Iwanai has been inhabited for almost 400 years, one of the oldest villages in Hokkaido. And there is much living history here. The people are testament to a proud culture. A local museum shows the era of great herring runs, when the town would overflow with transient fisherman. Such a heady time...even geisha were present among the wealthy. Today, a strong heritage lives on. The town boasts over 40 restaurants and 40 bars, making downtown Iwanai the most concentrated bar area per capita in Hokkaido (and 11th in all Japan). There is a lot going on in Iwanai.
IWANAI SHINTO FESTIVAL
3 DAY FESTIVAL | JULY ANNUALLY
Iwanai Shinto Festival
A FABULOUS cultural experience.
The Iwanai Shinto Festival is famous for its pageantry and active participation. For three days every July, the town shuts down and the locals come out for an extravagant celebration. Continuing for over 240 years, the Iwanai Festival is a cultural masterpiece, where layers of history and showmanship unfold. Watch as the devil Tengu, the protective yet still dangerous spirit of the mountain, comes to cast his staff on area shops. Over 400 participants meander through the streets and even on the water as the parade takes its turns over the three days.
Hokkaido is renown as having the freshest sushi in Japan, thus the world. And the Shakotan Peninsula is home to some of the best catch in Hokkaido. Iki, uni, toro, scallops, crab and much more come to our shores. And Iwanai has some of the top sushi restaurants in all Hokkaido. Come feast with us on delicacies that you'll be hard pressed to match.
Hokkaido's famous Sapporo ramen is prevalent in Iwanai. Thin squiggly egg noodles coupled with corn, veggies, pork, a spoonful of butter laid upon a bowl of hot miso soup will give you the authentic Sapporo ramen taste right here in Iwanai. People travel from all over the world to visit Hokkaido on ramen tours. Try visiting all of our ramen shops during your stay.
Iwanai is part of an area called GanWu, which comprises the towns Kyowa, Tomari and Kamoenai. All have various restaurants ranging from okonomiyaki, yakitori, yakiniku, and many other Japanese cuisines. There is never a shortage of izakaya which serve small dishes a la carte. So while you explore the coast, stop by some of these magical eateries and see why Japanese food is so special.