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IBARAKI Prefecture

Area: 6,095 km2
Population: 2,931 million
Region: Kanto
Capital: Mito

photo by hirohiroslope


Ibaraki Prefecture is located in the northeastern part of the Kantō region, stretching between Tochigi Prefecture and the Pacific Ocean and bounded on the north and south by Fukushima Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture. It also has a border on the southwest with Saitama Prefecture. The northernmost part of the prefecture is mountainous, but most of the prefecture is plain with many lakes.
The capital city is Mito.

MITO CITY
As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 263,748 and a total area is 217.45 km². Mito’s nattō is the city's culinary specialty and is well-known across Japan.
Mito is the site of the Japanese garden Kairaku-en, located near Lake Senba and ranked as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
Being a coastal area, Ibarakai is a high-volume destination for tourists from all over Japan, mainly the Greater Tokyo area. Its beaches are fairly clean, and have surfable waves nearly all year round.

Kairakuen Park, a Japanese garden located in Mito city is one of Ibaraki’s main attractions.
Other attractions include Mito Castle, one of the famous Tokugawa Castles, Mount Tsukuba, one of the most famous mountains in Japan particularly well known for its double peaks, Nyotai-san 877 m (2,877 ft) and Nantai-san 871 m (2,858 ft), Kashima Shrine and Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History, one of Japan’s many museums that are supported by a prefecture.

One of the largest music festivals in Japan called Rock in Japan Festival is held every August in Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki prefecture. Counting six stages, more than 100 musicians participate in the festival each year.
GETTING THERE
By airplane
Opened in 2010, Ibaraki Airport is in the city of Omitama, near the center of the prefecture and 40 minutes away from Mito by bus. Planned as a low-cost alternative to the major airports of Tokyo, service is presently limited to flights from Kobe, Sapporo,Naha-Okinawa, Seoul (South Korea) and Shanghai (China).

By train
There are no Shinkansen stations in Ibaraki, but the Joban Line passes through Mito on its way to northern Tohoku. There is an express train called the "Fresh Hitachi" which links Ueno and the capital Mito in approx. 1 hour. The local Joban line takes just over 2 hours. The Tsukuba Express Line connects Tsukuba to Akihabara in downtown Tokyo in about 45 minutes.

By bus
Perhaps the easiest way to get to the sights of Ibaraki is via the JR Kanto Highway bus. A number of buses leave from both Tokyo and Shinjuku Stations to many destinations in Ibaraki, some as often as 4 times per hour.
CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
Ibaraki has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but the winter months are somewhat drier. During summer the average high temperatures are 29.6°C and -3°C in the winter.
WHAT TO WEAR
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket should keep you warm.
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