Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) opened in 2003. In addition to the research, development, and launching of satellites, JAXA is responsible for Japan's space exploration missions, including asteroid explorations.
Tsukuba City is home to JAXA's Tsukuba Space Center. This facility is at the heart of space research and exploration in Japan. It is also responsible for research and development on satellites, rockets, and tracking and controlling satellites in operation. Astronaut training and communication with the International Space Station (ISS) even occur here!
Visitors to JAXA can see actual-size models of the H-II Launch Vehicle (an actual flight model) and satellites. Tours of the facility occur five times a day at 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, and 15:00 (English tours are available with advanced booking). Tours take approximately 75 minutes.
- 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba City
- 10-minute bus ride from Tsukuba Station on the Tsukuba Express Line
- Business Hours
- Business Hours
Space Dome Exhibition Area: 9:30-17:00
Planet Cube Special Exhibition Space & Shop: 10:00-16:00
Closed December 29 to January 3
- TEL: 029-868-2023
- Free admission
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Ibaraido Forest & Sylvanian Park
This recreational park in southern Ibaraki is the perfect destination for family trips. It features a European theme with plenty of beautiful flower gardens, forest areas, and European-style buildings. The park will easily keep the whole family entertained all day. Attractions include getting up close to farm animals, including alpaca and sheep, pottery workshops, and a treetop adventure playground.
After working up an appetite while exploring the park, head to the barbecue area for lunch or visit one of the park's restaurants. In keeping with the park's European theme, food options include freshly-baked pizza and bread alongside Japanese curry.
Fans of Sylvanian Families can also visit recreations of Sylvanian houses and watch performances by their favorite characters!
Ami Premium Outlets
This outlet mall opened in 2009 and houses exceptional brands from Japan and overseas. There are over 100 shops, so it's guaranteed you'll find something for everyone!
There are also a variety of coffee shops and restaurants to keep you charged while shopping.
The outlet is just a few minutes from the giant Buddha statue known as Ushiku Daibutsu.
Hobikisen: Traditional Fishing Boat (Lake Kasumigaura Area)
Hobikisen describes a traditional wooden fishing boat that sails along Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan. These boats with billowing white sails evoke a nostalgic sense of days gone by.
During the warmer months, visitors can take a cruise on the lake to observe traditional fishing boats at work.
Three municipalities in the Lake Kasumigaura area offer these sightseeing boat trips: Kasumigaura City, Tsuchiura City, and Namegata City.
Read More About Ibaraki
Splendid Foliage and Food! 9 Must-Visit Autumn Spots in Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture is located near Tokyo and boasts incredible scenery and delicious food. September to November is the autumn season in Ibaraki, which means that it's the best time to visit for foliage and seasonal specialties. The following is a list of nine things to enjoy if you visit Ibaraki in autumn.
Ibaraki Cherry Blossoms
From famous cherry blossom spots to off-the-beaten-track areas loved by locals, Ibaraki has a cherry blossom destination to suit everyone. The blossom season and species of cherry tree varies across Ibaraki meaning the blossom season lasts a whole month!
A Must-See in Autumn! Red Spider Lilies at Gugyoji Temple
Gugyoji Temple is located in Joso, a city in southwestern Ibaraki. Droves of people visit from September to October when the enchanting higanbana or red spider lilies grow. We'll introduce Buddhist narratives about the higanbana, charms of Gugyoji Temple, and recommended spots in the area.