Oarai Hassaku Festival

When: August 23 (evening), August 24 (all day)
Where: Oarai Isosaki Shrine, various locations around Oarai

20140823 Oarai Hassaku Festival

The Oarai Hassaku Festival is based on a Shinto ritual that celebrates an ancient myth in which the Kashima god Takemikazuchi no Mikoto and the Katori god Futsunushi no Mikoto travelled north and pressed Omunachi no Mikoto, the god enshrined in Oarai Isosaki Shrine, to relinquish his land. During the ritual, people traditionally prayed for peace and a good harvest. Originally celebrated on August 1 of Japan’s old lunar calendar from Kashima Jingu Shrine all the way up to Oarai, it is currently celebrated by the priests and parishioners of Kashima Shrine and Shinmeirai Shrine in Ibaraki-machi.

Oarai Hassaku Festival has been celebrated since the 1700s, ceasing briefly from 1965 before being revived in 1998. The Shinto ritual is observed in Isosaki Shrine on August 25, with the festival being held on the closest weekend. A festival filled with the atmosphere of the final days of summer, it draws large crowds for within and outside Oarai and has a number of events and attractions, including food stands, floats, portable shrines, a dance parade with Iso folk dancing and samba, an exhibition of works by local artists, and much more.

Ibaraki Botanical Garden Presents Night Garden

When: August 23-24 until 9pm
Where: Ibaraki Botanical Garden4589 To, Naka

20140823 Night Garden

Ibaraki Botanical Garden will be hosting a Night Garden event on the 23rd and 24th of August. The NPO Yume Akari will be providing 3200 candles, casting an otherworldly atmosphere over the gardens. Come along to experience the gardens as you’ve never seen them before!

Events
23/24, 6pm onward – Festival Stalls
23/24, 7-8:30pm – Tropical Plant Exhibit Night Tour (sign up at the Tropical Plant Exhibit)
23/24, 6pm onward – Candle Lighting (you can participate too!)
23, 7pm onward – Nature Game (sign up near the ticket booth)
23/24 – Forest Concert
23, 4-4:30pm, 5:30-6pm – Tree Climbing Experience (500 yen, booking essential)

A Guide to Ibaraki’s Beaches 2014

Within Ibaraki Prefecture there are 18 beaches for swimming, among which are 5 of the 7 beaches in the Kanto area chosen by the Ministry of the Environment as ‘Japan’s 100 Best Beaches’. Ibaraki’s swimming beaches are famous for their clear, clean water. Come and beat the heat at one of Ibaraki’s beaches!

Isohara Futatsushima Beach (Kita-Ibaraki)

Enjoy the sight of Isohara’s local symbol, the ‘Twin Islands’ (Futatsushima) from the white sands of Isohara Beach. This beach is known for its white sands and aquamarine water.

Period: July 26th to August 17th

Access: Car – 10min from the Kita-Ibaraki IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 5min taxi ride or 15 min walk from Isohara Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Free (50 spots)

Inquiries: Kita-Ibaraki Commerce and Tourism Division   0293-43-1111

Takahagi Beach (Takahagi)

Only a 10 minute walk from Takahagi Station, this beach is perfectly located. The contrast between the clear, wide ocean and the white sandy beach is breathtaking.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 10 min from the Takahagi IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min walk from Takahagi Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (200 spaces, 1000 yen for regular, 2000 yen for mid-size, 3000 yen for larger vehicles)

Inquiries: Takahagi Tourism Association  0293-23-7316

Ishihama Beach (Hitachi)

This is a beautiful beach dotted with pine trees, selected as both one of the 100 best beaches in Japan and one of the 100 most beautiful white sand and pine tree beaches in Japan.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 8 min from the Hitachi Kita IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min by bus from Juo Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (370 spaces at 1000 yen each, 2000 yen for large buses)

Inquiries: Hitachi Tourism and Local Products Association  0294-51-3972

Kawajiri Beach (Hitachi)

This beach is right next to Kawajiri Port and its best features are the calm waves and wide, shallow sands. This is a place where even families with small children can enjoy swimming and playing on the shore.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 5 min from the Hitachi Kita IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 5 min by taxi from Juo Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (40 places at 1000 yen each)

Inquiries: Hitachi Tourism and Local Products Association  0294-51-3972

Ouse Beach (Hitachi)

The closest beach to Hitachi Station. The tides form natural pools in the rocky shores that are extremely popular with children.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 15 min from the Hitachi Chuo IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min walk from the Beach Exit of Hitachi Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (180 spaces at 1000 yen each)

Inquiries: Hitachi Tourism and Local Products Association  0294-51-3972

Kawarago Beach (Hitachi)

This popular beach has been chosen as one of the 100 best beaches in Japan. This beach’s attractions include the wide, shallow shore, the clear, clean water, and large stretches of sand.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 25 min from the Hitachi Minami Ota IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 15 min by taxi from Hitachi-Taga Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (460 spaces at 1000 yen each, large buses 2000 yen)

Inquiries: Hitachi Tourism and Local Products Association  0294-51-3972

Mizuki Beach (Hitachi)

This tiny beach is a hidden gem sandwiched between Kawarago Beach and Kujihama Beach. Chosen as one of the 100 best beaches in Japan, it features very calm waves.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 20 min from the Hitachi Minami Ota IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 5 min by taxi from Omika Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (100 spaces at 1000 yen each)

Inquiries: Hitachi Tourism and Local Products Association  0294-51-3972

Kujihama Beach (Hitachi)

Close to both Kuji Fishing Port and Hitachi Port, this beach features a white lighthouse and a deep azure sea as well as exquisitely beautiful white beaches and green pine trees.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 20 min from the Hitachi Minami Ota IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min by taxi from Omika Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (350 spaces at 1000 yen each, 2000 yen for large buses)

Inquiries: Hitachi Tourism and Local Products Association  0294-51-3972

Ajigaura Beach (Hitachinaka)

A beautiful beach spanning 1.5km curving in a pine-tree dotted arc. Popular with couples and families with young children.

Period: July 19th to August 24th

Access: Car – 5 min from the Hitachi Kaihin Park IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway after the

Tomobe JCT on the Joban Expressway

Train – 5 min walk from Ajigaura Station on the Hitachinaka Kaihin Railway Minato Line, after riding from Katsuta Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Tourism Association Parking (200 spaces at 1000 yen each)

Inquiries: Hitachinaka Tourism Association  029-273-0116

Hiraiso Beach (Hitachinaka)

This is a beach with calm waves, surrounded by dykes and breakers, making it perfect for families with children. The ‘Daichan the Whale’ floating slide is extremely popular with children.

Period: July 19th to August 24th

Access: Car – 10 min from the Hitachi Kaihin Park IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway after the

Tomobe JCT on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min walk from Hiraiso Station on the Hitachinaka Kaihin Railway Minato Line, after riding from Katsuta Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (100 spaces at 800 yen each, summer only)

Inquiries: Hitachinaka Tourism Association  029-273-0116

Uba-no-futokoro Marine Pool (Hitachinaka)

A pool in the ocean making use of the high tide. A very popular leisure spot for families with children.

Period: July 19th to August 29th

Access: Car – 10 min from the Hitachinaka IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway after the Tomobe IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min walk from Tonoyama Station on the Hitachinaka Kaihin Railway Line, after riding from Katsuta Station on the JR Joban Line

Parking: Paid (100 spaces at 800 yen each)

Inquiries: Hitachinaka Tourism Association  029-273-0116

Oarai Beach (Oarai)

A beach featuring beautiful natural scenery backgrounded by forests. The beach itself is composed of natural pools formed between the rocks, and is popular with children because of the crabs and starfish that can be found there.

Period: July 19th to August 24th

Access: Car – 15 min from the Mito-Oarai IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway after the Tomobe IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 15 min by bus from Oarai Station on the Kashima Coastal Railway Oarai Kashima Line

Parking: Paid (1000 spaces; large vehicles 2460 yen, midsize 1020 yen, regular 800 yen, motorcycles 330 yen)

Inquiries: Oarai Tourism Association  029-266-0788

Oarai Sun Beach (Oarai)

This beach is proud to be the biggest in size in the Joban area. This beach is also known for being barrier-free, offering free rentals of wheelchairs that can enter the water and taking other considerations to make it possible for those with disabilities to enjoy the beach.

Period: July 19th to August 24th

Access: Car – 15 min from the Mito-Oarai IC on the Kita-Kanto Expressway after the Tomobe IC on the Joban Expressway

Train – 10 min by bus from Oarai Station on the Kashima Coastal Railway Oarai Kashima Line

Parking: Paid (7500 spaces; large vehicles 3000 yen, midsize 1300 yen, regular 1000 yen, motorcycles 400 yen)

Inquiries: Oarai Tourism Association  029-266-0788

Otake Coast Hokota Beach (Hokota)

The Otake Coast is also known as Ibaraki’s Gold Coast, featuring long, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters.

Period: July 19th to August 17th

Access: Car – 30 min from the Ibaraki Airport Kita IC on the Higashi Kanto Expressway

Train – 10 min by taxi from Shin Hokota Station on the Kashima Coastal Railway Oarai Kashima Line

Parking: Paid (1500 spaces, regular 1000 yen)

Inquiries: Hokota City Hall, Commerce and Tourism Division  0291-33-2111

Shimotsu Beach (Kashima)

This beach features beautifully clear waters and a pretty sandy shore, making it easy for swimming.

Period: July 18th to August 17th

Access: Car – 20min from the Itako IC on the Higashi Kanto Expressway

Train – 10min by taxi from Kashima Jingu Station on the Kashima Coastal Railway Oarai Kashima Line

Parking: Paid (300 spaces; regular 800 yen, midsize 1000 yen, large 2000 yen)

Inquiries: Kashima Tourism Association  0299-82-7730

Hirai Beach (Kashima)

A hidden gem located to the south of Shimotsu Beach. Its attractions include a wide beach and calm waves that make it perfect for swimming.

Period: July 18th to August 17th

Access: Car – 20 min from the Itako IC on the Higashi Kanto Expressway

Train – 10 min by taxi from Kashima Jingu Station on the Kashima Coastal Railway Oarai Kashima Line

Parking: Paid (750 spaces; regular 800 yen, midsize 1000 yen, large 2000 yen)

Inquiries: Kashima Tourism Association  0299-82-7730

Hikawahama Beach (Kamisu)

A beach popular for its wide, white sandy beaches and beautiful views. Very attractive to families with children due to the low parking fees.

Period: July 19th to August 24th

Access: Car – 35 min from the Itako IC on the Higashi Kanto Expressway

Train – 15 min by taxi from Shimousa-tachibana Station on the JR Narita Line

Parking: Paid (400 spaces; regular 200 yen, midsize 1050 yen, large 1580 yen)

Inquiries: Kamisu Commerce and Tourism Division  0299-90-1217

Hasaki Beach (Kamisu)

A shallow beach with clear water that has been chosen as one of the 100 best beaches in Japan. There are many spots for surfing and body-boarding, making it great for marine sports.

Period: July 19th to August 24th

Access: Car – 60 min from the Itako IC on the Higashi Kanto Expressway

Train – 10 min by bus from Choshi Station on the JR Sobu Main Line

Parking: Paid (600 spaces; regular 510 yen, midsize 1020 yen, large 1540 yen)

Inquiries: Kamisu Commerce and Tourism Division  0299-90-1217