Ichinoseki City is situated in the southernmost area of Iwate Prefecture in the Tōhoku (northeast) region of Japan. The city's name means essentially first gate in Japanese, and this likely represents its geographical position as a gateway to the substantially rural northeastern region.
In recent times the city has expanded in area by annexing and merging with adjacent towns. The current city of Ichinoseki became larger after 7 municipalities merged on September 20, 2005, and after the merger, the city is now equivalent to former Iwai District, and it is connected to Miyagi and Akita Prefectures. The population is nearly 120,000, with a household number of 42,335.
Due to factories belonging to large Japanese companies such as Sony and NEC being located in the industrial parkland zone of Ichinoseki, the city has a sizable population of Brazilian workers. The agricultural makeup of the city outside the centre is populated mostly by farmers, leading to an influx of Chinese and Filipino women as wives. As a result, the City of Ichinoseki has a varied ethnic makeup, although the newcomers still remain a very small minority.
Ichinoseki is in close proximity to the historically significant site of Hiraizumi, which lies adjacent to the mid-northern border of the city. Ichinoseki station is a convenient transit stop for excursions to Hiraizumi. Tsuriyama Park lies near the center of the original city of Ichinoseki. Atop Tsuriyama park a panorama of Ichinoseki is viewable. Geibikei is a dramatic river gorge which offers rides in traditional flat-bottomed boats, navigated by singing gondoliers. Alternatively, Genbikei Gorge is another popular river area with naturally carved cliffs. The Hondera Farm Village has been designated an Important Cultural Landscape.