Natto, or fermented soybeans, originates from Ibaraki and is typically eaten throughout Japan at breakfast time. Although characterized by its pungent smell, this fermented product has made headlines overseas for its health properties.
The Natto Museum is attached to the Takano Foods Factory, a famous natto manufacturer. Visitors can learn about the origin of natto and notable historical events related to natto consumption in Japan. Likewise, museum-goers can discover other fermented soybean products from around the world.
Ishioka Ostrich Farm
Have you ever wanted to surround yourself with ostriches?
With around 1300 ostriches living on the farm, Ishioka Ostrich farm is (somewhat unsurprisingly) the largest ostrich farm in Japan. Be enveloped by ostriches and experience feeding and touching these magnificent birds.
The on-site shop sells products made from ostrich leather and ostrich feathers. Moreover, the barbecue area offers the opportunity to taste healthy ostrich meat or a giant fried egg!
Tsukuba Expo Center
A life-size model of the H-II Rocket, with a staggering height of 50 meters, welcomes visitors to the Tsukuba Expo Center.
See the night sky in all its glory in a 25.6-meter dome-shaped planetarium. Alternatively, you can learn about the universe, the deep sea, or different forms of energy through interactive exhibitions.
The center also hosts special science shows and classes.
Tsunabi Fireworks Festival
This traditional fireworks festival is held annually in late August and is a designated intangible cultural asset. The festival is held to pray for an abundant harvest and protection from fires.
The festival occurs at two locations: Takaoka Atago Shrine and Obari Atago Shrine.
Additionally, each festival is slightly different. At both locations, puppets are used to perform classic Japanese folktales on a tightrope in midair, accompanied by traditional drums and flutes. Finally, both festivals conclude with fireworks. However, the Obari festival is said to emphasize the story plot during the puppet performance.
Tsukuba Dog Park WanWan Land
There are over 80 dog breeds at this theme park. Visitors are also welcome to bring their dogs to the park.
Tsumugi Silk Museum
The museum was opened in 2006 by Okujun Inc., a Tsumugi wholesaler with a history spanning over 100 years. With the aim to educate people about Yuki-tsumugi (a Japanese silk-weaving technique) and its production, the facility also commemorates the company's 100th anniversary.
The museum houses a gallery, Yuki-tsumugi exhibition, and a craft studio where visitors can participate in weaving and dyeing workshops. There are also various seasonal events during the year, including hand-dyeing yukata (light cotton kimono) workshops and unique displays for Hina Matsuri (Girl's Day Festival) in spring.
Traditional Crafts/Sake Breweries
Hitachinaka Festival & Fireworks
The fireworks display is the highlight of this two-day summer festival. The event features over 3,000 fireworks set to dynamic music that adds to the dazzling display.
In addition to fireworks, the festival features various events, including a dance procession and a traditional mikoshi (portable shrine) parade.
One of Ibaraki's most popular beaches, Ajigaura Beach stretches 1.5 kilometers along its sandy shoreline. Easily accessible by train or car, it is just around the corner from Hitachi Seaside Park and a popular shopping mall.
With its white sands and green pine trees, Ishihama Beach is considered one of Japan’s one hundred most beautiful beaches. The landscape along the beach varies from pure white sands to steep cliffs.
Free showers, toilets and lockers are available and there are several hot springs located close to the beach.
With a history spanning over 200 years, Isaka Brewery is inseparable from its location in the Satomi area of Hitachiota City. The brewery uses locally-produced rice for its sake. Make sure to check out the unique anime-themed labels, too!
Traditional Crafts/Sake Breweries
Isohara Futatsushima Beach
Futatsushima translates to "two islands" in Japanese and is named after the two uninhabited islands that symbolize this beach. It is particularly popular with families due to its beautiful white sands, clear waters, and easy access by car or train.