Lake Senba, Mito

Mito and Oarai

Mount Tsukuba Plum Festival

Mt. Tsukuba Area Geopark

In late 2016, the Mt. Tsukuba area of Ibaraki was awarded Geopark status, gaining recognition for its diverse geological landscapes and cultural heritage, helping formalise its place on a prestigious list of nationwide Japanese Geoparks. Mt. Tsukuba Area Geopark comprises the geological area surrounding central Ibaraki's Mt. Tsukuba and includes the cities of Sakuragawa, Kasama, […]

Mt Tsukuba, Ibaraki

The Triumphant at Tsukuba Shrine Nemesis! Don’t let the boulders get you down Cathedral Easy? How to overcome my nemesis? The Triumphant at Tsukuba Shrine Mt Tsukuba is a popular hiking destination just outside Tokyo in Ibaraki. Hikers like it for two adjacent peaks that make it easy to hop from one to the other […]

Mt Tsukuba in the East

An incredible view from the summit Summit shrine A guardian of Tsukubasan Shrine Nobody can deny the beauty that is Mt Fuji. Soaring close to 4,000 metres into the atmosphere, Japan's most famous peak is an almost perfect blend of physical perfection and spiritual idealism. But the Japanese have a saying, “In the west Fuji, […]

Oarai Beach

The Pacific Ocean rushes to meet you at Oarai Beach The pebbled shoreline is great for a stroll most times of the year The pounding surf is a soothing sound The Pacific Ocean rushes to meet you at Oarai Beach Oarai Beach is one of two public beaches in the Oarai area, conveniently located right […]

Oarai’s Aquaworld Aquarium

View of the side of Aquaworld, overlooking the Pacific Ocean One of the dolphins doing a high jump for a trainer A sunfish floats mysteriously by View of the side of Aquaworld, overlooking the Pacific Ocean If you’ve never been to Oarai’s Aquaworld, you’re in for a treat. With numerous different kinds of activities under […]

Oarai Sun Beach

Playing with friends in the surf of Sun Beach A beautiful day to enjoy the Pacific Ocean Flawless sand and clear, clean waters to cool off on a hot day Playing with friends in the surf of Sun Beach Oarai Sun Beach is the biggest beach in the Kanto area, and one of the most […]

Robotics at Cyberdyne Studio

Cyberdyne studio entrance Meet an older model of HAL® (Hybrid Assistive Limbs) Aren't they familiar Which came first? Star Wars or these There's a robot for everyone, of every age Controlling a part of HAL® is definitely a one of a kind experience Tsukuba is a key location for Robotics researches in Japan. From fiction […]

Ryujin Bridge Bungy

Falling backwards into thin air Looking west across Ryujin Bridge Blue steal fins cut into the sky Ryujin dam Steps leading down to Ryujin Valley floor Looking east across Ryujin Bridge Falling backwards into thin air (Photo: Bungy Japan) It's going on one o'clock when we pull up to Ryujin Bridge in Ibaraki's Oku-Kuji Prefectural Natural Park. […]

Sakura Season at Kamine Park

Venue: Kamine Park, Ibaraki When: Early – Mid Apr 2022 Ibaraki's Kamine Park is a fun place for a family-friendly day out year-round — the venue is home to a zoo, amusement park rides, pools, and more. It's also a brilliant spot for appreciating the beauty of spring, since the grounds are filled with around […]

Seedless Watermelon Farm in Joso

Seedless watermelon Okui-san tending the field Selecting a ripe watermelon Selecting a ripe watermelon Black watermelon Okui-san prepares the watermelon Okui-san prepares the watermelon Okui-san prepares the watermelon Getting ready to eat Getting ready to eat Getting ready to eat Cutting the black watermelon Cutting the black watermelon Comparing watermelons Comparing watermelons Okui-san's dog is […]

Shizumine Furusato Park Sakura Festival

Venue: Shizumine Furusato Park, Ibaraki When: Mid Apr – Early May 2022 EVENT_DISCLAIMER_OUTDOOR_CHERRY_BLOSSOM_UNCONFIRMED Shizumine Furusato Park is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, and it's one of the area's top spots to enjoy the beauty of sakura season. The park grounds are home to around 4000 cherry trees in total, with close to a 50-50 split of […]

Takahagi’s Hananuki Valley

A group of tourists wanders across the suspension bridge to view the foliage Hananuki Valley in full autumn colors A nice hike through the woods in a the cool autumn air A group of tourists wanders across the suspension bridge to view the foliage If you prefer a little less touristic atmosphere to your outdoor […]

The Sumo’s Apprentice

Group picture with the future stars of Shikihide Beya Sumos rest between fierce some bouts Wrestlers wear the traditional 'Mawashi' belts weighing 5Kg each A skillfully swept Sumo ring closes their morning training session The sumo league rankings – font size denotes superior fighters Megumi Kitazakura explains sumo cuisine before lunch is served Group picture with the […]

Tsukuba-san day hike from Tokyo

Shrine on the summit of Mt Nyotai Torii (Shinto Shrine gate) near bus stop Tsutsujigaoka On the path from Tsutsujigaoka back to the Shrine Shrine gardens at the start of the hike Shrine at the start of the hike Shrine on the summit of Mt Nyotai Despite Tokyo being a huge metropolis, thanks to the […]

Yabusame in Kasama, Ibaraki

Hit the Target (3/3) Yabusame Judges Preparing the Target Collecting the Arrows Arrival of the Yabusame Archers Yabusame Archer wearing traditional clothes Early Nov Hit the Target (3/3) Venue: Kasama Inari Shrine When: Early Nov 2021 Every year in Kasama, on November 3rd, there is a performance of yabusame, or horseback archery. You can watch […]

Chisun Inn Tsuchiura Ami

My bed My bathroom Do not disturb The friendly staff spoke a little English You've found it. Welcome! Ami Premium Outlet is a nearby shopping center My bed Chisun Inns are a nationwide chain of budget hotels, designed to provide reasonable comfort at good value. They're generally aimed at business travelers or people driving across […]

Hotel Season Mito

Hotel Season Mito The hotel can be spotted from the exit of JR Mito Station Hotel Season Mito The hotel’s great location Spacious and comfortable lobby Single room Hotel Season Mito With its convenient location, Hotel Season in Mito is a great hotel just a few minutes stroll from JR Mito Station and only 2 […]

A Day in Tsukuba-mirai

Miraidaira Station, probably your first stop in Tsukuba-mirai Itabashi Fudouson Shrine Itabashi Fudouson Shrine Outside Miraidaira Station Komyoin Temple Komyoin Temple Formed in 2006 when the towns of Ina and Yawara merged, Tsukuba-mirai is located in the south-west corner of Ibaraki prefecture and served by the Tsukuba Express (TX) line. With a small population around […]

A Day Trip to Yūki, Ibaraki

Textiles have long played an important role in Japanese life. Japanese weavers and dyers developed their own distinctive styles with silk, hemp, cotton and other fibers, by using a range of weaves and decorative treatments. Japanese textiles are world-renowned for their intricate design and beautiful natural color, and although through the years new styles have […]

Amabiki Kannon Temple

The main temple in which the monks chant sutra’s daily An image of Kannon in the garden between monks’ quarters and temple The tahoto pagoda overlooking the valley Rakuhoji Temple, located on a mountain ridge above Sakuragawa City, is popularly referred to as Amabiki Kannon, the rain-drawing goddess of mercy, which it houses. This temple, […]

Appreciating Mito City

Kairakuen Garden from Kobuntei Porch Daurian Redstart Umeshu Festa: One of four tables containing 166 bottles of Plum Wine and Sake Umeshu Festa: Going for sample number 150! One of many floral themed rooms at Kobuntei Tokiwa-jinja shrine Even though March is a great time to visit Mito because of the plum festival, there is […]

Artists and 3.11

Venue: Art Tower Mito St., Mito, Ibaraki, Japan When: Feb 20th – May 9th 2021, 10:00am – 6:00pm A special exhibition taking place at Ibaraki's Art Tower Mito looks at the March 2011 natural disaster through the eyes of artists, ten years on. The museum itself acted as a temporary shelter after the disaster, so […]

Asahi Brewery in Moriya

Asahi Brewery in Moriya, Ibaraki Entrance to the Asahi compound The finish line: beer and 'otsumami' (snacks for drinking) It's a fairly open secret that all of Japan's leading beer manufacturers (Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo) conduct free tours of each of their brewery facilities nationwide. Having frequented such tours by most of them, it's […]

Be Amazed at the Ushiku Daibutsu

Ushiku Daibutsu Entrance to the park Model of the Ushiku Daibutsu’s head Path to Ushiku Daibutsu A place for you to rinse your mouth and wash your hands before going in the sacred area Bunny resting Located in the Ibaraki prefecture, in a town called Ushiku, there is a statue of a Buddha that has […]

Burning Beauty

You can choose from a variety of colors, styles, and opacities Heating the molten glass in the burner to make it malleable Mr. Takahashi demonstrating how he does this solo You can choose from a variety of colors, styles, and opacities If your artistic inclinations lean towards the more esoteric or exciting creative processes, you […]

Food Discoveries in Oarai

The Kamiiso-no-Torii of Isosaki Shrine Welcome refreshment at Satoumitei Lounge and study area at Satoumitei Hallway lounge at Satoumitei Satoumitei room with sea view Traditional Japanese breakfast at Satoumitei The Kamiiso-no-Torii of Isosaki Shrine Nousanbutsu Kakou Konya Kurosawa Shouyuten Tsukinoi Shuzoten Satoumitei Kinparou Hontei Oarai Hotel Ibaraki Prefecture is located just north of Tokyo, and […]

Forest Sanctuary

The straw purification ring set up during the mid-summer rites Gigantic trees frame the pathways of Kashima Shrine A spirit lamp with an interesting motif The straw purification ring set up during the mid-summer rites Purportedly established around 600BC by Emperor Jimmu, Kashima Shrine is one of Japan’s most venerated Shinto places of worship, and […]

Fukuda Kilns

The main building of Fukuda Kiln A whimsical waterspout at Fukuda Kiln One of the tallest vases in the world, Fukuda Kiln The main building of Fukuda Kiln Fukuda Kiln is one of Kasama’s many intrepid solo kilns and covering a sprawling plot of land in the hills of the city. The instant you enter […]

Hitachi Seaside Park in October

A red carpet with Kochia flowers West Entrance As you walk through the entrance, you will see the outside stage. Traditional Japanese House. They often have a bloom making class here. As you walk towards the Kochia garden… A gradation made with cosmos A red carpet with Kochia flowers During the fall season, a lot […]

Hitachi Seaside Park from Mito Town

Endless blue fields of nemophila Sunset in Mito Two rivers of Mito Welcome to Hitachi Seaside Park Hitachi Seaside Park May 5 was the Boy’s Holiday in Japan Once I came across photos of endless blue fields in Japan, I immediately thought I must see that! I discovered that I could find those fields in […]

Hitachi Seaside Park: Suisen Garden

Many kinds of Sakura in many colors, but the highlight here is the narcissus field Clear blue sky, Big sakura trees in bloom, Narcissus field – they all come together perfectly Met a bride and groom taking wedding photos. The arrival of spring, which signals a new beginning, is even more refreshing This red and […]

Hitachi City Sakura Matsuri

Heiwa Dori (Peace Street) Heiwa Dori (Peace Street) Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Early – Mid Apr Heiwa Dori (Peace Street) Venue: Heiwa Dori When: Early – Mid Apr 2022 The timing of the cherry blossom season is dependent on the forecast data released by the Japan Meteorological Agency each winter, which is subject to change. Our […]

Holy Connections

An old rice storehouse from Akita, rebuilt as part of a dowry Japan’s largest stone Torii, courtesy of local quarries Japan’s largest Shimenawa, twisted by hand A view of the gift shop, with homemade glass items The path to the Dragon-god shrine The public shrine for Daikoku An old rice storehouse from Akita, rebuilt as […]

Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum

Entering the Forest of the Clay Magician, Kasama Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum One of the whimsical pieces on display at the museum Entering the Forest of the Clay Magician, Kasama The City of Kasama has a history of pottery-making going back over 1500 years, with ancient kilns still being unearthed from the local hills. To […]

Ibaraki’s Flower Hill Hanazono

On a weekend in Japan's busy Golden Week holiday, we had the garden to ourselves. This is the sign to look for when searching for the garden. It is hidden off the main road up a hill down a small countryside lane. You will be transported to another time and place as you wander through […]

Inaba Shuzo

Enticing sake display Storefront A special gift of sake Enticing sake display Inaba Shuzo was founded in 1867 when they started brewing Minanogawa sake using high quality rice and carefully sourced pure spring water, which as all sake connoisseurs know, is the basis of delicious sake. Inaba Shuzo is now run by the 13th generation […]

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