Difference between revisions of "Ibaraki"
Revision as of 04:04, 4 February 2013
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 (85 km and 1.5 hours away), service is presently limited to flights from Kobe, Sapporo,Naha-Okinawa, Seoul (South Korea) and Shanghai (China).
Perhaps the easiest (and often cheaper) 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.
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.
Ibaraki, being a coastal area, is a high-volume destination for sunbathers and surfers from all over Japan, mainly the Greater Tokyo area. Its beaches are fairly clean, and have surfable waves nearly all year round. Most towns set up an official beach patrol/lifeguard station for the summer holiday season of late July/early August. Hirai and Oritsu Beaches and Kashima Kaihin Park in Kashima, Ootake Beach in Hokota and Oarai Sun Beach in Oarai are all very popular summer destinations.
Ibaraki is a major producer of natto (fermented beans). It is healthy and the locals eat it often for breakfast on rice. Many foreigners (and Japanese) find it too stinky to eat, though some quite like it. Asking your opinion of natto is a common topic of small talk with strangers — don't be afraid of offending someone if you don't like it, as it will likely earn a laugh either way.
Most towns have their share of chain and family owned Izakaya, Naka City is famous for its microbrewed Nest Beer[].