Kasama Himatsuri Pottery Festival
This is the largest pottery and arts festival in Ibaraki, attracting nearly 550,000 visitors each year. More than 200 artists, craftspeople, and gallery owners exhibit their works at the festival. Even if pottery isn’t your thing, this festival is worth visiting to see the individuality and artistry that goes into each display.
Exploring the festival will work up an appetite, but plenty of food stalls will satiate the stomach. Many of these stalls are run by local artists who serve fusion dishes and fun twists on classic Japanese festival food.
Various events take place during the festivities, including a clay mask auction, musical performances, and special exhibitions by local children. Kids can also make their own clay models and use a potter’s wheel.
Itako Roadside Station
Located off National Highway 51, this roadside station is a tourist destination in itself. In addition to the farm shop and restaurant, there is a golf course and hot spring foot bath on site!
The farm shop sells a wide range of fresh local produce alongside souvenirs. The restaurant, Ofukuro-tei stays with the farm-to-table theme by using locally grown produce in all of their dishes.
Roadside Station Okukuji Daigo
This roadside station is located alongside National Highway 118. However, the name roadside station may be somewhat misleading. This isn’t just a place to take a break from driving. It also has a farm shop selling local specialty products and souvenirs alongside a selection of dining options and hot spring baths!
The Tokugawa Museum was established in 1977 by the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation to house objects and writings passed down from the Mito Tokugawa Family. The exhibits were donated by Kuniyuki Tokugawa, the 13th Lord of the Mito Domain.
Approximately 30,000 items in the collection are associated with Tokugawa Ieyasu (Japan’s first shogun), his son Yorifusa Tokugawa, and their families.
The museum also carries the manuscript of "The Great History of Japan" (Dai Nihon-shi) and around 30,000 historical documents used to write the book.
The Tokugawa Museum is the only facility in Japan to house such an extensive collection of materials and objects relating to the lives of Japan’s daimyo (feudal lords. It's well worth a visit if you’d like to discover more about this period in Japan’s history.
Photo courtesy of the Tokugawa Museum
Nishiyama-Goten Heritage (Tokugawa Museum Annex)
Mitsukuni Tokugawa (1628-1700), the second Lord of the Mito Domain, spent his retired life at this modest one-story residence. The house features a thatched roof with a circular window in Mitsukuni’s study, offering views of the garden landscapes and pond. In fact, the pond is designed in the shape of the Chinese character for "heart." Mitsukuni supervised the compilation of "The Great History of Japan" (Dai Nihon-shi) during his time here.
*Photo by the Tokugawa Museum Public Interest Incorporated Foundation
*Nishiyama Goten is the property of the Nishiyama-Goten Heritage and Public Interest Incorporated Foundation
Nikkawahama Beach is known for its sprawling white sands.
Nearby, the Nikkawahama Auto Camp Site is where visitors can enjoy camping after a day at the beach. Surfing and fishing are also permitted.
Hitachi Kamine Park
Kamine Park is located on the lower slopes of Mount Kurakake. Around 1000 cherry trees bloom in the park from early April onwards. The park overlooks Hitachi City and the sprawling Pacific coast. If you’re visiting Ibaraki in the summer, Kamine Park is a great place to avoid the sweltering heat in the summertime.
There are three main areas inside the park: a zoo, an amusement park, and a children’s play area. The amusement park has rollercoasters and a Ferris wheel to entertain adults and children. The children’s play area features merry-go-rounds and a mini Ferris wheel suitable for young park-goers.
Hitachi Cherry Blossom Festival & UNESCO Cultural Heritage
Around 14,000 cherry trees fill the city of Hitachi with pink blossoms from early to mid-April. During the cherry blossom festival, the cherry trees on Heiwa Street and Juo Panorama Park are illuminated as night falls. In fact, the festival is ranked among Japan’s 100 most beautiful cherry blossom areas!
On the first weekend in April, a spectacular parade takes place on Heiwa Street. During the festivities, 15-meter high and 8-meter wide festival floats are pulled down the road. Traditional puppet shows also take place on the floats. These puppet shows are said to have been performed since the mid-Edo Period and are recognized on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Hitachi Civic Center
This large civic center houses a library, planetarium, and a cafe. Additionally, it is a great place to drop by when visiting Hitachi for business.
The area is beautiful around Christmas when festive lights adorn the surroundings!
Hasaki Beach is recognized as one of Japan’s 100 most beautiful beaches by the Ministry of the Environment. Its popularity is largely due to its sprawling sandy beach and clear water. There are two separate areas: a water sports area and a swimming area. Beach-goers of all ages can soak up some sun on this gorgeous coastline.
Buyu Sake Brewery
The brewery's namesake "Buyu Sake" is slowly matured over a year inside its traditional warehouse. In addition to sake, Buyu produces a popular amazake, a sweet non-alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. The brewery is also the perfect stop on a stroll through Yuki City's historic district, known for its silk production. Tours are possible if arranged in advance.
Traditional Crafts/Sake Breweries