Ibaraki Japan

Keywords: Ibaraki Japan
Description: Ibaraki guide: read a guide to Ibaraki Prefecture including Ibaraki hotel accommodation, Ibaraki temples, shrines and festivals.

  • 150km north east of Tokyo .
  • diverse mix of agriculture, high-tech R&D, and industry.
  • Mito City: the administrative capital.
  • Tsukuba university: famous for robotics.
  • 60km-long beach: popular hangout for surfers from Tokyo, and includes gay beach.
  • Kairaku-en - one of Japan's top gardens and famous for its plum blossom.

Art Tower Mito (ATM) - a spectacular, super modern cultural complex built in Mito City in 1999. Crowned with a spiraling, 100 meter high titanium tower, it includes an art gallery, a church-like Entrance Hall with a massive pipe organ, an acoustically fine-tuned Concert Hall for classical music performances, the ACM Theater, a Contemporary Art Gallery, a Conference Hall, "Centerpoint" Museum Shop, restaurant "Vert et Blancher (11:30am-3pm - last order 2.30pm; 5-10pm - last order 9pm)", and a coffee lounge.

Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum - a large modern museum opened in 2000, showcasing both traditional crafts and avant-garde creative arts. Set in the beautiful, sprawling Kasama Geijutsu-no-mori ("Art Forest") Park.

Closed Mondays and New Year (If Monday falls on a national holiday, the museum is open that day, but closed on the following day.)

Kasama Nichido Museum of Art - a large art gallery opened in 1972 by the prominent local Hasegawa family. Notable for its Impressionists and Ecole de Paris painters, and for its collection of artist palette paintings.

Closed Mondays and New Year (If Monday falls on a national holiday, the museum is open that day, but closed on the following day.)

Kairaku-en is famous for its over 3,000 ume (plum) trees, which draw large crowds when they blossom in early spring

Kairaku-en dates back to 1842. The 18-acre strolling gardens are Mito city's biggest attraction and are particularly well known for their plum (ume) blossoms, which bloom in late February to early March. The Mito Ume Matsuri (Mito Plum Festival) is held at this time from February 20 to March 31. Expect very large crowds from Tokyo so come early or stay the night and visit twice.

Ride the ropeway to the top of Nantai Peak on Mt Tsukuba, Ibaraki and a view of the Kanto Plain towards Tokyo from Nantai Peak, Mt Tsukuba

Tsukuba city is the second largest city in Ibaraki Prefecture after the prefectural capital of Mito and is known for its wide boulevards, spacious parks, excellent dining and prestigious universities and schools.

Planned in the 1960's as an overspill town for Tokyo. the new city attracted a number of research institutes along with Tsukuba University, Tsukuba Gakuin University and Tsukuba International University.

International Schools for the children of the many foreign researchers in Tsukuba include Tsukuba International School and Liberty International School.

The 1985 Expo confirmed Tsukuba's status as Japan's leading hi-tech research and development center. Now Tsukuba is a planned, modern environment just 40 km north from Tokyo.

From Tokyo. take the Japan Rail (JR) Sobu Line rapid train from Tokyo to Kashima-jingu Station (approx. 2hrs 15mins).

From Narita Airport. JR Narita Line to Sawara Station and change to the Kashima Line for Kashima-jingu Station. From Kashima Jingu Station take Oarai-Kashima Line (operated by Rinkai Tetsudo Railway) to Kashima Soccer Stadium Station, then a 5-minute walk.

Surfing beaches. From Kita-Ibaraki all the way down the coast - about 130km - to Choshi, the west-facing coast of Ibaraki is a surfer's paradise, easily accessible from Tokyo.

The coast offers variety, with waves all year round at the northern end, and reef breaks in certain places. Best overall is Oarai with its strong breaks. Kyochigama is recommended for its long, shallow beach breaks. The beach near the Hirai district of Kashima City is recommended for beginners. The stretch of beach just a little north of Kashima Soccer Stadium is recommended for those with a certain degree of experience.

Ushiku Daibutsu. the world's largest Buddhist statue at 120m tall is only 30 minutes from Tsukuba and well worth a visit, not only for the impressive bronze statue but also the beautiful flower gardens.

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