Hitachi Fudoki no Oka Cherry Blossom
This historical area is famous for its stunning cherry blossoms and giant lion monument modeled after the mask used in "shishi-mai" (lion dance). Varieties of cherry blossoms include Somei Yoshino and Yaezakura (double-cherry trees). Perhaps the most memorable is the Shidarezakura, or weeping cherry trees, which form magical tunnels formed by their low-hanging blossoms.
- 1646 Someya, Ishioka City
- TEL: 0299-23-3888
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Kodokan Mito Domain School
Kodokan was established in 1841 by Nariaki Tokugawa, the ninth feudal lord of the Mito Domain. It was the largest school among the warrior clan and comparable to a university by today's standards. Students could study medicine, pharmacy, astronomy, and martial arts. Japan’s last shogun, Yoshinobu Tokugawa, was educated at the Kodokan for five years from the age of six. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Yoshinobu spent four months confined to a room in Shizendo, part of the Kodokan complex at the time.
Kasama Inari Shrine
First established in 651, Kasama Inari Shrine is one of Japan's famous Inari shrines, attracting around 3.5 million pilgrims and visitors annually. The sacred site enshrines Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto, known to answer prayers for success in business and protection from fires. The shrine grounds are stunning in the late spring when the wisteria flower bloom. Another beautiful time to visit is during the chrysanthemum festival in autumn.
The streets leading up to the shrine are filled with various shops to explore, from traditional soba restaurants to fashionable cafes and renovated sake breweries. Specialties of the area include Kasama Inari Sushi, rice with walnuts, and other seasonal products wrapped in deep-fried tofu and roasted chestnuts. Kasama City is known for its pottery, and there are plenty of galleries in the area to pick up a souvenir before heading home.
Oarai Marine Tower
This 60-meter-tall tower is the symbol of Oarai Town. On clear days in winter, the building offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and the Nikko mountains in Tochigi Prefecture.
On the ground floor, visitors can purchase souvenirs in the gift shop or visit an anime-themed cafe at the "Girls und Panzer" restaurant.
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