Winter Ice Falls – Okukuji Fukuroda “Journey of the Falls”

Fukuroda Falls, the waterfall that changes form with each season. During harsh winters, the falls in its entirety freezes solid and ice climbers can be seen, ice ax in hand, scaling the wall of ice. During Okukuji Fukuroda “Journey of the Falls”, the frozen falls are lit up with LED lights and visitors are taken to an elegant and mystical world.


Location: Fukuroda Falls and surrounding areas

Dates: Weekends and holidays through February 11th, 2013 (Monday)
Time: Sunset until 7:00 PM

Price: Adults 300 yen, Children 150 yen

※     Due to weather conditions, the falls may not always be frozen.



■“Winter is the time for hot springs!” Campaign

Discount tickets for local hot springs will be handed out.

Dates: December 1st, 2012(Saturday)- February 28th, 2013 (Thursday)


■     Free Okukuji Shamo (Game Fowl) Soup

Dates: January 12th (Saturday) and 26th (Saturday)

Time: From 4:00 PM (To the first 500 visitors each day)

Location: Near Takimi Bridge


■     Ice Sculpture Exhibits

Ice sculptures will be on display throughout the season to complement the falls.


■     28th Annual Ice Falls National Haiku Contest

Date: January 27th, 2013 (Sunday)
Location: Daigo Town, Bunka-Fukushi Hall “Main”


Radiation Updates

This week we have:

Air            Shipping Restrictions                Drinking Water              Soy Beans

Fruits & Veggies              Seafood                 Milk                  Poultry & Eggs


Ibarakese 13

Unfortunately it went from the pleasant chill of fall to the sharp sting of winter rather quickly this year. Hope you’re keeping warm! This week we have ひ (hi).

ひだりっこぎ (hidarikkogi): left-handed (hidarikiki)

ひっきるげっちょ、ひっくりけっちょ、ひっけちょ、うらげっちょ (hikkirugeccho, hikkurikeccho, hikkecho, urageccho): reversed, the state of being upside down or inside out (uragaeshi, sakasama)

ひとっきり (hitokkiri): a little while, for the time being (shibaraku, hitotoki); ex: ひとっきりやすむべ (hitokkiri yasumube) -> ちょっとやすもうよ (chotto yasumou yo, let’s rest for a bit)

ひとっづも (hitozzumo): (not) even a little, (not) at all (sukoshi mo, zenzen); ex: おどっつぁまのびょうきはひとっづもよぐなんねな (odottsama no byouki hitozzumo yogu nanne na) -> おとうさんのびょうきすこしもよくならないね (otousan no byouki sukoshimo yoku naranai ne, father’s illness isn’t getting even a little bit better)

ひぼ、ひぼっこ (hibo, hibokko): string (himo)

ひゃっくり (hyakkuri): a sneeze (shakkuri)

ひゃっこい (hyakkoi): chilly, cold (tsumetai); ex: あーひゃっけー (a- hyakke-) -> あーつめたい (a- tsumetai, oh that’s cold!)

びお (bio): thumbtack (gabyou)

ぴこぴこ (pikopiko): Nintendo or other video game systems (PS3, etc); not Ibarakese but often used by older people;)

ぴたつかる (pitatsukaru): trip, fall over (korobu)

ぴっくらう (pikkurau): eat (taberu)

Art Tower Mito Starlight Fantasy

Dates: December 1st (Saturday) – January 13th (Sunday)

Illumination Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: Art Tower Mito, Mito Station North Exit Square


Art Tower Mito Starlight Fantasy is a local residents’ handmade fantasy that begins with the hope “to give children a dream once a year”.


Art Tower Mito, the surrounding buildings and trees, as well as Mito Station North Exit’s clock tower and surroundings trees will be decorated with a countless amount of illumination lights. There will also be various fun events throughout the Fantasy!



■     Light Up Gathering

Date: December 1st (Saturday) 4:50pm –

Location: Art Tower Mito

The illumination displays with be lit with a huge gathering of over 100 Santas!!


■     Christmas Concert

Date: December 2nd (Sunday)
Location: Art Tower Mito Concert Hall

Enjoy an energetic performance and chorus put on by elementary school students.


■     Countdown & Happy New Year

Dates: December 31st (Monday) – January 1st (Tuesday) 10:00pm –

Location: Art Tower Mito

Welcome the New Year with everyone while enjoying music and live performances!


■     Starlight Children’s Drawing Exhibit

Dates: February 19th (Tuesday) – March 1st (Friday)

Location: Art Tower Mito Entrance Hall

For more info about Mito, please see our homepage!

Hitachi Starlight Illumination 2012

Date: November 23rd (Friday) – December 25th (Tuesday)

Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm (10:00pm Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)

Location: Hitachi Civic Center / Around JR Hitachi Station


Come enjoy a beautifully lit 16 meter tall Christmas tree surrounded 360 degrees by an illumination of over 100,000 lights. The illumination will be accompanied by various events, such as a lighting ceremony on November 23rd (5:00pm to 6:00pm), a daily “Search for Santa”, a “Bubble Voyage” of a million soap bubbles (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays only), and many other events! Come out and enjoy the winter wonderland fun!

Star Dust Cruising at Mt. Tsukuba!

“A night view from the peak of Mt. Tsukuba that will take your breath away!”

“Star Dust Cruising”, a way to appreciate the night view and starry sky from the top of Mt. Tsukuba, began running in October for a limited time on Mt. Tsukuba Ropeway.

Below, you can see Tokyo Skytree and the flashing lights of downtown Tokyo. Above, a sea of stars spread out across the night sky. This fantastic view can’t be enjoyed anywhere else!


Dates: November (Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)
December-February 2013 (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)

※     Cancelled during times of rugged weather, including strong winds or fog

Location: Mt. Tsukuba Ropeway 【Tsutsujigaoka Station – Nyotaisan Station】

Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm (20 minute intervals)

Price: Adults 1,000 yen roundtrip, Elementary age children and younger free!

For more info about Mt.Tsukuba, please see our homepage!

Steam Locomotive Returns to Suigun Line!

Dates: November 30th – December 2nd

Operation Area: Hitachi-Daigo Station ←→ Mito Station ※One trip per day


After nearly 14 years, a steam locomotive will run on the Suigun Line. The Suigun Line (recently nicknamed “Okukuji Seiryu Line”) attracts popularity as the local line that connects Mito Station in Ibaraki with Asakanagamori Station in Fukushima, as well as branching off at Kamisugaya Station to continue on to Hitachi-Ota Station.

With the steam locomotive running along the Suigun Line (between Mito Station and Hitachi-Daigo Station), there will be tons of fun things, beautiful things, and delicious things to enjoy! The nostalgia of the Okukuji Area is waiting for you!

■     Train Schedule■

<Outbound Train> Diesel Locomotive Okukuji Seiryu Line Train

Hitachi-Daigo Station 9:00am Departure → Mito Station 10:33am Arrival


<Inbound Train> Steam Locomotive Okukuji Seiryu Line Train

Mito Station 12:00pm Departure → Hitachi-Daigo Station 2:17pm Arrival

For more information, please visit: (Japanese only)

For more info about Ibaraki or Okukuji, please see our homepage!