Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival
Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival is Japan's oldest chrysanthemum festival. The festival began in 1908 when the head priest of Kasama Inari Shrine created gardens on the shrine grounds to comfort people following the Russo-Japanese War.
Chrysanthemum festivals are typically held across Japan in autumn. Likewise, this festival has come to symbolize the arrival of fall in Ibaraki. Around 8,000 chrysanthemum plants are displayed throughout Kasama Inari Shrine during the festival, filling the grounds with the color and fragrance of Japanese autumn.
- Kasama Inari Shrine, 1 Kasama, Kasama City
- By public transport: 25-minute walk or a 20-minute ride by loop bus from Kasama Station on the JR Mito Line. Get off the bus at Kasama Inari Shrine.
By car: 10-minute drive from the Tomobe IC exit on the Kita-Kanto Expressway
- Business Hours
Late October to late November
- Kasama City Hall
TEL: 0296-77-1101 ext. 517
- 250 parking spots
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Oarai Museum of Bakumatsu-Meiji History
This museum was established in 1929 by Mitsuaki Tanaka, a samurai during the late Edo Period who became a Cabinet Minister in the Imperial Household Agency.
The museum houses a range of exhibits related to key political figures active in the late Edo Period and early Meiji Period, including personal letters and clothing. The former Emperor and Empress of Japan have even visited the facility.
The museum is located on sprawling grounds filled with pine and cherry trees. Moreover, it is either a short drive or a leisurely walk from the Oarai coast.
Oarai Isosaki Shrine
This shrine was founded in 856 when two deities are said to have descended upon the coast of Oarai. The two enshrined at Oarai Isosaki Shrine are Daikoku-sama, the god of nation-building and national prosperity, and Sukunahikona-no-Mikoto, the god of medicine.
Oarai Isosaki Shrine is associated with the nearby Kamiiso-no-Torii, a sacred gate where the gods are said to have descended earth. This shrine gate stands dramatically on rocks in the Pacific Ocean and attracts photographers worldwide. On New Year's Day, the sun rises directly between the pillars of the shrine gate.
This shrine is also famous among fans of the anime series "Girls und Panzer," which is set in the town of Oarai and uses real-life locations. Many prayer plaques at the shrine feature illustrations of the characters from the anime drawn by visiting fans.
Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shrine
Established in 1992, this shrine is a branch of the famous Izumo Taisha Shrine in Shimane Prefecture. The main building is made from hinoki wood (Japanese cypress) and features a gigantic shimenawa (sacred twisted rope) in front.
The shrine enshrines Okuninushi-no-Okami, also known as Daikoku-sama. Visitors pray to the deity for good luck in marriage, business, and health.
The shrine grounds are also home to a glass-blowing studio and restaurant.
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