oarai & hitachinaka

Kanto Ibaraki Fields of vivid flowers and Japan's space agency

Majestic fields of flowers, Japan's space exploration organization and the country's premier science center await in Ibaraki

Throughout the year, you can stroll around Ibaraki's flower-carpeted parks, explore its wooded gorges and see what the future offers at its science museums. Hitachi Seaside Park is famed for its endless flowers, which make a great setting for strolling or barbecuing. Mt. Tsukuba and Okukuji Park are spectacular hiking destinations, while the town of Koga offers its well-preserved temples and buildings. Tsukuba Science City is home to Japan's space agency and a number museums within easy reach of Tokyo.

How to Get There

The best way to get to Ibaraki from Tokyo is via the JR Joban Line from Ueno Station. You can access major Ibaraki stations from Narita using the JR Narita Line.

Departing from Tokyo’s Ueno Station, the JR Joban Line passes through Ibaraki on its way north to Tohoku. The Hitachi limited express train goes from Ueno to Mito, and the Tsukuba Express travels between Tokyo’s Akihabara Station and Tsukuba. Outside of Mito is the recently opened Ibaraki Airport, which services domestic flights from cities including Fukuoka, Sapporo and Kobe, as well as international routes from Seoul and Shanghai.

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Don’t Miss

  • A carpet of blooming flowers and ocean views at Hitachi Seaside Park
  • The Oarai Isosaki-jinja torii gate, which sits on a wave-swept reef by the coast
  • Space exhibits, actual spacecraft, and simulations at Tsukuba Space Center
  • The Ushiku Daibutsu, the world's third-largest Buddha statue

Local Specialties

  • Anko Nabe

    Anko nabe is a hot pot dish featuring monkfish caught in deep ocean waters and cooked with white cabbage and shiitake mushrooms. Monkfish flesh has a mild taste and a texture similar to lobster, with lots of healthy collagen.

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  • Mito Natto

    Natto, fermented soybeans, is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Natto from Mito is prized across Japan for its deep, earthy flavor.

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  • Hitachi Beef

    Beef from Japanese black cattle, one of Japan's six native cattle breeds, which are raised for 30 months on a strict diet that yields tender, mouthwatering meat.

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  • Kasama Ware

    Kasama yaki has equipped Japanese kitchens since the 18th century. Although plastic containers edged out this pottery ware after World War II, artisans revived the tradition to make classic, functional tableware, and even contemporary decor.

    food-craft

Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Cherry blossoms erupt at Hitachi Kamine Park, located at the base of Mt. Kurakake. Shizumine Furusato Park in Shizu is known for yaezakura, a cherry variety that blossoms a few weeks later than others.

    mito area
  • Summer

    Multicolor irises bloom at Suigo Itako iris garden, and the Suigo Itako Iris Festival welcomes the warm weather. Hike Mt. Tsukuba or explore the forested hills of Okukuji Park.

    oarai & hitachinaka
  • Autumn

    Hitachi Seaside Park's green Kochia turn deep crimson, covering the park in a fluffy carpet. From Ryujin Suspension Bridge, the forested hillsides of Okukuji Park are painted in brilliant autumn hues.

    mito area
  • Winter

    Uhsiku Daibutsu is illuminated spectacularly on New Year's Eve and is accompanied with a fireworks display. Ibaraki's famous plum blossoms bloom in late winter, celebrated at the Mito Plum Festival.

    mito area

Visitor Photos

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