Sprawling along the Pacific coastline north-east of Tokyo, Ibaraki is one of Japan’s 47 prefectures. It’s home to traditional gardens, rural villages and the country’s top robotics university, as well as one of the world’s tallest Buddha statues.
Things to do in Ibaraki Prefecture
From its bustling modern cities to rugged mountain trails, Ibaraki is a prefecture not to miss.
Sightsee in Mito. Serving as the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture, Mito is traversed by the Sakuragawa River, which famously ignites with cherry blossoms in the spring. Marvel at the ruins of the 12th-century Mito Castle and explore the beautifully preserved school of Kōdōkan, then relax beneath the Kairakuen Garden’s plum trees.
Admire the floral displays of Hitachi Seaside Park. This 350-hectare park is renowned for its seasonal floral displays, with a highlight being the blue nemophila that blankets its rolling hills in spring. Learn about Japan’s coastal species at Dune Park and stroll through the Hitachinaka Nature Forest or enjoy the family-friendly rides in the small amusement park.
Climb to the summit of Mount Tsukuba. Rising 877 metres above the city of Tsukuba, this iconic mountain is renowned for its double peaks, Nyotai-san and Nantai-san, as well as a Shinto shrine that’s revered by local devotees. It can be accessed along a series of hiking trails or by cable car, offering sweeping views towards the Tokyo skyline and Mount Fuji on a clear day.
Visit the Ushiku Buddha. Once the tallest statue in the world, the Ushiku Buddha was completed in 1993 to commemorate the birth of Shinran. It’s constructed from bronze and rises to a height of 120 metres. An elevator ascends to its 85-metre-high viewing platform, from where there are bird’s eye views across the landscaped gardens below.
Getting around Ibaraki Prefecture
Ibaraki Airport is a 40-minute drive from the centre of Mito and has flights to destinations across Asia. Regular trains connect from Tokyo to the Mito railway station and continue north to Tohoku. Buses are the main means of getting around Ibaraki Prefecture and connect most of its attractions.