15 Things to Do in Ibaraki

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Source: Happy Come

Nestled in the Japan’s Kanto Region, Ibaraki is home to 32 beautiful cities, its capital being Mito, and several other towns and villages. Ibaraki is famous for several reasons, some of the most prominent being the martial art Aikido and its prominent Shinto culture. The region is also home to the best nattō, watermelons and chestnuts in Japan. Of course, the gorgeous sights and sounds also make this prefecture a top place for tourists in the country. Whether you’re in Ibaraki for adventure or leisure, here’s our pick of 15 things you shouldn’t miss out on.

1. Explore the Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park
Source: ajari

The perfect destination for a lazy afternoon, the Hitachi Seaside Park features gardens upon gardens of gorgeous flowers in various states of bloom.  With fifteen gardens in total, visitors can stroll through the narcissuses at the Suisen Garden, enjoy the tulips at the Tamago no Mori Flower Garden, or enjoy the scent of the poppy flowers at the Daisogen Flower Garden. After exploring the flower gardens, make your way to the Pleasure Garden and take a ride on the 100 meter tall ferris wheel, speed through the air in the Family Banana Coaster, or enjoy other amusement rides. The park even has a mini-golf course and a barbecue area!


  • Name: Hitachi Seaside Park
  • Address: 605-4 Onuma-aza, Mawatari, Hitachinaka, Ibakari 312-0012
  • Price: ¥410 (Adults), ¥210 (Seniors), ¥80 (Children)
  • Phone: 029-265-9001
  • Access: 10-minute taxi ride from the Ajigaura Station
  • Opening hour: 09:30 – 17:00 (Mar 1 – Jul 20, Sep 1 – Oct 30), 09:30 – 18:00 (Jul 21 – Aug 31), 09:30 – 16:30 (Nov 1 – Feb)
  • Website: http://en.hitachikaihin.jp/

2. Climb to the Twin Peaks of Mount Tsukuba

Mount Tsukuba
Source: Guilhem Vellut

Not for the faint of heart, Mt. Tsukuba is the perfect destination for avid hikers or beginners that are ready to test their mettle on one of Japans famous mountains. Mt. Tsukuba soars 877 meters above sea level and is particularly famous for its Nyotai and Nantai peaks. Start your expedition with a quick visit to the Tsukuba Jijna Shrine before setting off to conquer the granite and gabbro mountain. Happy climbing!


  • Name: Mount Tsukuba
  • Access: 30-min bus or taxi ride from the Tsukuba Station

3. Discover Marine Life at Aqua World

Aqua World
Source: Kentaro Ohno

Home to the largest number of shark species in Japan? Check. Japan’s largest water tank for sunfish? Check. Aqua petting zoo? Check again. When it comes to world-class family friendly destinations in Ibaraki, Aqua World definitely tops the list with its interactive exhibits, educational museum and exciting Kid’s Land. Watch exciting animal shows or explore the animal life of the world’s many seas at this incredible aquarium.


  • Name: Ibaraki Prefectural Oarai Aquarium
  • Address: 8252-3 Isohama-machi Oarai-machi, Higashiibaraki-gun, Ibaraki-ken 311-1301
  • Price: ¥1850 (16 and above), ¥930 (Students), ¥310 (Children)
  • Phone: 029-267-5151
  • Website: http://www.aquaworld-oarai.com/en/

4. Admire the Beauty of Fukuroda Falls

Fukuroda Falls
Source: bluXgraphics

Be enchanted by one of Japan’s three famous falls, Fukuroda Falls. There is no arguing the fact that Fukuroda Falls are incredibly scenic having been praised by the Japanese monk and poet Saigyo back in the Heian period. Visit the various viewing decks to see the waterfalls closely and stay to see the majestic sight illuminated by colorful lights in the evening.


  • Name: Fukuroda Falls
  • Address: 3-19 Fukuroda, Daigo-machi
  • Price: ¥300 (Adult), ¥150 (Child)
  • Phone: 029-572-4036
  • Access: 10-min walk from the JR Suigo LIne Fukuroda Station
  • Opening hour: 08:00 – 18:00 (May – Oct), 09:00 – 17:00 (Nov – Apr)

5. Enjoy the View at Izura Rokkakudo

Source: nekotricolor

Officially referred to as Kanrantei, Rokkakudo is a wooden landmark tucked along the Kitaibaraki’s Izura coast. The retreat dates back to 1905 and provides a picturesque view of the sea and the surrounding landscape. Interestingly, it was originally built as part of the Izura Institute of Arts and Culture. Come here for the gorgeous views, a quick dip in the cool sea water, or to frolic around the sand with family and friends.


  • Name: Izuri Rokkakudo
  • Address: 727-2 Izura, Otsu-cho, Kitaibaraki City, Ibaraki Precture
  • Price: ¥300
  • Opening hour: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays

6. Offer A Prayer at the Amabiki Kannon Temple

Amabiki Kannon
Source: Tanaka Juuyoh

Expecting mothers, parents, or basically anyone looking for good fortune in general, will love a visit to the Amabiki Kannon Temple. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Amabiki Kannon whom is known for granting easy child birth and child raising as well as economic fortune and the cancellation of bad luck. Apart from the cultural aspects of the temple, visitors are sure to enjoy the lovely blooming cherry blossoms, hydrangea, azalea and peony flowers. Be sure to purchase an original souvenir from the temple’s shop.


  • Name: Amabiki Kannon
  • Address: 1 Motoki, Sakuragawa City, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Phone: 029-658-5009
  • Access: 10 minute taxi ride from the JR Mito line Iwase Station
  • Opening hour: 08:30 – 17:00
  • Website: http://www.amabiki.or.jp

7. Admire Japanese Artistry Art Tower Mito

Art Tower Mito
Source: Yuko Honda

Dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Mito City, the Art Tower Mito is a sprawling cultural complex that features a jaw-dropping 100 meter high tower. Delve into the Mito Art Foundation’s approach to music, art and the dramatic arts as you meander through the concert hall, contemporary art gallery and theater located within the complex grounds. To complete your trip into Mito’s amazing art culture, climb to the top of the tower and witness a fantastic view from the observation room.


  • Name: Art Tower Mito
  • Address: Mito Arts Foundation, 1-6-8 Goken-cho, Mito-shi, Ibaraki 310-0063
  • Price: ¥200
  • Phone: 029-227-8111
  • Access: 10-minute bus ride from Mito Station
  • Opening hour: 09:30 – 18:00 (Tue – Fri), 09:30 – 19:00 (Sat – Sun)
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays
  • Website: http://www.arttowermito.or.jp/art/

8. Wander Throught the Kairakuen Garden

Kairakuen Garden
Source: vera46

Roam the ethereal and other worldly landscape of the Kairakuen Garden and experience first-hand  why it’s touted as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. Built in 1842 by Mito’s 9th feudal lord, Nariaki Tokugawa, the gardens have and will always be a local favorite for public recreational activities. If you’re visiting in February, be sure to stop by and participate in the famous Plum Blossom Festival known locally as Ume-matsuri.


  • Name: Kairakuen Garden
  • Address: Tokiwa-cho, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Price: ¥200 (Adults); ¥100 (Students)
  • Phone: 029-244-5454
  • Access: 15 minute bus ride from Mito Station
  • Opening hour: 06:00 – 19:00 (Feb 20 – Sep 30), 07:00 – 18:00 (Oct 1 – Feb 19)
  • Website: http://www.koen.pref.ibaraki.jp/park/kairakuen01.html

9. Visit the Ushiku Daibutsu

Ushiku Daibutsu
Source: Alberto Gragera

Are you ready to get in on Japan’s biggest kept secret attraction? We mean literally. The Ushiku Daibutsu, or Great Buddha, is the third tallest statue in the world and certainly the tallest one in Japan standing at a massive height of 120 meters. Delve into Ushiku Daibutstu’s history from inside the statue and view several figures and images of Buddha. Fish feeding activities and beautiful sights are also available in the outer garden and the statue’s fifth floor respectively, while the World of Lotus Sanctuary is home to over 3,000 golden statues of Buddha. No matter what season you drop by, a visit to this gentle giant will surely bathe you in tranquility.


  • Name: Ushiku Daibutsu
  • Address: 2083 Kuno-cho, Ushiku-shi, Ibaraki 300-1288
  • Price: ¥800 (Apr to Nov), ¥700 (Dec – Mar)
  • Phone: 029-889-2931
  • Access: Take a train to Ushiku Station
  • Opening hour: Mar – Sep: 09:30 – 16:30 (Mon – Fri), 09:30 – 17:00 (Weekends), Oct – Feb: 09:30 – 16:00

10. Try Anko Nabe (Monkfish Stew)

Ankonabe Ibaraki
Source: Toshiyuki IMAI

Did you know that one of Ibaraki Prefecture’s specialty dishes is Monkfish Stew? While monkfish in its whole form is rather unattractive, when gutted, filleted and served alongside a gently simmering broth and vegetables, it’s actually really very delicious. Dozens of restaurants serve their own version of local prefecture favorite. It’s especially popular during the winter as a belly-warming and filling meal.

11. Tsukuba Expo Center

Tsukuba Expo Center
Source: Takahiro Kamatani

Enthusiastic about outer space? Then the Tsukuba Expo Center is a must-visit for you. Newly renovated, the planetarium is one of the largest in the world and boasts a world-class system with all of the latest innovations in space study and exploration. A trip to the expo will get you up close to a life size replica of an H-II rocket, let you view the night sky on a 25.6 meter diameter dome, and educate you on various form of energy, the universe and the deep sea with interactive exhibits.


  • Name: Tsukuba Expo Center
  • Address: 2-9 Azuma, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Price: ¥300 (Adult), ¥150 (Child)
  • Phone: 029-858-1100
  • Access: 5 minute walk from the Tsukuba Station A2 Exit
  • Opening hour: 09:50 – 17:00 (Feb – Nov), 09:50 – 16:30 (Dec – Jan)
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays
  • Website: http://www.expocenter.or.jp

12. Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of Art

Dive into the colorful history of Ibaraki through a stunning collection of artifacts and art at the Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History. A sprawling complex spanning over 17.8 acres, the museum features reconstructed agricultural buildings from the Edo Era as well as a western school building from the Meiji Era. Visitors can also take an enjoyable stroll through the garden after exploring the museum’s exhibits.


  • Name: Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History
  • Address: 2-1-5 Midori-cho, Mito, Ibaraki 310-0034
  • Price: ¥150 (Adults), ¥80 (Students), ¥600 (Special Exhibition)
  • Phone: 029-225-4425
  • Access: Take an Ibaraki-Kotsu bus to the Rekishaken-mae stop
  • Opening hour: 09:30 – 17:00
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays

13. Eat Natto

Natto Ibaraki
Source: yoppy

While there’s no denying that natto is an acquired taste, as one of Ibaraki’s specialties and representative dishes, no visit to the prefecture would be complete without having at least a tiny taste. Natto, or fermented soybeans, is often served in temaki sushi, makimoto and nigiri sushi. However, true lovers of the dish prefer to eat natto on its own with just a tiny bit of Japanese mustard, soy sauce and shredded toasted seaweed or green scallions mixed in.


  • Name: Hobikisen Tourist Boat Ride
  • Address: 2 Chome, Kawaguchi, Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Price: The White Iris: ¥1540 (Adult), ¥770 (Child); The Jet Wheel Tsukuba: ¥1680 (Adult), ¥840 (Child)
  • Phone: 029-824-2810
  • Website: http://www.tsuchiura-kankou.jp/en/index.html

14. Hitachi Kamine Park

Situated at the foot of Mt. Kurakake is the brilliant adventure packed wonderland of Hitachi Kamine Park. Families can visit various animals such as red pandas, giraffes, elephants and gorillas at the largest zoo in North-Kanto while thrill seeking children can spend their afternoon in the Kamine amusement park. There is also an indoor and open air pool for guests to enjoy while the elderly can enjoy the gentle Pacific Ocean breeze at the cherry blossom garden. Hang out in the park until the sun goes down for a marvelous view of Hitachi City at night.


  • Name:
  • Address: 5-2-22 Miyata-cho, Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Phone: 029-422-5586
  • Access: 10 minute walk from the Hitachi Station
  • Opening hour: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays

15. Hananuki Gorge

Be one with nature at the entrancing scenery of Hananuki Gorge. Cross the Tsuchitake bridge or head to the promenade for an easy and pleasurable hike. The length of the bridge provides spectacular sights of the Hananuki Dam and offers brilliant photo opportunities as well. This is definitely a must-see spot for nature lovers.


  • Name: Hananuki Gorge
  • Address: Hananuki, Takahagi City, Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Phone: 029-323-7316
  • Access: 20 minute taxi ride for JR Joban Line Takahagi Station
  • Website: http://www.takahagi-kanko.jp

Situated at the foot of Mt. Kurakake is the brilliant adventure packed wonderland of Hitachi Kamine Park. Families can visit various animals such as red pandas, giraffes, elephants and gorillas at the largest zoo in North-Kanto while thrill seeking children can spend their afternoon in the Kamine amusement park. There is also an indoor and open air pool for guests to enjoy while the elderly can enjoy the gentle Pacific Ocean breeze at the cherry blossom garden. Hang out in the park until the sun goes down for a marvelous view of Hitachi City at night.

Have a good trip and travel!