Fukuroda Falls and
Fukuroda Onsen Hot Spring
The impressive 120 meter high, 73 meter wide Fukuroda Falls (Fukuroda no Taki) is considered to be one of the 3 most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. Because its waters cascade down 4 levels of a huge rock face, it is also called “Yondo no taki”. Long ago, the famous haiku poet, Saigyo Hoshi, is said to have exclaimed “If one does not see this waterfall at least once during each season, one cannot fully appreciate its true magnificence!” Nearby, spreading out along the banks of a tributary of the Kuji River, is the Fukuroda Onsen Hot Spring.
Kairakuen, together with its sister parks Kenrokuen in Kanazawa City and Korakuen in Okayama City, are the “Three Great Gardens” of Japan. In 1842, the 9th Lord of Mito, Tokugawa Nariaki, opened Kairakuen as a place for the people of his domain to rest and relax. Today, Kairakuen is home to over 3000 ume plum trees representing 100 varieties. Starting with the “Ume Matsuri” plum festival in late February to late March, the park is alive with the vibrant colors of Japanese cherries in spring, azaleas in spring and summer, bushclover in autumn, and Niki Sakura cherries in early winter.
Ryujinkyou Gorge and
Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge
Ryujinkyou is a beautiful gorge located in Okukuji Prefectural Nature Park. Inside the park is Ryujin Dam, which holds back water from the Yujin River which flows through the gorge. Spanning a length of 375 meters, Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge on the island of Honshu. From 100 meters above the dam, the bridge offers visitors splendid panoramas throughout the year.
Kasama Inari Jinja Shrine
The Kasama Inari Jinja is one of the 3 largest Inari shrines in Japan. The god of the shrine, Ukano Mitama no Kami, is said to be a promoter and protector of emerging industries, and is also a god of fire prevention. Founded in 651, the shrine boasts a rich history that spans more than 1350 years. Every year, the shrine is visited by more than 3.5 million worshippers.
Hitachi Seaside Park
Hitachi Seaside Park, which covers an expansive 190 hectares (475 acres), features many large flower gardens which provide visitors with a veritable visual feast throughout the year. Other attractions at the park include the Pleasure Garden (Amusement Park, a cycling course), a BMX course for motocross bicycles, a wooded athletic field, and a barbecue plaza.
-Ibaraki Prefectural Oarai Aquarium
Known as Japan’s Number 1 shark nursery, the Oarai Aquarium offers visitors the opportunity to see 68,000 marine plants and animals, such as sea otters and ocean sunfish, representing 580 species from all over the world. One of the aquarium’s most popular attractions is the “Iruka Ashika Ocean Live” show. Set in a hall with a view of the Pacific Ocean in the background, spectators can delight in the humorous antics of trained dolphins and sea lions.
Nakaminato Osakana Ichiba
The Nakaminato Osakana Ichiba is a popular fish market where customers can buy fresh fish at amazing prices. But it is more than just shopping—visitors can also enjoy the culinary delights of “kaiten” sushi restaurants and other dining establishments.
Kasumigaura is the second-largest freshwater lake in Japan. Many famouse products are made from the local fish, include tsukudani, a food consisting of lake smelt boiled in soy sauce. Every summer, the lake is dotted with sightseeing boats whose huge white sails billowing in the wind give the lake a unique character.
Mt.Tsukuba is one of the most popular tourist spots in Ibaraki Prefecture.Located within the Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park, it is known as one of the 100 most cherished mountains in Japan. The summit provides an excellent spot for enjoying a panoramic view of Lake Kasumigaura and the Kanto Plain, and sometimes one can even see Mt.Fuji in the far distance. There is also a highly alkali natural hot spring that is said to be good for keeping skin beautiful.
Tsukuba Expo Center
Tsukuba Expo Center features exhibits of such science and techology themes as cosmology, oceanography, and nuclear power, a large planetarium to spread knowledge about the stars and heavens using the latest information on astrophysics and space development. There is a full-scale rocket model.
Tsukuba Space Center
The Tsukuba Space Center is the nerve center for Japan’s research, development, and testing of spacecraft such as satellites and rockets, satellite tracking and control, operation of Japan’s Kibo experimental module in the International Space Station, and the training of astronauts, among other activities. Guides are available to give visitors a “shisetsu kengaku tour” of some of the facilities.
Tsukuba Tree Peony Garden
Tsukuba Tree Peony Garden offers 60,000 square meters of big and beautiful peony flowers. There are 9,000 tree peonies of 530 varieties, 5,000 peonies of 215 varieties, and 350 roses of 50 varieties to fascinate us. The flowers can be seen between April and July. There are also many seasonal flowers to be enjoyed including shakunage, kalmia, and hydrangea,.
Kashima Jingu Shrine
According to legend, the Kashima Jingu Shrine, which is one of the 3 largest shrines in eastern Japan, was established in 660 B.C. From long ago, the deity of the shrine, Takemikazuchi no Kami, was venerated by the Royal Family, the powerful Fujiwara Clan of regents, and others as the god of warriors, and won a dedicated following among samurai governments from the Kamakura Period onward. Annual events at the shrine include the Saitousai and Shinkosai festivals. The shrine’s most famous festival may be the Ofuna Matsuri, which is held only once every 12 years, during the Year of the Horse.
|■Kanko-Ibaraki||■Tsukuba Tourism and Convention Association||■TSUKUBA EXPO CENTER|