1) Geibikei Gorge:
Cruise gently down the river, where a dreamy world awaits. A calm, natural space where trees seasonally change and flowers decorate the bare rocks
Geibikei is regarded as one of Japan's top gorges and holds a spot in the 100 Landscapes of Japan as well as being designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and National Monument.
This attraction is divine at any time of year with the landscape transforming each season.
The 1.5 hour boat rides are in operation everyday of the year, in rain or shine although strong winds and torrential rains may cause cancellation of operations. Access to this gorge is simple whether it be by car, train or bus. If you are lucky, you may even encounter the Pokemon with You Train on you way. English Website: http://www.geibikei.co.jp/en/index.html
2) Genbikei Gorge:
Admired by feudal lord, Date Masamune, home to sparkling emerald green waters and dynamic rock faces
Genbikei, a designated National Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument, is a delightful sight at any time of year. There are bridges that can take you across the gorge and paths on either side that give spectacular views. One of the big pulls of Genbikei is its famous attraction, 'flying' dango known as kakkou dango. You may have noticed that Ichinoseki is blessed with two stunning gorges. Be careful as they are both in completely different areas of Ichinoseki. The Genbi area has quite a few onsen spots and is best explored by car.
3) Mochi experience
With 300 different flavors of mochi and a history that stems back to the Edo period, you are sure to find the mochi for you
Mochi is an important part of Japanese cuisine, and has garnered further attention from the world since Japanese cuisine was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Although mochi is eaten mostly during New Year's celebrations, Ichinoseki and the Town of Hiraizumi have deep-rooted mochi eating traditions that go beyond New Year's and is pounded and eaten on many ceremonial occasions. It's no wonder that this region consumes the most mochi in all of Japan. There are many places in Ichinoseki where you can experience Ichinoseki's unique mochi cuisine and mochi culture. One place I highly recommend you visit is Sekinoichi Brewery, which serves mochi meals at their restaurant which can be paired with their esteemed sake and craft beers. It's in walking distance from Ichinoseki Station (west exit).
BONUS! Extraordinary Seasonal Pleasures
1) Michinoku Hydrangea Garden (Summer)
Feel the earthen track beneath your feet and indulge in the views of spectacular hydrangea flowers in every direction
Michinoku Hydrangea Garden has been certified by the Japan Hydrangea Association as Japan’s No.1 hydrangea garden. Take a magical wander through and enjoy a display of 40,000 hydrangea plants/400 types varying in different shapes and colors. I would recommend spending an hour or two to look around. The garden has 3 main trails: the 1.2km Okuhime (奥姫) Course, the 900m Kurenai (くれない) Course and the 650m Fukayama (深山) Course. It's possible to do all of the courses as they are connected.
2) Mt. Kurikoma (Autumn)
The autumn colors at Mt. Kurikoma are so extraordinary that mountaineers have dubbed it the 'carpet of the Gods'
Mt. Kurikoma (1626m) also known as Mt. Sukawadate in Iwate, is a volcano that borders Iwate, Akita and Miyagi prefectures. It boasts some of the most spectacular autumn foliage in the region and in spring/summer, it's a hot spot for alpine flora and recognized as one of Japan’s 100 most famous peaks for flowers. It's also home to some of the most acidic hot springs in Japan. There are several courses up Mt. Kurikoma. Ichinoseki is home to the trail head of 'Sukawa/Ubunuma Course'. A large car parking space is available at Sukawa Kogen Onsen where your ascent up the mountain will start.
Lastly, Ichinoseki is a short train ride away from Hiraizumi, the 12th world heritage site within Japan and the first in the Tohoku Region. I highly recommend exploring Ichinoseki and Hiraizumi as a set.