Ibaraki prefecture is located on the north-eastern part of the Kanto Region. There are about 32 cities that compose this beautiful land here in Japan. Aside from Shrines and major tourist destinations, you can also enjoy a lot of activities like hiking and interactive workshops.
Here is the list of the best things that you can do when you visit there. Make sure to take some time to read and search for these in advance so as to have an unforgettable experience during your stay.
- 【1】Mingle with sea creatures at Aqua World Oarai Aquarium
- 【2】Walk around Hitachi Seaside Park
- 【3】Explore the greatness of Mt. Tsukuba
- 【4】Take time to relax at Fukuroda Falls
- 【5】Capture a spectacular view at Kairakuen
- 【6】Take a photo of Ushiku Daibutsu
- 【8】Take your steps forward at Ryujinotsuri Bridge
- 【9】Experience the fun at Tsukuba Expo Center
- 【10】Relive the edo period at Warp Station Edo
【1】Mingle with sea creatures at Aqua World Oarai Aquarium
|Name||Aqua World Ibaraki Oarai Aquarium|
|Address||8252-3 Isohamacho, Oarai-machi, Higashiibaraki-gun 311-1301, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
There is so much to see and take in at this aquarium, from the Dolphin and Sea Lion shows to Sharks and other aqua species. You can spend a day as there is lots to see and no point in rushing. Enjoy lunch and snacks and make sure to grab souvenirs before leaving. Afterwards, if the weather is nice take a stroll along the coast line as the views are breathtaking.
Like most aquariums in Japan, there is little in the way of English signage, although you can usually get the names of the animals in any display. Huge sharks, a good variety of sea life, presented well. The dolphin show was one of the bests.
【2】Walk around Hitachi Seaside Park
|Name||Hitachi Seaside Park|
|Address||605-4 Mawatari Onuma, Hitachinaka 312-0012, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
The seaside park offers magnificent views throughout the year with different floral growths and landscapes along the park, The Summer is famous for the Nemophila – baby blue flowers and the autumn is famous for the pink coloured bush growths along the valley inside the park.
The park is spread out across a huge area and they have restaurants, restrooms, recreational activities like cycling , train rides as well. One side of the park is very close to the sea and offers views of the coastline and the Hitachi Port.
Between early to mid Oct, this park offers a great view of kochia (small bush) that covered the whole hill. I like to check the status of the color change from their website before making a trip.
【3】Explore the greatness of Mt. Tsukuba
|Address||Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture 300-4352
Tsukuba Mountain is a nice green place about 20 km away from Tsukuba Centre. There is a bus connection, but the bus does not take you all the way, just to the nearest village, from where it’s another couple km. There are several trails for hiking, cable car on the East and rails on the South slopes. Between the peaks there are a number of souvenir shops and restaurants.
【4】Take time to relax at Fukuroda Falls
|Address||3-9 Fukuroda, Daigo-machi, Kuji-gun 319-3523, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
This waterfall is really beautiful. There is a small hiking trail nearby as well. It costs a little bit to enter but it’s not expensive and you won’t regret it. If you go in the winter, it’s sometimes frozen and makes one really breathless!
Please also note that there are two entrances if you want to go to the observation deck. You can get in from one entrance and exit at the other.
【5】Capture a spectacular view at Kairakuen
|Address||1-1251 Mikawa, Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||7:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
Kairakuen literally means to enjoy with everyone, and is particularly famous for its plum blossoms. Bloom period is from mid-February to mid-March one month earlier than cherry blossoms. We parked our car in the car park on the western side. From there you need to climb up the paths through the lower garden area to the main garden area which boasts three thousand plum trees of six species.
Doask about the availability of volunteer guides when you visit because they made the visit much more informative and enjoyable. You can also go there after sunset to view the blossoms lit up at night.
【6】Take a photo of Ushiku Daibutsu
|Address||2083 Kunocho, Ushiku 300-1288, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
Huge statue of Buddha standing in the middle of a large open park. Considered as the third largest Buddha statue in the world and it was made with bronze. You can climb with at the top of the statue. Surrounding area is very quiet and beautiful with seasonal flowers.
You’ll enjoy strolling the grounds as you make your way to the statue and you’ll be amazed at the size of this statue. There is something for people of all ages here, from a petting zoo to beautiful gardens, Be sure to ride the elevator located inside and make your to the top. If it’s a clear day, you’ll be amazed at the sights from the various viewing points.
|Address||2306-1 Kyuchu, Kashima-shi, Ibaraki-ken 314-0031|
|Operating Hours||24 hours|
Kashima Jingu is within a huge area of natural forrest in which there are many beautiful old cedar trees. It is also known to be the No.1 shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Upon arrival at the Kashimajingu station, the shrine is about 15 mins walk away. From the station, walk straight ahead, you will come to a slope. Up the slope all the way, there will be a sign to direct you to turn left. From there, shops selling omiyage and food lined the street leading to the entrance of the shrine.
【8】Take your steps forward at Ryujinotsuri Bridge
|Address||2133-6 Keganocho, Hitachiota 313-0351, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||8:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
The Ryujin suspension bridge seems like rather an impressive feat of engineering to undertake without any clear purpose however it is a beautiful spot for viewing the changing leaves in Autumn. There appear to be hiking trails on the far side of the bridge which would make it totally worth it, on a nice day, but it was so hot and draining to walk the bridge in midday in mid July that any more hiking would have been out of the question.
The views are great, even when it is crowded. You can bungee jump from the bridge and there are a few shops and restaurants dotted around it.
【9】Experience the fun at Tsukuba Expo Center
|Name||Tsukuba Expo Center|
|Address||2-9 Azuma, Tsukuba 305-0031, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:50 AM – 5:00 PM|
This is an excellent science museum and planetarium for a small city. It’s a wonderful place to visit, especially on a rainy day, when many outdoor activities are not limited.
There are many interesting hands-on science exhibits to enjoy, some have pretty good English explanations. The gift shop has a nice selection of books, toys, an other gifts. There are places to sit and relax when tired, both indoors an outdoors. Adjacent, there is a simple cafeteria/cafe restaurant, as well as a small shop outdoors selling snacks an ice cream, and inside there is a breakroom with food and drink vending machines.
【10】Relive the edo period at Warp Station Edo
|Name||Warp Station Edo|
|Address||1176 Minamiota, Tsukubamirai 300-2306, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Operating Hours||9:30 AM – 4:00 PM|
This place is a famous location for movie and tv drama shoots. It is also affiliated to NHK. You can find a small museum covering the films made there over the years but it is all in Japanese.
The buildings appear very realistic and well-maintained. The entrance fee is low and the grounds are large. You can easily spend 30+ minutes wandering around, taking pictures, and even in summer it is not crowded. However, there are no activities other than just walking around, so you might get bored.