When to travel?

The climate in Ibaraki is usually cooler.  The average temperature throughout a year is about 14 degrees, which is the 37th out of 47 prefectures.  However, unlike other cold prefectures, Ibaraki rarely has snow, so it is very easy to travel.

Best season: Apr-Jul (Jun is monsoon), Sep-Dec
Cherry blossom: end of Mar-early Apr
Foliage: Nov

Events / Festivals

Feb: Makabe Hina doll festival (真壁のひな祭), Makabe 真壁
Feb-Mar: Mito plum tree (水戸の梅まつり), Mito
Mar-Apr: Hitachi Cherry blossom festival (日立さくらまつり), Hitachi 日立
May: Ishioka festival (常陸國總社宮例大祭), Ishioka 石岡
May-June: Suigo Itako Iris festival (水郷潮来あやめ祭), Itako 潮来
Aug: Mito Komon Festival (水戸黄門祭), Mito
Aug: Tsuchiura fireworks festival (土浦全国花火競技大会), Tsuchiura 土浦

Touristic spots

Capital city: Mito (水戸)

Ibaraki’s capital, Mito, is about 1 hour away from Tokyo.  The city is famous as one of the three noble families of Edo Shogunate had a base in this city.

The city has a garden called Kairakuen (偕楽園), whose plum trees are so famous.  Festival is held when they bloom in February to March.  It is also called as one of the three most beautiful gardens of Japan.

The garden where everyone can enjoy, this is the meaning of Kairakuen (偕楽園).
Kodokan (弘道館), a school which educated many Samurais.

Yuki (結城)

A city close to Tochigi.  This city is famous for their Kimono.  It is called Yuki Tsumugi, (結城紬) which is declared as a Significant Intangible Folk Cultural Asset.  Tsumugi is a type of Kimono worn daily, but as time went by, Yuki Tsumugi started to use thinner thread which required more technique, and now it is considered as a luxurious Kimono.

Dotted pattern is the feature of Yuki Tsumugi.
Thin threads.

National Hitachi Seaside Park (国営ひたち海浜公園)

One of the most booming places to visit in recent Japan.  In May, all the nemophila flowers bloom at the same time and paint the scenery with their light blue color.  The high sky also adds another blue color in the scenery and all you can see is just blue except for some trees.

This park is also famous in fall.  In fall, the blue flower will be replaced by red kochia.

National Hitachi Seaside Park (国営ひたち海浜公園)

Kochia in fall.

Fukuroda waterfall (袋田の滝)

Fukuroda waterfall is one of three waterfalls in Japan and is the most famous touristic spot.  The height is about 120 meters with the width of 73 meters.  The waterfall has different views depending on the season, so that it is also called four-time waterfall.

In autumn.
Frozen waterfall during winter.

Mt. Tsukuba (筑波山)

The mountain is listed in the 100 great Japanese mountains, but it is the shortest mountain with the height of only 877m.  The mountain has an amazing view, and it has been compared with Mt. Fuji.  There is a place to practice Zen as well.

Mt. Tsukuba with sunflowers.
The road to Mt. Tsukuba still has good old ambiance (つくば道).

Kashima Jingu shrine (鹿島神宮)

Kashima Jingu has a long history of nearly 2700 years, established in B.C. 600.  There are only three shrines that have Jingu in their names, which is given only to the noblest ones.  Kashima Jingu is believed to be the most powerful and spiritual.  When we draw a line over the noblest shrines using a map of Japan, the Sun’s movement is perfectly depicted.  Kashima Jingu is said to be the shrine of the start, as it is located at the most eastern part of these noblest shrines, which is the direction of the Sun rise.

The oldest shrine in Ibaraki.
Mitarai pond (御手洗池) and the floating Torii gate.

Suigo Itako (水郷潮来)

Suigo Itako is a city of canal.  The city is famous for its Iris festival (あやめ祭) held every May to July.  Their purple color is beautiful and it is attracting many tourists.