Morioka is a bustling city whose metropolitan skyline rises against the grand Mount Iwate in the distance. After spending hours and days wandering about in between Morioka’s skyscrapers, temples, and bridges, it is certainly refreshing to step back, and up, to experience the city from a different angle.
A three-minute walk from Morioka Station, Fesan Shopping Center, and Hotel Metropolitan Morioka, Malios is a skyscraper located right at the heart of Morioka. Malios is largely a commercial office building, but its twentieth floor is reserved for a special purpose: an observation deck. This observation deck is open to the public from 9am to 6pm everyday, excluding New Year’s Day, and is entirely free of charge. The entire twentieth floor is dedicated to appreciating and enjoying Morioka City from above, and is therefore designed to accommodate large windows facing all four directions.
With shorter days in the wintertime, you may even be able to catch a bit of sunset action to end your day of exploring Morioka. The view from Malios’ observation deck is absolutely stunning in all four directions. In the North, Mount Iwate stands tall against the sky and is sometimes shrouded by passing clouds. Directly below Malios on the East is Morioka Station. From the observation deck you can see the train tracks of the Tohoku and Akita Shinkansen lines. The Tohoku Shinkansen extends north and south while the Akita Shinkansen travels west soon after leaving the station. In the distance, a series of splendid mountains forms the backdrop to Morioka City, seeming as though painted onto the sky using watercolor ink. To the South, the view follows the course of the Kitakami River as it continues farther through the mountains. Lastly in the West, feast your eyes on more beautiful mountains and the western-flowing branch of the Kitakami River meandering into the distance.
If your legs are needing some much-needed rest, the Malios observation deck is well equipped with a lush and comfy seating area. The twentieth floor also boasts a wonderful Cafe Terrace Sky Metro, where you can take a seat by one of the large windows facing Mount Iwate, and enjoy a hearty meal or light refreshment. Sky Metro is open from 11:00am to 2:00pm for lunch and from 2:00pm to 6:00pm for dinner with last orders at 5:30pm. If you plan on dining with a large party, Sky Metro can accommodate and cater for you. Additionally, you can also order dishes to take out and enjoy later at your own leisure.
If you are craving to see the complete facade of Morioka’s buildings instead of just passing by their doors on street level, head on up to Malios’ twentieth floor for amazing views. A city becomes a whole new experience when seen from above. Exactly how familiar are you with the city that you have been exploring? Can you manage to find all the attractions you visited in Morioka from the twentieth floor observation deck of Malios?