Ushiku Umeemon Ichiba

When: May 31 11am – 8:30pm, June 1 10am – 5:30pm
Where: A temporary site at the Ushiku Daibutsu

Come celebrate the delicious cuisine of Ushiku and the cities that surround it at the Ushiku Umeemon Ichiba (Ushiku Delicious Market)! You can enjoy a number of stage events like juggling and taiko performances throughout the day while you chow down on such delicacies as miso cookies and ice cream, ramen made from Ushiku veggies, Tsuchiura curry with lotus root, pancakes and parfaits from Tsukuba, and much, much more! There will also be a fireworks show from 8pm on Saturday. Don’t miss out!

Check out the full list of stalls and events on the website.

Candle Night in Mito

When: May 31, 2pm – 8pm

Where: Art Tower Mito

Take this opportunity to think about energy and the environment by turning out the lights and enjoying a relaxed evening in Mito. This event welcomes the coming of summer with gentle flickering candlelight. Admission is free, and there is a candle making workshop at 2pm. The candles will be lit at 6pm. If it rains, the event will be moved from the Art Tower Square to the covered walkways around it. Limited parking is available on site and in the surrounding area for a cost, but it is recommended that you come by public transport.

63rd Annual Itako Ayame (Iris) Festival

When: May 24 – June 29
Where: Ayame Park and various other locations around Itako
Official Website (Japanese)

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This festival’s history goes back to 1952, when it was conducted by iris-lovers placing the cut flowers in beer bottles as decorations. From late May till the end of June, you can enjoy the beauty of around one million purple, yellow, and white iris plants of 500 different varieties blooming around Itako.

During the festival there will be a number of events, including ayame-odori (iris dancing) and yome-iri fune (bridal boats). Boats will also be operating between 9am and 5pm every day (and additionally from 6-7:30pm on Saturdays). For 1000 yen (500 yen for elementary school children and infants) you can travel back to a time when boats were an essential form of transport for the citizens of Itako.

Yome-iri Fune

Up until the land reclamation operations conducted as part of local development in the first half of 1955, the Itako area was built upon a system of canals. For that reason, when a new bride and/or her goods were to be transported to her new home (the husband’s family home) it was done using a Sappa boat.

The yome-iri fune during the Ayame Festival will be operating along the Maekawa River within Ayame Park every Wednesday (11am), Saturday (11am, 2pm and 7:30pm), and Sunday (11am and 2pm) throughout the festival. After arriving at the ‘Itako Bride’ memorial, the bride will walk along the pathway to the boat with her matchmaker and the boatman, then the boat will set off. Often the groom will be waiting at the dock of the destination. On the 15th and 22nd of June at 7:30pm you can see the special Milky Way Yome-iri Fune.

3rd Annual Ibaraki Sweet Fair 2014

When: May 23 -25, 10:30am – 4pm
Where: Ibaraki Prefectural Office 2nd Floor, Mito

Come celebrate the delicious Japanese and Western style confections made in Ibaraki Prefecture

Events

Display and Sale of Confections (23rd – 25th) Ibaraki Prefectural Office Citizens’ Hall
Around 30 stalls will be in operation each day selling Japanese and Western confections, particularly those made using local ingredients.

Sale of Food Made Using Local Ingredients from Ibaraki (24th – 25th) Hibari Cafeteria
Chefs specialising in Japanese, Western, and Chinese cuisine will be selling food prepared with local ingredients from Ibaraki.

Sale of Farm Produce, Fish, and Specialty Processed Goods from Ibaraki (23rd – 25th) Prefectural Government PR Corner
1st Annual Confection Contest among Participating Stalls
The aim of this competition is to raise awareness for the sweets made by Ibaraki’s skilled confectionaries. A special page has been set up so that people can vote for their favourites. This year’s theme is ‘melon’!

Kasama Pottery and Confection Joint Event (24th – 25th) Hibari Cafeteria
A limited number of roll cakes served on Kasama Pottery dishes will be available for 500 yen.

Ibaraki Sake Tour Jelly
Breweries around Ibaraki will work with confectionaries to make jelly that compliments the unique flavour and style of each brewery’s sake. The jelly will be on sale as a confection for adults.

Sale and Display of Kureyon Shop Confections
The Kureyon Shop is support facility for people with disabilities created from the concept of people enjoying life together regardless of whether they have a disability or not. They will be displaying and selling sweets at their stall throughout the fair.

Hitachi International Street Performance Festival

When: May 10 12-8pm, May 11 12-5pm
Where:
Hitachi Locations
Hitachi Ginza Mall
Mae no Uchi Jido Koen
Hitachi Civic Center Shin Toshi Kaijo
Hitachi Station Square
Taga Locations
Yokappe Street
Suzuran Street
Anzu Namiki Street
Taga Ekimae Street
Taga Shimin Plaza Square
Taga Station Square
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Street performers from all around the world gather to perform at the Hitachi International Street Performance Festival. During the two days of this festival Hitachi will be transformed into a world of magic, mystery, and wonder by the thrilling performances of these highly skilled individuals. The Party in the Moonlight event on Saturday evening from 6 – 8pm at the Hitachi Civic Centre Shin Toshi Kaijo is particularly spectacular. Check out the flyer here.

2014 Satomi Haru no Mikaku Festival

When: May 3 – 4, 9am – 4pm

Where: Satomi Fureai Hall Event Square, 3417-1 Dainaka-cho, Hitachiota

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Come enjoy the flavour of spring (haru no mikaku) at the Satomi Haru no Mikaku Festival!

Events

Both days:

50th Annual Exhibition and Sale of Local Specialty Products

Flea Market

Handmade Soba Noodles (see them being made then enjoy them fresh!)

Satomi Milk Corner

Shooting Gallery

Saturday only:

Soup One Cup Stall

Stage Events (1-2pm)

2:15 – Dance Performance by the Preservation Society

2:30 – Okame Hyottoko Dance Contest

3:00 – Okame Hyottoko Mochi Throwing

Sunday only:

10am – 2:30pm – Ballad and Performance Show

2:30 – Dance Performance by the Preservation Society

3:00 – Okame Hyottoko Mochi Throwing