Deli Discovery

Seemingly dropped from the sky into a slightly rural part of Mito near the government offices, Thomas Cafe offers New York-style deli eats in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. If you’ve been craving an authentic bagel or wrap, or just want to try some pumpkin cheesecake, this is the place to be.

The actual building itself is loosely divided in two, with one half being the Thomas Café and the other being the Green Banana Thai restaurant, but they share the same entrance and salad bar. On Thomas’ side there is an airy, sunroom-type layout with couches that positively envelop you and pleasant jazz music for accompaniment. Not to mention, if you are killing some time they have Japanese copies of Where’s Waldo on hand to entertain people of all ages.


The menu offers things either as a la carte, such as the huge bagel sandwiches or mouthwatering wraps, or in a combination meal with the deli offerings. Right in front of the entrance is the ubiquitous deli case, well-stocked with various small dishes of an innovative type: mushroom gratin with salmon, eggplant parmesan with tuna, ratatouille, etc. With the combo deal you can choose one main item, bagel or wrap, and two or three deli dishes to complement it, plus you get free access to the salad, soup, and drink bar and a choice of desserts. The desserts are as varied as the deli offerings, ranging from fruit-and-yogurt concoctions to unusual flavors of cheesecake, with stop-overs including jellies and puddings of all kinds, as well as sherbets and ice creams. This is a temptation that can be hard to resist.


However, if you’re not in the mood for a full-course meal, they do have an abundant selection of salads and drinks, including smoothies made with real fruit (you can even choose to combine two or three different items to make your own smoothie) and some nice teas.

This is one of those places that you end up coming back to over and over again due to the consistently high quality food and generally soothing surroundings, and definitely somewhere you should check out if you happen to be in the neighborhood.


Upcoming Events

12th Annual “We Love Ibaraki” Fureai Matsuri

Date: Saturday, April 6th, 2013 10:00am – 4:30pm

*Changed to April 7th if rain

Location: San-no-maru Government Building, Special Venue (Mito City)


Unable to be held due to the March 11th earthquake of 2011, this annual festival is finally making a return to Mito after 3 years! Come enjoy the beautiful San-no-maru Government Building, rehabilitated to its pre-earthquake glory, as well as local food specialties, a bazaar, experience corner, fureai corner, and more, all surrounded by beautiful spring cherry blossoms!



  • Fureai Walking (now accepting pre-event applications!)

A guided walk around San-no-maru that includes some of Mito’s historical sites and local shopping areas that can’t be missed!


  • Fureai Stamp Rally

Collect all the stamps around the festival area and you could receive a great prize!


  • Exciting Experience Events

Learn how to make things out of milk cartons, play old-fashioned games, and more!


Stage Events

Opening Ceremony

San-no-maru Elementary School Brass Band

Mito Kogyo High School Jazz Band, “BLUE BEGINNERS”

Oarai High School Marching Band, “BLUE-HAWKS”

And Many Other Various Local Idols!!


Upcoming Events

Yukiiriyama Mountain Cherry Blossom Walk

Date: Saturday, April 20th, 2013 9:00am to 4:00pm

Locations: Yukiiri Fureainosato Naturing Park (452-1 Yukiiri, Kasumigaura City)

Central Youth Center of Ibaraki Prefecture (987 Nagai, Tsuchiura City)

Admission Fee: Free on day of event

Registration begins on Saturday, March 30th, 2013

In an area centered on Yukiiriyama Mountain, it is said that there are thousands of cherry trees, especially in areas famous for mountain cherry blossoms such as Narisawa District (which was selected as one of the “Top 100 Nature Spots in Ibaraki”). After the someiyoshino cherry blossoms of the lowlands finish blooming, the mountain cherry trees’ blossoms, which have a different blooming time and come in various colors and varieties, color the spring mountainside. As usual, the Yukiiri Fureainosato Naturing Park Nature Center will be providing seasonal mountain cherry blossom information as needed. Also, on April 20th, we are planning an event through which people can enjoy hiking while photographing and selecting “way-mark cherry blossoms”, which is titled “Yukiiri Mountain Cherry Blossom Walk”. So why not be carried away by the bright and clear spring weather, and enjoy the mountain cherry blossoms which are full of individuality.


For registration or inquires:

Yukiiri Fureainosato Naturing Park: 0299-59-7000

Central Youth Center of Ibaraki Prefecture: 029-862-3500

kasumigaura sakura

Upcoming Events

Koga Peach Festival

Enjoy each type of peach blossom!

Location: Koga Sogo Park

Dates: Wednesday, March 20th – Sunday, April 7th

With a total of 5 different types of peach trees (yaguchi, genpei, kikumomo, juseito, and kanpaku) boastfully blooming flowers, you will certainly believe you have found a wonderful utopia. Although yaguchi peach trees make up of a large portion of the park, each type can be thoroughly enjoyed in different parts of the park (genpei in the northwest, kikumomo and kanpaku in the north, and juseito in the east).

Types of peach trees and their characteristics:

Yaguchi: Pink colored flowers, bloom mid March to early April

Genpei: Rouge, white, or pink flowers (depending on variety), bloom early to mid April

Kikumomo: Red and pink flowers that cluster

Kanpaku: White flowers

koga peachFor more info about Koga, please see our website^^

Upcoming Events

The World of Moss: Fascinating Micro Forest

“Moss”, something so very close to us but so small that it often falls through the cracks and is overlooked. However, in Japan alone, there are over 1,700 types of moss, and their appearances, when magnified by magnifying glass or microscope, are as beautiful as they are varied. Also, for small creatures such as water bears, moss has become an important place to live. We would like to invite everyone to moss’s micro world while introducing the relation between moss gardens and people.

Location: Ibaraki Nature Museum (Bando City)

Dates: Saturday, March 16th – Sunday, June 16th, 2013

(Closed every Monday, except for 4/29 and 5/6, but will be closed on 5/7 instead)

Time: 9:30am – 5:00pm (Last entry at 4:30pm)

*Begins at 1:00pm on March 16th


Admission: General 720 yen, High School/ University Student 440 yen, Elementary/ Junior High Student 140 yen

(Free for children younger than Elementary School and those older than 70 years old)

(Every Saturday is free admission for Elementary/ Junior High Students, except for during spring break)


Memorial Symposium “Fascinating Moss”

Friday, May 3rd, 1:30pm – 4:00pm

Number of participants: 280 (beforehand reservation/ first come, first serve)

Location: Museum Video Hall


Sunday Science

(Experiment Classroom held every Sunday)

“Let’s make a moss terrarium!”

Sunday, March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st

“Let’s observe water bears in a forest of moss!”

Sunday, April 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th 10:30am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 3:30pm

(Registration begins 1 hour before the class)

Number of participants: about 30 for each class (same day reservation/ first come, first serve)

Location: Museum Study Room


Nature Observation Tour – Water Bear Tour!

Saturday, March 16th (afternoon only), April 13th, 27th, May 11th, 25th, June 8th

From 11:00am and 1:10pm (about 1 hour) (same day reservation/ first come, first serve)

Location: Museum Planning and Display Room


Japanese Instrument Concert – “Melody of Moss and Music”

Wednesday, March 20th from 11:00am and 1:00pm

Number of participants: about 30 (same day reservation/ first come, first serve)

Location: Inside Museum


Nature Lecture – “Can’t Insult the Power of Moss”

Monday, April 29th 1:30pm – 3:00pm

Number of participants: 30 (beforehand reservation/ chosen by drawing)

Location: Museum Course Room


Let’s Observe the Moss from Mt. Tsukuba!

Sunday, June 9th 10:00am – 3:00pm

Number of participants: 30 (beforehand reservation/ chosen by drawing)

Location: Mt. Tsukuba (Meet on site)


*For more information about events or how to make reservations, please visit the museum’s homepage at: http://www.nat.pref.ibaraki.jp/index.html. (Japanese only)