Ichinoseki (一関市 Ichinoseki Shi) is a city located in the South of Iwate. With an official population of 125 000 it is Iwate's third largest city after Morioka and Oshu.
The city covers a wide geographic area of Southern Iwate with roughly half the population living in far flung disconnected hamlets. The central urban concentration surrounding Ichinoseki's main station is perhaps closer to 60 000 people living in the city proper.
The main urban center is well connected, with easy access to the IC highway, the local North South road Route 4, and stations for both local trains and the Shinkansen. The Iwai River runs through the center of the city to the East of the station.
In and Out Edit
Both Route 4 and the IC Highway run through Ichinoseki North and South.
Ichinoseki is the rail hub for Southern Iwate and most people will at least pass through its train station on the way to somewhere more interesting. The train to Morioka takes an hour and forty minutes and passes through other larger cities such as Mizusawa, Kitakami, and Hanamaki along the way.
Ichinoseki is a similar distance by train from Sendai, however it is quicker and cheaper to get there by taking the bus that goes to Sendai from outside the station. Connections to the Ofunato line can also be taken at Ichinoseki Station.
Tokyo can be reached from Ichinoseki in about two and a half hours by Shinkansen, but at roughly 120 000円 for a single ticket you might want to consider alternative transport. A night bus can be taken down for a fraction of the price providing you don't mind rolling into Tokyo at 5:30am.
The closest airports are Hanamaki and Sendai.
Shopping and Eating Edit
Around the corner from the station is the city's main street, known to the locals as "Shutter Street" due to the amount of closed shops. Main essentials can be bought here but more variety can be found in the two large shopping malls outside of the city center, Saty to the Northeast, and Aeon to the far North. Both however are probably too far to walk to from the station.
There are some nice izakayas and bars near to the station whilst larger chain restaurants can be found on the Aeon to Saty road. Around the station there are a multitude of snack bars which seem to leap out from every alleyway if that's what you are into.
JET Placements Edit
At current count there are 9 JET ALT's in Ichinoseki with 4 in the station area and 5 further out. If you find you are placed in Ichinoseki it may mean that you are in the outlying villages of Hanaizumi, Kawasaki, Daito, or Senmaya. There are also several private ALT's or Eikaiwa teachers in the area.