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— by Takahiro Kanazawa: About 500 kilometers north of Tokyo lies Iwate Prefecture’s capital city, Morioka, which once flourished as a castle town called Nambu-Han in the Edo period. Though it’s a big commitment to visit the city from Tokyo, costing around ¥30,000 for the shinkansen (there’s also a night bus), the city still stands as an appealing destination thanks to its perfect ratio of urbanism to green countryside, and the reminiscent landscape of the Edo period…

Image courtesy of Metropolis Japan