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Ibaraki

Articles and travel guides on famous and not so famous destinations in Ibaraki Prefecture

Most Popular

  • Mito Travel Guide

    Mito is the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture in central Honshū. Situated on the Nakagawa river, the city developed with the construction of a castle...
  • Ibaraki Prefecture

    Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県 Ibaraki-ken) is located in central Honshū and bounded by Fukushima Prefecture to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east,...
  • Tsuchiura Castle

    Tsuchiura Castle (土浦城 Tsuchiura-jō) is a flatland castle (平城 hirajiro) located in the wetlands along the western shore of Lake Kasumigaura, at the...
  • Seizanso

    The Seizansō (西山荘) is located in Hitachiōta in Ibaraki Prefecture, about twenty kilometres north of the prefectural capital Mito. When the...
  • Oarai Aqua World

    The Oarai Aqua World (アクアワールド・大洗), also known as the Oarai Aquarium and located in the coastal town of Ōarai in northern Ibaraki Prefecture, is...
  • Kairakuen

    The Kairakuen (偕楽園) is a Japanese landscape garden located in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, and considered to be one of the “Three Great Gardens of...
  • Oda Castle

    Oda Castle (小田城) is a Japanese flatland castle located in Ibaraki Prefecture. It faces the scenic Mount Tsukuba in the north. (The map is based on...
  • Oarai Travel Guide

    Oarai (大洗 Ōarai) is a town in eastern Ibaraki Prefecture, located in the Higashiibaraki District not far from Mito, the prefectural capital. A...
  • Kodokan

    The Kōdōkan (弘道館) was established in August 1841 by Tokugawa Nariaki, the ninth damiyō of the Mito Domain and served as the han (domain) school...
  • Koga Castle

    Koga City is situated on the westernmost tip of Ibaraki Prefecture, at the confluence of Tone River in the south and Watarase River in the west....
  1. Koga Castle

    Koga City is situated on the westernmost tip of Ibaraki Prefecture, at the confluence of Tone River in the south and Watarase River in the west. The town prospered as an important traffic point along the Nikko Highway. Koga Castle (古河城 Koga-jō) was built in the late Heian Era on the banks of the Watarase by Shimokobe Yukihira (下河辺 行平), a warrior of the Minamoto clan. In the wake of Minamoto no Yorimasa's (源頼政, 1106–1180) defeat in the Battle of Uji (1180) and his subsequent seppuku the Shimokobe brought Yorimasa's head to Koga where it was interred in a Shinto shrine. In 1455, Ashikaga...
  2. Tsuchiura Castle

    Tsuchiura Castle (土浦城 Tsuchiura-jō) is a flatland castle (平城 hirajiro) located in the wetlands along the western shore of Lake Kasumigaura, at the mouth of the Sakuragawa (桜川), in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is also known as Kijō (亀城, Turtle castle), because in times of severe flooding it looked as if the castle buildings emerged from the water, like a turtle floating on the surface of the sea. (This map is based on Google Earth. The location may not be completely accurate.) According to folk tradition the first castle was built in Tsuchiura in the Heian Period. Around 1430, Wakaizumi Saburō...
  3. Oda Castle

    Oda Castle (小田城) is a Japanese flatland castle located in Ibaraki Prefecture. It faces the scenic Mount Tsukuba in the north. (The map is based on Google Earth. *All locations are based on my speculation, so they may not be correct.) Since the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), members of the distinguished Oda clan had been the successive lords of the castle. During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts in 14th century, the Oda supported the Southern Court. The famous court noble Kitabatake Chikafusa (北畠親房, 1293-1354), a senior advisor to the Southern Court, once stayed at the castle,...
  4. Seizanso

    The Seizansō (西山荘) is located in Hitachiōta in Ibaraki Prefecture, about twenty kilometres north of the prefectural capital Mito. When the legendary second daimyō of Mito, Tokugawa Mitsukuni retired from his active duties as vice-shōgun in the winter of 1690, handing over the administration of the domain to his nephew Tsunaeda, the emperor conferred the title of "provisional vice-councillor of state" (権中納言 gon-chūnagon), also called kōmon, on him. Henceforward, Mitsukuni was known under the respectful sobriquet of "Mito Kōmon" (水戸黄門). In May 1691, Mitsukuni moved into the Seizan-sō, a...
  5. Oarai Aqua World

    The Oarai Aqua World (アクアワールド・大洗), also known as the Oarai Aquarium and located in the coastal town of Ōarai in northern Ibaraki Prefecture, is one of the largest aquariums in Japan. Consisting of nine exhibition zones based on specific themes, it spreads over seven floors, displaying 580 different species of sea and water creatures in over 60 tanks. It is estimated that the tanks contain a total of over 68,000 individuals. The largest tank is home to 20,000 individuals of 80 different species, while the shark tanks hold 52 species of sharks. The largest shark tank has a tunnel that...
  6. Oarai Travel Guide

    Oarai (大洗 Ōarai) is a town in eastern Ibaraki Prefecture, located in the Higashiibaraki District not far from Mito, the prefectural capital. A fishing port and tourist centre on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, it is known for its swimming resorts and coastal scenery. The local population, around 20,000 inhabitants, live of the town’s port (with two daily ferries to Sapporo in Hokkaidō), its fisheries and fish processing industries (clams, sardines, whitebait, sardines, and flounder), and tourism. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency maintains a Research & Development Center (大洗研究開発センター) in...
  7. Ibaraki Prefecture

    Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県 Ibaraki-ken) is located in central Honshū and bounded by Fukushima Prefecture to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and Tochigi and Saitama prefectures to the west. The northern part is occupied by mountains of the Abukuma (阿武隈山地) and Yamizo (八溝山地) mountain ranges, and the larger southern section is an extension of the Kantō Plain. The prefecture contains several large lakes and lagoons. The climate is relatively mild. Map of Ibaraki Pref. History The modern-day prefecture was known as Hitachi Province (常陸国 Hitachi no Kuni) under the ancient provincial...
  8. Mito Travel Guide

    Mito is the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture in central Honshū. Situated on the Nakagawa river, the city developed with the construction of a castle by the Daijō family in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Later, under the rule of the Edo and the Satake families, after the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), it became the castle town of Tokugawa Yorifusa (徳川頼房, 1603-1661), the eleventh son of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康, 1543-1616), the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. The Mito Domain flourished throughout the Edo Period (1600-1868) as the base of one of the collateral (御三家 gosanke) families of the...
  9. Kairakuen

    The Kairakuen (偕楽園) is a Japanese landscape garden located in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, and considered to be one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan” along with Kenroku-en (兼六園) in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and Kōraku-en (後楽園) in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture. History The garden was founded by Tokugawa Nariaki (徳川斉昭, 1800-1860), the ninth daimyō of the Mito Domain in 1841 and opened a year later. From the outset, it was not conceived for the feudal upper class only, but for all people living in the domain. Commoners could access the park on any day of the month including a three or...
  10. Kodokan

    The Kōdōkan (弘道館) was established in August 1841 by Tokugawa Nariaki, the ninth damiyō of the Mito Domain and served as the han (domain) school for feudal warriors and their children. While students usually enrolled at the age of fifteen, there was no formal completion of studies or graduation. Pursuant to Confucian principle of “tension and relaxation”, students received military and literary training at the Kōdōkan, and then relaxed at the Kairaku-en, which was conceived as a place of physical and spiritual repose. The school’s curriculum encompassed both traditional academics and...
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