Itako Iris Festival
During this festival in June, over a million irises fill the canal city of Itako with a splash of color.
Various events are held on weekends during the festival, including Ayame Odori, a traditional dance taking place in the iris gardens. There's also the "yomeiri-bune," a traditional ceremony where a bride dressed in a traditional wedding kimono travels by boat to meet her new husband.
- 1-5 Ayame, Itako City
- By public transport: 3-minute walk from Itako Station on the JR Kashima Line
- Itako City Industry & Tourism Division
See More Visit
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.
The twin peaks of Mount Tsukuba are symbolic of Ibaraki. In Japanese, the peaks are Nyotai and Nantai, meaning the female peak and male peak, respectively. At 877 meters tall, Nyotai, the female peak, is the higher of the two. Mount Tsukuba is accessible in under two hours from Tokyo, making it ideal for escaping city life and getting in touch with nature. There are over 1000 species of flora and fauna on the mountain alone!
Both peaks are easily accessible by cable car or ropeway. If you're looking to exercise, there are plenty of hiking trails that suit all levels. Many trails have unique rock formations and historical Shinto sites.
While Mount Fuji is the symbol of western Japan, Mount Tsukuba is undeniably the symbol of eastern Japan. No trip to the Kanto region is complete without exploring this mountain!
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!
Read More About Ibaraki
September to November is Autumn harvest time in Ibaraki, the perfect time to enjoy picking your own sweet and juicy apples straight from the tree at one of Ibaraki's many apple orchards. Temperatures between 6° and 14° are best suited to growing apples, and Ibaraki fits this criteria perfectly thanks to the wide varitation in daily temperatures. Within the prefecture, the north-western town of Daigo is known for producing delicious 'Okukuji Apples'. As well as having the perfect climate for growing apples, orchards in Daigo make sure to let their apples ripen on the tree before harvesting to get the best flavour. Head to Daigo to pick your own Okukuji Apples and find out just what all the fuss is about!
A World Heritage Craft You Can Touch! Ibaraki’s Yuki Silk Fabrics
Ibaraki’s Yuki City is home to the Yuki tsumugi silk fabric production technique, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. We introduce facilities where you can see artisans at work, museums, and hands-on tsumugi weaving workshops. Visit Yuki to learn more about this meticulous craft!
Close to Tokyo! 9 Magnificent Cherry Blossom Spots in Ibaraki
There are many attractions in Ibaraki Prefecture, near Tokyo, including Kairakuen, one of Japan's three most famous gardens. In Ibaraki, you will find many cherry blossom spots!
This article introduces nine prominent cherry blossom spots in Ibaraki from those in the city with convenient access to places in the mountains where you can embrace nature!