Photos of Iwate
Iwate Prefecture is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island’s easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido. In the past Iwate has been famous for its mineral wealth especially in the form of gold, iron, coal and sulfur but these are no longer produced. There is still an abundance of hot water for onsen, or hot springs, which is the basis of a thriving industry. The forests of the prefecture are another valuable resource. Before World War II the forests were mainly composed of beech but since then there has been a huge swing towards the production of faster growing Japanese cedar. Recently, though, there has been a push to restore the original beech forests in some areas.