have come to love omurice!
A must for all ramen lovers – a masterpiece that can only be
experienced at Koiwai Farm.
One of the most popular dishes in Japan is ramen. It seems like each region – maybe even each town in Japan has its own special take on this noodle dish. So it makes perfect sense that Koiwai Farm would have its own special version of ramen!
This dish is a subtle blend and balance of great dashi stock, ramen noodles and excellent quality fresh milk direct from Koiwai Farm. This is a popular item on our menu and if you consider yourself a ramen aficionado, you simply have to give it a try!
Grill & Barbecue
Japanese meat has an enviable reputation around the world for quality and flavor.
Lamb and Koiwai beef are both well-known as diet-friendly meat options, as well as for their beauty-enhancing properties. This is the ‘soul food’ of Japan and is often enjoyed with a light miso sauce. Alternatively, thin slices of fresh lamb or beef can be eaten with egg and a slightly sweet sauce in the sukiyaki style. As the locals say here: Don’t just stare at it, get stuck in!
Farm Fresh Koiwai
Koiwai Farm is blessed with rich, fertile soil that helps us produce wonderful dairy products, such as eggs, vegetables and of course milk that we use to make cheese, pastries and the oldest, well-known dairy brand in Japan. Stores in the farm are always up for a visit!
Koiwai Farm Experience
Forest Therapy – Tractor Bus Tours
Take a tractor bus tour of the beautiful Koiwai Farm Forest, the result of over 120 years of effort that has transformed a sterile, barren plot of land into something really beautiful.
The rhythms of nature are unchanged – the mere presence of these grand trees in a natural setting makes one relax and breathe deeply. Let yourself go and simply exist in this noble setting – beautiful forest framed and protected by Mt. Iwate Fuji, the most striking peak in the Iwate range.
- Short course: approx. 40 minutes
Adults (13 years and older): 800 yen; 5-12 years old: 400 yen
- Long course: approx. 60 minutes
Adults (13 years and older): 1000 yen; 5-12 years old: 500 yen
Natural Therapy – Nature Trek
The Koiwai Farm Forest is home to many different species of flora and fauna – it really is the essence of what makes the Japanese forest special. On the nature trek, visitors can experience the beauty and majesty of the four distinct seasons, the flora in bloom and the vast diversity of wildlife that calls the Koiwai Forest home. Our dedicated guides will ensure you do not miss a thing during your trek. This is a wonderful experience for those looking to encounter the Japanese forest first hand.
- Duration: approx. 60 minutes
Adults (13 years and older): 500 yen; 5-12 years old: 300 yen
Farm Therapy – Farm Trek at the Kamimaru Dairy
The farm and outbuildings at Koiwai Farm help tell the story of this institution. Back in 1901 Koiwai Farm started with the introduction of dairy cattle from Holland. Repeated success with selective breeding allowed the owners of Koiwai Farm to supply the rest of the country with dairy cattle, and now the farm is one of the modest modern and well-equipped in Japan. Around 300 head of cattle are currently resident at the Kamimaru Dairy. These are the finest dairy cows and it is their milk used in the dairy products sold on-site at the Koiwai Farm shop.
- Duration: approx. 40 minutes
Adults (13 years and older): 500 yen; 5-12 years old: 300 yen
Where to Stay
Shuttle service from Morioka Station is available.
Please ask the hotels for a service to pick you up!
- Shizukuishi Prince Hotel
- This hotel is a resort-type property nestled in beautiful natural surroundings. A lovely place to experience our distinct seasons – the hotel is a great base for skiing, golf, autumn walks and of course for enjoying our wonderful hot spring baths. (20 min by car from Koiwai)
Inquire here: http://www.princehotels.com/en/shizukuishi/
- This traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) is positioned on the bank of Lake Gosho, with breathtaking views of the waterline and surrounding environment. A delightful place to stay at any time of year – guests can soak away in the natural hot springs. (15 min by car from Koiwai)
Inquire here: http://www.japanican.com/en/hotel/detail/2327011/?ar=03
- Hotel Mori no Kaze
- This is a Japanese style ryokan combined with a resort ambience and facilities. The property is nestled in forest and guests are well situated to experience the best that nature has to offer. Enjoy the excellent hospitality and services offered at the hotel. The hot spring baths are a revelation. (25 min by car from Koiwai)
Inquire here: http://www.morinokaze.com/foreign_english/index.html
- Hotel Metropolitan Morioka
- Located 1 minute walk from the northern exit of JR Morioka Station, the hotel has a perfect location for business or as a base for exploring the northern Tohoku region. (35 min by car from Koiwai)
Inquire here: http://www.metro-morioka.co.jp/
Informations / Contact Us
- Opening Hours
- 9am to 5pm (high season)
- 36-1, Maruyachi, Shizukuishi-cho, Iwate, Japan 020-0507
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Inquiries in English are welcome)
Getting to the FarmPublic Transportation
Mapcode 81 872 669*6
Traveling to Koiwai Farm by Air
There are regular scheduled flights from Tokyo Haneda to nearby Akita Airport, and from Tokyo Narita to nearby Sendai Airport
We recommend you research the VISIT Japan Fare – special domestic air fares for visitors to Japan
You will need to make onward arrangements from Akita Airport and Sendai Airport
- [ Traveling from Akita Airport to Koiwai Farm ]
- - Rental car from Akita Airport. Koiwai Farm is a 90min drive away
English-speaking assistance and customer services available at the Akita Airport Car Rental Desk – this is a great way to see some of the beautiful countryside between Akita and Koiwai Farm
- [ Traveling from Sendai Airport to Koiwai Farm ]
- - Take the Airport Access Line train to the Sendai JR Station
Transfer to the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Morioka Station.
The bullet train journey takes just 40 minutes.
Traveling to Koiwai Farm by train from Tokyo
Take the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo Station to Morioka Station. This journey takes 2 hours 10 minutes.
We recommend you research the JR East Pass (Tohoku Area) – special unlimited rail travel passes for visitors to Japan
- [ From Morioka Station to Koiwai Farm ]
- - Locate Bus Stop #10 for the Amihari Onsen Line. This is a direct bus service to the Koiwai Farm. Travel time is 40 minutes and the adult fare is 700 yen (children: 350 yen).