Upcoming Events

Ibaraki Botanical Garden Spring Festival

When: 9am – 4:30pm, May 3 – 7
Where: Ibaraki Botanical Garden (4589 To, Naka, Ibaraki)
Admission: Adults 300 yen, junior high school and younger and those over 70 free
Access: 10 minutes by taxi from Urizura Station on the JR Suigun Line
Website

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There are plenty of things to see and do at this five day festival! Plants, agricultural products, handicrafts, and food and drink will also be on sale in the gardens.

Events

Calanthe Orchid Exhibition (May 3 – 3pm May 6)
Mensore Okinawa Exhibition (April 22 – May 7)
Forest Concert (May 3 – 7, cancelled in poor weather)
Flower Seedling Present (First 200 people, 9am~, May 3 – May 7)
Forest Handicraft Square (200 yen, 10am – 2pm, May 3 – 7)
Wall Hanging Mini Shisa (Okinawa Lion Statue) Painting Workshop (200 yen, May 3 – May 7)
Coaster Making Workshop (10am – 3:30pm, May 3 – May 7)
Olden Day Games (10am – 3:30pm, May 3 – May 7)
Tropical Plant Quiz – First 200 people to answer correctly get a balloon yoyo (10am – 3:30pm, May 3 – May 7)
Spring Festival Workshop –moss terrarium, handicrafts using herbs, group planting, bread clay (500 yen, 9am, May 7)
Meet a Bird of Prey (1:30pm, May 3)

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Upcoming Events

28th Annual Ryujin Gorge Carp Streamer Festival

When: April 29th (Sat.) to May 14th (Sun.)
Where: Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge
2133-6 Keganochō, Hitachiōta-shi, Ibaraki-ken 313-0351

Surrounded by dazzling green trees and with Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge in the center, about 1,000 carp streamers.

Price to cross the bridge:
Individual: ¥310 for adults, ¥210 for Elementary and Middle School Kids
Group of 30 people and up: ¥280 for adults, ¥190 for Elemetary and Middle School Kids
Free for elementary school kids on Children’s Day. (May 5th, Fri.)

Access:
By Car: About 40 minutes from the Hitachi Minami Ota IC and Naka IC of the Joban Expressway.
By Train: About 40 minutes by bus from Hitachi-Ota Station on the JR Suigun Line. Get off the bus at Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge Bus Stop (Ryujinotsuribashi).

 

Upcoming Events

36th Annual Kasama Himatsuri

When: April 29 – May 5, 9am – 5pm
Where: Kasama Geijutsu no Mori Park Event Square, Kasama (2345 Kasama)
Website

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Head to Kasama during Golden Week for a pottery festival where over 200 ceramic artists, potteries, and local stores will gather in the beautiful Geijutsu no Mori Park to welcome customers to their stalls to see and buy their unique wares. The food and drink stalls are run by ceramic artists, and you will be able to enjoy a variety of unique dishes made using ceramic ware. There will also be a number of events, including a clay mask auction, a clay mask festival run by elementary school students, and a playground. Check out the PR video here.

Access

Bus Schedule

Kasama Station ⇔ Kasama Togei Daigakkou (5 mins walk from venue))
April 29, 30, May 3, 4, 5, Every 30 mins between 8:30am – 3pm from Kasama Station and 8:45 – 5pm from Kasama Togei Daigakkou.
Adults 100 yen, Children 50 yen

Weekday Bus (for May 1-2) (Kasama Station ⇔ Himatsuri Venue North Gate)
170 yen

Tomobe Station → Kasama Himatsuri Venue East Gate
April 29, 30 May 4, 5: Every 15 mins between 8:50am and 3pm
May 1-2: Every 30 mins between 8:50am and 3pm
May 3: Every 15 mins between 8:50am and 4:30pm
100 yen

Kasama Himatsuri Venue→Tomobe Station
April 29, 30 May 4, 5: Every 15 mins between 9:05am and 5:10pm
May 1-2: Every 30 mins between 9:05am and 5:10pm
May 3: Every 15 mins between 9:05am and 8:30pm (every 60-80 mins after 5:10pm)
100 yen

Events

Every Day

Coffee Cup Exhibition
Exhibition & Sale of Sake Cups & Cup Bags
Outdoor Tea Ceremony (choose your own cup)
Exhibition & Sale of Kasama Heat-Resistant Tableware & Pans
Inada Festival
Kids’ Land (Face painting, clay workshop, potter wheel experience, children’s play etc.)
Clay Mask Festival & Auction

Limited Time Events

Jazz Night
When: 6pm onwards, May 3rd
Where: Central Stage
Performers: B Train Jazz Orcherstra feat. Akiko Nakano, Akiko Nakajima Himatsuri Special Session

NEVA GIVE UP Live Performance
When: 3 – 4pm, May 4th
Where: Central Stage

Twilight Live
When: 4pm onwards, May 5th
Where: Central Stage
Performers: Aideko Shinya with DoDo, Torihai, Dodoittsu

Forest Stage Acoustic Live Performances

When: 1pm onwards, May 1 – 5
Where: Forest Stage
Performers:
May 1: Doremi Gakudan, Kasamaharo Acda#coda
May 2: Old Mountain Boys
May 3: yorry&salt, Lilly, Nakano Hiroki to Suteki na Henteko Dan
May 4: Moonshine, Lemon Head, Baby Factory, Sunny Mamas
May 5: Halo, Mikazuki Settodan

Upcoming Events

Nemophila Harmony

When: 9:30am – 5pm, April 22 – May 14 (7:30am – 5pm from April 29 – May 8)
Where: Hitachi Seaside Park (605-4 Onuma, Mawatari, Hitachinaka)
Video

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Spring is in full swing at Hitachi Seaside Park! Until April 21st, you can visit to see the tulips. Then, from April 22nd to May 14th, you can see the park’s famous nemophila flowers (also known as baby blue-eyes) covering 3.5 hectares on Miharashi Hill, creating an ethereal panorama of blue sky, blue sea, and blue flowers.

Nemophila are annuals that bloom from April to May. The nemophila used in Hitachi Seaside Park are of the Insignis Blue variety. Whilst they are in bloom until mid-May, after they blossom they begin to pale, so the best time to see them is during Golden Week.

Every year tens of thousands of people visit Hitachi Seaside Park to admire this rare sight. If there’s one thing you should see while you are in Ibaraki, it’s this!

Details

Admission
Adults (15+) – 410 yen
Seniors (65+) – 210 yen
Children (Elementary and Junior High School) – 80 yen
Infants (Under 6) – Free
*Free admission for elementary and junior high schoolers on May 5 and everyone on May 14

Access
20 minutes by foot from Ajigaura Station on the Hitachinaka Seaside Railway or 15 minutes by bus from JR Katsuta Station

Upcoming Events

Hitachi Oktoberfest 2017

When: April 26 – May 7 (Weekdays 3 – 9pm, Weekends & Public Holidays 12 – 9pm, Last Order 8:30pm)
Where: Shin Toshi Hiroba, Hitachi Civic Center (1-21-1 Saiwaicho, Hitachi)
Access: 3 minutes’ walk from Hitachi Station Chuo Exit
Admission: Free

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Oktoberfest is a German harvest festival that has been held in Munich since 1810. In the two weeks of the festival approximately 6.5 million people attend and 6 million cups of beer are consumed, leading the festival to be known as the world’s largest food festival. Around 10 years ago celebrations of the festival began to pop up around Japan, and it has been gaining popularity ever since.

At Hitachi Oktoberfest 2017 you can enjoy delicious local foods and German beer in the oceanside city of Hitachi as local musicians and performers provide entertainment. In order to reduce waste and broken glasses, you will be charged a 1000 yen glass fee with your first glass of beer, which will be returned to you when you return your glass. You can continue to use the same glass for refills.

There will be no parking available, so you are encouraged to come to the event by public transport.

Upcoming Events

2017 Cherry Blossom Festivals

Enjoying a hanami picnic beneath the fluttering cherry blossom petals is a quintessential spring experience in Japan. Cherry blossom festivals will be held all around Ibaraki while the trees are in bloom, but make sure you plan ahead so you don’t miss out – cherry blossoms are a famous symbol of the transience of life, and are typically in bloom for only a few weeks.

Hitachi

55th Annual Hitachi Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – 16
Where: Heiwa Dōri (outside the Chuo Exit of Hitachi Station)/Kamine Park (5 Chōme-2-22 Miyatacho, Hitachi)/Jūō Panorama Park (1085-6 Tomobe, Jūōchō, Hitachi)
Website

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Heiwa Dōri and Kamine Park number among Japan’s 100 most famous cherry blossom spots. The trees along Heiwa Dōri will be lit up in the evenings and lanterns will decorate Kamine Park and Jūō Panorama Park, creating an otherworldly atmosphere throughout the festival. The main feature of the festival is without a doubt the Hitachi Fūryūmono float parade, which was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009. In the parade, which is a ritual of Kamine Shrine, you can witness a puppet show played out atop a 15m-high float.

Illuminations:

Heiwa Dōri: 6 – 11pm
Kamine Park: 6 – 9:30pm
Jūō Panorama Park: 6 – 9pm

Events on Heiwa Doori:

April 2 – Flower Viewing Event (Noon – 6pm)
April 6-7 – Night Cherry Blossom Pedestrian Heaven (6-8:30pm)
April 8 – Hitachi Fūryūmono (1, 4, 7pm, approx. 30 mins long), Mounted Warrior Parade (2pm), Performances (11:30 – 6:30pm), Stalls (11am – 7:30pm), Pop-up Restaurant (11am – 7:30pm)
April 9 – Hitachi no Sasara (traditional lion dance from Hitachi) (12, 2pm), Hitachi Fūryūmono (1, 3pm), Performances (12pm – 6pm), Stalls (10am – 7pm), Pop-up Restaurants (10am – 7pm)

Takahagi

Takahagi Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – 16
Where: Sakura Uchū Park (608 Ishitaki, Takahagi)
Website

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Picnic under the cherry blossom trees in Sakura Uchū Park. On April 8th there will be an open air tea ceremony and koto performance.

Daigo

Sotoono Shidarezakura Festival

When: April 10
Where: In front of the Sotoono Shidarezakura Tree (Sotoono, Daigo)
Website

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The Sotoono Shidarezakura Cherry Blossom Tree is around 300 years old and is said to have been planted by Mitsukuni Tokugawa himself. There will be a yosakoi performance by the local yosakoi team on April 10th and distribution of free amazake while the tree is in bloom.

Hitachiōta

Hitachiōta Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – 9
Where: Nishiyama Park (Arajukuchō, Hitachiōta)
Website

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Around 1500 cherry blossom trees will be in bloom in Nishiyama Park. The trees will be illuminated in the evenings throughout the festival.

Hitachiōmiya

Tatsunokuchi Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 3 – 9
Where: Tatsunokuchi Shinsui Park (Tatsunokuchi, Hitachiōmiya)
Website

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Enjoy 1.3km of cherry blossom trees, their pinks and whites contrasting with the yellow flowers planted by the river banks. On April 8th there will be a number of events including a stamp rally and evening fireworks.

Naka

Yaezakura Festival

When: April 15 – May 3
Where: Shizumine Furusato Park (1720-1 Shizu, Naka)
Website

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Shizumine Furusato Park is one of Japan’s top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots. The trees will be lit up in the evenings from April 22nd to April 30th, and on April 22nd and 23rd there will be a dancing performances and a mini concert as well as stalls selling food and drink.

Tōkai

Tōkai Cherry Blossom Festival

When: Late March – Mid April
Where: Akogigaura Undo Park (Muramatsu, Tōkai, Naka-gun)
Website

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Around 200 cherry blossom trees will be in bloom in Akogigaura Undo Park. From sundown to 9pm throughout the festival the trees will be lit up, allowing you to enjoy a totally different atmosphere to viewing the trees in daylight.

Kitaibaraki

Nakagō Ishioka Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 9
Where: Sakurasakaue Hiroba (858 Nakagōchō Ishioka, Kitaibaraki)
Website

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The festival will be packed with things to do and see, with the Jūkokubori nordic walking tour, stalls selling local products, an open air tea ceremony, a mikoshi (portable shrine) display, amateur karaoke contest, and a Jōban coal mine photo gallery.

Mito

Mito Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – 15
Where: Kairakuen, Senba Park, and other locations around Mito
Website

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The trees at sakurayama in Kairakuen Park and around Sakuragawa River will be lit up with lanterns in the evenings, and there will be open air tea ceremonies at Kairakuen. On April 7th and 8th there will be a Night Cherry Blossom Concert at the old Prefectural Government Office Building in Sannomaru (1 Chōme-5 Sannomaru, Mito).

Kasama

Mt. Atago Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – May 7
Where: Mt. Atago Kasama
Website

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Enjoy around 2000 blooming cherry blossom trees at Mt. Atago, famous for its Tengu legend. The cherry blossoms are in bloom later here due to the difference in elevation.

Kitayama Park Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 9 – 16
Where: Kitayama Park (1416-1 Tairamachi, Kasama)
Website

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Around 1500 cherry blossom trees in Kitayama Park and along the nearby roadside will be lit up by lanterns in the evenings, creating an otherworldly atmosphere.

Tsuchiura

Tsuchiura Cherry Blossom Festival

When: March 25 – April 9
Where: Kijō Park (1 Chōme-13-48 Chūō, Tsuchiura), Urara Hiroba (Tsuchiura Station West Exit), Ottonuma Park (Nakamuranishine, Tsuchiura) Sakuragawa River banks, Shinkawa River banks, Manabe Elementary School (4 Chōme-3-1 Manabe, Tsuchiura), Ryūgamine (987 Nagai, Tsuchiura), and other locations around Tsuchiura
Video
Website

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Kijō Park, the location of Tsuchiura Castle, is the main venue of the Tsuchiura Cherry Blossom Festival, but many other breathtaking spots for viewing the flowers can be found all around the city, including the cherry blossom tunnel at Ryūgamine and the trees along the bank of the Sakuragawa River. The trees in Kijō Park will be lit up in the evenings, and there will be stage events held at the Urara Hiroba.

Events

All Locations

Saturdays and Sundays between April 1 – April 9 – Town Cherry Blossom Shuttle Bus
Timetable (Japanese)

Urara Hiroba

April 2, 11am – 3pm
Stage Events (Dancing, Taiko, Yosakoi, and more), Bread Festival, and festival games

Kijō Park

April 5, 10:30am – 4pm – Open Air Tea Ceremony, Tsuchiura Three Piece Band Performance, Pony Rides, Spring Curry Fair, Stage Events

Sakuragawa River Banks

March 25 – April 9 – Illuminations (between Nioibashi Bridge and Zenigamebashi Bridge)

Shinkawa River Banks

March 25 – April 9 – Lanterns (Tatsuta-machi, Manabe 1 Chōme, Manabe 2 Chōme), Illuminations

Niihari

April 2, 12:30 – 3pm – Yabusame Festival (Hieda Shrine) (buses in operation from Urara Hiroba departing 11:30am)

Hasukawara Cherry Blossom Festival

March 25 – April 9 – Lanterns

Manabe Cherry Blossom Festival

April 8, 2-4pm – Manabe Orchestra, Paper Puppet Show, Fire Truck, Cherry Blossom Photo Gallery, Free Lemon Water, Barley Tea, Cherry Blossom Tea, Cherry Blossom Mochi Making
6-9pm – Illuminations, Taiko, Piano
April 7, 9, 6-9pm – Illuminations

Ishioka

Kokubunji Temple Flower Festival

When: April 8
Where: Hitachi Kokubunji Temple (5 Chōme-1 Fuchū, Ishioka)
Website http://www.ishioka-kankou.com/page/page000054.html

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A variety of blooming cherry blossom trees will paint the temple grounds in beautiful shades of pink and white.

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka Cherry Blossom Festival

When: Late March – Late April
Where: Hitachi Fudoki no Oka (1646 Someya, Ishioka)
Website

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Three varieties of cherry blossoms will bloom one after the other for around a month at Hitachi Fudoki no Oka. The cherry blossom tree tunnel is particularly popular. The trees will also be lit up in the evenings.

Tsukubamirai

Fukuoka Dam Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 7 – 11
Where: Fukuoka Dam Sakura Park (2633-7 Kitayama, Fukuoka, Tsukubamirai)
Website

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Walk along 1.8km of cherry blossom trees lining the Kokaigawa River. On Saturdays there will be a stage with performances throughout the day.

Kasumigaura

Mt. Yukiiri Cherry Blossom Walk

When: April 8
Where: Yukiiri Fureai no Sato Park (452-1 Yukiiri, Kasumigaura)
Website

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Hike through the cherry blossoms on one of two walking courses (5km and 10km). Reservations open March 14th and are first come first serve. You can make a reservation by calling the Yukiiri Nature Center (0299-59-7000, Japanese only).

Ami

Ami Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 2
Where: Fureai no Michi (4671-1 Ami, Inashiki-gun)
Website

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There will be a stage with dancing, yosakoi, and brass band performances, as well as stalls selling food and drink and a bingo tournament.

Ushiku

Ushiku Daibutsu Cherry Blossoms & Moss Phlox

When: April
Where: Ushiku Daibutsu (2083 Kuno, Ushiku)
Website

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Every year cherry blossoms and bright pink moss phlox bloom around the Ushiku Daibutsu statue.

Toride

Cherry Blossom Illuminations

When: Late March – Early April
Where: Sakurasō Nursing Home (1025 Oka, Toride)
Website

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Around 90 cherry blossom trees will be lit up in the evenings.

Tone

Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1-2
Where: Tone Town Hall Parking Lot (841-1 Fukawa, Tone, Kitasōma District)
Website

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At this year’s festival there will be a mini train, a haiku contest, a dress up contest, and more! Children who participate in the dress up contest will receive some sweets as a prize. On April 1st the cherry blossoms will be lit up from 5pm.

Bandō

Bandō Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 8-9
Where: Iwai Kōminkan (3108 Iwai, Bandō)/Sakasaijōato Park (1262 Sakasai, Bandō)
Website

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There will be booths selling food and drink and stage events including dancing and musical performances.

Sakuragawa

Sakuragawa Cherry Blossom Festival

When: March 18 – April 23
Where: Isobe area in Sakuragawa
Website

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The cherry blossom trees on the path in front of the Sakuragawa Isobe Inamura Shrine and in the surrounding park are designated by the Japanese government as Places of Scenic Beauty. On April 15th SAKURA Festival will be held in Sakuragawa Sogo Undo Park (2685-14 Iwase, Sakuragawa). At the festival local products will be on sale and there will be a soba festival, yosakoi performances, and much more.

Rakuhō Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1-20 (gates close at 5pm)
Where: Amabiki Kannon (1 Motogi, Sakuragawa)
Website

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Around 3000 trees of a number of varieties will be in bloom around the temple. A temple festival called madaraki shinsai will be held at the same time, so the grounds will be bustling with activity.

Shimotsuma

Shimotsuma Sanuma Marsh Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 2
Where: Sanuma Marsh, Shimotsuma (175 Shimotsumahei, Shimotsuma)
Website

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Around 1000 trees will be in bloom in Sanuma Large Park (Sanuma Koiki Koen), and events will be held when the flowers bloom.

Yūki

Yūki Cherry Blossom Festival

When: Late March – Mid April
Where: Shiroato Historical Park (2486 Yūki, Yūki)
Website

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150 cherry blossom trees will be in bloom in Shiroato Historical Park, which is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot among locals. On April 8th there will be stage events, traditional games, and a photo contest for elementary school students.

Chikusei

Shimodate Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 9
Where: Shimodate Minami Kasumi Food Square (1375 Niginari, Chikusei)
Website

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Several hundred cherry blossom trees are located around the area south of Shimodate station, the Shimodate Minami Kasumi, and the surrounding Niginari area, and this event is held by the local shopping district while the trees are in bloom.

Akeno Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 until the cherry blossoms finish blooming
Where: Akeno Community Center (2120-7 Ebigashima, Chikusei)
Website

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Around 100 cherry blossom trees will be in bloom around the Akeno Community Center. On April 2nd the Cherry Blossom Arts Festival will be held, including singing, dancing, taiko drums, hula dancing, and much more.

Koga

Koga Cherry Blossom Festival

When: March 25 – April 2
Where: Naval Park (620 Komahane, Koga)
Website

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A variety of stage events will be held on the weekends.

Kashima

Kashima Cherry Blossom Festival

When: March 31 – April 10
Where: Kashima Shiroyama Park (1 Chōme-2-6 Shiroyama, Kashima)
Website

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Kashima Shiroyama Park is one of the most beautiful areas in eastern Ibaraki to view the cherry blossoms. In the evenings the trees will be lit up, allowing you to view the blossoms in a different atmosphere to the daytime.

Itako

Suigō Itako Cherry Blossom Festival

When: March 26 – April 9
Where: Gogenyama Park (174-1 Ushibori, Itako)/Suigō Ayame Iris Gardens (1-5 Ayame, Itako)
Website

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This festival is held with Lake Kasumigaura as a backdrop in Gogenyama Park, which was chosen as one the top 100 places with beautiful views in Ibaraki, and in the Suigō Ayame Iris Gardens, the venue of Itako’s famous Iris Festival. Events will be held on April 1st and 2nd.

Kamisu

26th Annual Kamisu Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – 16
Where: Gōnoike Park, Kamisu City (Higashifukashiba, Kamisu)
Website

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Head to Gōnoike Park to enjoy the blooming of 3000 cherry blossom trees. There will be lanterns in the evening from 6-9:30pm, allowing you to see the cherry blossoms in a different light. On April 9th there will be a concert, karaoke contest, and play equipment set up for kids to play on.

Namegata

Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1-2
Where: Haguroyama Park (967 Aso, Namegata), Okisu Geijutsu Mura (1548 Okisu, Namegata)
Website

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Cherry blossoms will be in bloom in various locations around Namegata, including Haguroyama Park, located on the edge of Lake Kasumigaura, and Okisu Geijutsu Mura. Throughout the festival there will be outdoor stalls selling delicious food and drinks.

Upcoming Events

16th Annual I Love Ibaraki Fureai Festival

When: 10am – 4:30pm, April 8th 2017
Where: The Former Prefectural Office Building (Sannomaru Chousha) (1-5-48 Sannomaru, Mito)
Access: 15 minutes’ walk from Mito Station
Website

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The I Love Ibaraki Fureai Festival is a chance for Ibarakians to celebrate local food and culture under the cherry blossoms that bloom around the old castle moat in Sannomaru. The festival will include stalls selling local specialties from around Ibaraki, a bazaar, stage performances, a walking tour around Sannomaru, a stamp rally, and the chance to decorate an old bus with graffiti!

Stage Events

10:00 Blue Beginners (Mito Technical High School Jazz Band)
12:00 Blue Hawks (Oarai High School Marching Band)
13:00 Sannomaru Elementary School Brass Band

Upcoming Events

44th Annual Mt. Tsukuba Plum Festival

When: February 25th – March 20th, 2017
Where: Tsukuba and the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest    

Video of 2013 Festival

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Tsukuba’s plum tree forest sits at around 250m above sea level, and from among the trees you can gaze out upon Tsukuba City, and even spot Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Sky Tree in the distance. The Mt. Tsukuba Plum Festival is unique in offering the chance to enjoy such a splendid view while walking amongst the red, pink, and white blossoms.

On weekends and public holidays you can revel in the beauty of the plum blossoms while keeping toasty sitting by an open hearth from 10am to 3pm at the Plum Forest Plum Viewing Square (umebayashi kanbai hiroba). Other activities held every day during the festival include a treasure hunt for a golden toad around Mt. Tsukuba and workshops for making pens from plum tree branches (100 yen to participate) and toasted sandwiches (400 yen to participate) at Forest Adventure Tsukuba.

Access: 40 minutes via the Mt. Tsukuba Shuttle Bus from Tsukuba Center Mt. Tsukuba Shuttle Bus Stop (next to bus stop no.1) outside the A3 and A4 TX Tsukuba Station exits (bus schedule). Get off at Tsukuba-san Jinja Iriguchi (筑波山神社入り口)

Limited Time Plum-themed Dishes

Throughout the festival, stores around Tsukuba will sell a variety of plum-themed dishes for you to try. Get in quick, as some places only offer a limited number of the dish per day!

Meals

Kandaya (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 722)
Tsukuba Akane Chicken and Plum Mayonnaise Rice Bowl (1000 yen)

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Ishihama (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 721)
Plum Rice and Kenchin Soup (root vegetable soup) (850 yen)

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Murasaki (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 753)
Plum Tororo (shaved yam) Soba/Udon (980 yen)

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Mt. Tsukuba Drive In (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 1233-8)
Plum Udon/Soba (780 yen)

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Hitachino (Tsukuba-shi Usui 2103-5 Kazekaeshi Ridge)
Marinated Hitachi-wagyu Beef on Rice (with plum stock) (2160 yen)

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Tsutsujigaoka Rest House (Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station)
Natto & Pork Cutlet Meal (1050 yen)

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Mt. Tsukuba Keisei Hotel (Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station)
Fragrant Plum Shokado Bento (2160 yen)
An extravagant bento box including stewed yellowtail with radish, bamboo, and plum-shaped carrot, Tsukuba Biton pork-wrapped asparagus with plum sauce, fried and battered anglerfish with plum, bamboo kamameshi (rice cooked with other ingredients in a pot) and local strawberries from the Yasato area.

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Tsukuzen (Tsukuba-shi Numata 1441-1)
Plum Gozen (1620 yen)
A plum-filled meal including plum inari sushi made from rice from Yumeda Farm located at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba, plum konnyaku, pickled plum tempura, side dishes made from local vegetables, and Hitachi Aki Soba.

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Oshokujidokoro Aoki (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 829-1)
Plum and Perilla Sushi with Wild Vegetable Soba (1500 yen)

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Tsukuba Ham (Tsukuba-shi Hiratsuka 383)
Pork Roast Steak and Plum Beurre Composé (2484 yen)

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Chicken Paitan Ramen Obiya (Tsukuba-shi Kaname 137-3)
Spicy Red Yuzu and Shaved Plum Ramen (850 yen)

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Sweets

Kamiya Seika (Umaimon Dokoro in the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest)
Plum Yōkan (100 yen)

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Daiichiya (Umaimon Dokoro in the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest)
Plum Yōkan with a Stewed Plum (450 yen)

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Sugimotoya (Umaimon Dokoro in the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest)
Mt. Tsukuba-yaki Pastry with Plum-flavoured Filling (200 yen)

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Tsukuba Yakon (Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest Rest Area and Mt. Tsukuba Omotenashi Kan)
Plum Chiffon Cake made with rice flour (190 yen)

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Ishihama (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 721)
Plum Anmitsu (650 yen)

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Tsukuba Ham Shizen Aji Kōbō (Tsukuba-shi Hiratsuka 383)
Plum Tart Set (702 yen)

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Cable Car Miyawaki Store (Next to Mt. Tsukuba Shrine)/Tsutsujigaoka Rest House (at the ropeway station)
Red Plum Soft Serve Ice Cream (320 yen)

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Mt. Tsukuba Drive In (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 1233-8)
Plum Soft Serve Ice Cream (350 yen)

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Upcoming Events

121st Annual Mito Plum Festival

When: February 18th – March 31st
Where: Kairakuen and the Kodokan, Mito

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Access via Public Transport
Kairakuen: Take a bus heading to Kairakuen from Bus Stop 4 or 6 on the north side of Mito Station (see map here http://www.koen.pref.ibaraki.jp/foreign_language/en/access_info/index.html)
Kodokan: 8 minutes’ walk north of Mito Station (see map here: http://www.koen.pref.ibaraki.jp/park/kodokan06.html)

Admission
Kairakuen: Free
Kobuntei: Adults 200 yen, junior high school and younger 100 yen
Kodokan: Adults 200 yen, junior high school and younger 100 yen, over 70 free

Opening Hours
Kairakuen: 6am – 7pm (7am to 6pm until February 19th)
Kobuntei: 9am – 5pm (9am – 4:30pm until February 19th)
Kodokan: 9am – 5pm (9am – 4:30pm until February 19th)

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The Plum Blossoms of Kairakuen

There are approximately 100 varieties of plum tree growing in Kairakuen, and they all bloom at different times. Early blooming varieties (hayazaki) begin around mid-January to mid-February, mid-season blooming varieties (nakazaki) around early February to mid-March, and late blooming varieties (osozaki) around early March to early April. These times can vary every year though, depending on the climate.

Of the 3000 plum trees in Kairakuen, only around half of them can be said to be of a particular variety (the other half being mixes of a number of varieties resulting in an unnamed variety). The most common among those with clear names is the Shirakaga variety, of which there are nearly 450 trees. The next most common is the Tōjibai, with 150 trees, followed by Yaekankō, with 130 trees.

Although the trees bloom roughly as described above, they are greatly affected by weather and precipitation, so it is not an exact timeline. This is why you should visit Kairakuen several times to stroll around the park and appreciate the many forms of the plum blossoms.

Early Blooming Varieties (Mid-January to Mid-February)

The Yaekankō, Shironaniwa, Yaetōji, and Rekkōbai varieties are representative of the early blooming plum tree varieties, and can be found scattered around Kairakuen. In particular, the Yaekankō in the East-West Plum Forest near the East Gate and the Shironaniwa by the Onari Gate are well known and among the first to bloom. Searching for the few flowers that have blossomed among the majority that are still in their bud forms is one of the most enjoyable things to do during the early blooming season.

Mid-season Blooming Varieties (Late February to Mid-March)

The single-petaled Tsukikage with its distinct silhouette and the soft and fluffy Tora-no-o are exemplary of the mid-season blooming varieties. They can be found scattered around the park in the Western Plum Forest and other locations, and are known for their fragrance and colour. It is when the mid-season varieties are in bloom that you can fully feel the coming of spring and enjoy the grand sight of many plum trees in full bloom.

Late Blooming Varieties (Early March to Early April)

The Shirakaga, Kasugano, and Kōnanshomu varieties are representative of late blooming plum trees. In particular Shirakaga trees can be seen all around the park. They bloom slowly and decorate the end of the plum blossom season. The end of the season is when you should savour the last of the blossoms before they are gone.

Precautions against the Spread of Avian Influenza (from the Mito Municipal Government website)

In December 2016, a case of avian influenza was discovered in a wild bird at Lake Senba, which is located beside Kairakuen. As a result, precautions are being taken at Lake Senba to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

People who do not have any particular contact with birds in their everyday lives are not thought to be at risk of contracting the virus, so there is no need to worry excessively. Please remain calm and take action based on information from official sources. We ask for your cooperation in the following:

1. There is a possibly of the virus spreading via bird droppings becoming stuck to people’s shoes, so if you step on bird droppings around Lake Senba please use the calcium hydroxide that has been provided on the jogging course to disinfect your shoes. You can do so simply by stepping into the box.

Caution:

  • Calcium hydroxide is a powerful alkaline, so please avoid direct contact with your skin
  • People with multiple chemical sensitivity should take special care
  • If the calcium hydroxide gets on your skin, wash the affected area thoroughly
  • If it gets in your eye, wash it out with clean water and consult a doctor immediately
  • If ingested, wash your mouth out and consult a doctor immediately

2. Take the following actions to prevent the spread of avian influenza:

  • Keep away from the birds
  • Do not feed the birds
  • If you find a dead bird, contact the Parks and Green Space Division (公園緑地課) immediately
  • Take care not to step in bird droppings
  • Do not ride your bike in the park
  • Do not fish or play around bodies of water

Inquiries (Japanese only)
Parks and Green Space Division, Mito Municipal Government (029-224-1111)
Mito Parks Association (029-244-2895)

Events

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Major Events

4th Annual National Umeshu Festival in Mito

When: March 3rd – 5th, 10am – 4pm (until 3pm on March 5th)
Where: Tokiwa Shrine Grounds

At the National Umeshu Festival you will have the opportunity to sample and compare umeshu from Hokkaido all the way down to Okinawa. You can also enjoy the coupling of umeshu with a variety of dishes and umeshu cocktails.

Night Plum Festival

When:
Kodokan – March 4th, 6 – 9pm
Kairakuen – March 11, 6 – 9pm

The Night Plum Festival will feature candle displays, showing off the beauty of the plum trees in a different light. The festival finale will feature Mito fireworks.

Event Schedule

Presenting of Plum Festival Opening Memorial Gifts
When: February 18h, 9am onwards
Where: Kairakuen East Gate

Mito-chan Birthday Party
When: February 18th – 19st, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Taisei Girls’ High School)
When: February 25th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Sekishū-ryu Style)
When: February 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Taya Staff Technique Demonstration
When: February 26th, 10:30 – 11:30am
Where: The Kodokan Taishijō

Mito Hina-nagashi (Hitachi Washi Doll Association)
When: February 26th, 11am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen Togyokusen Spring

Kids’ Hina-matsuri
When: February 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Tokiwa University High School)
When: March 4th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Martial Arts Demonstration (Mito Tobukan/ Hōzōin-ryū)
When: March 4th, 10 – 12:00pm
Where: The Kodokan Taishijō

Goken Kōbai Hina-nagashi (Five Town Community)
When: March 4th, 11am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen Togyokusen Spring

Biwa Performance
When: March 4th, 1 – 1:30pm
Where: Kodokan Seicho

70th Annual Photography Session and Photo Contest
When: March 5th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Plum Forest, Miharashi Hiroba, and other locations

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Enshū-ryu Style)
When: March 5th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Plum Viewing Kimono Day
When: 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Sword and Poetry Dancing (Ibaraki Ginei Kenshibu Federation)
When: March 11th, 10:30 – 11:30am
Where: Kodokan Taishijō

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Edosenke)
When: March 12th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairaikuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Sakuranomaki High School)
When: March 18th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Kodokan Open Lecture
When: March 18th, 1:30 – 3pm (Mito Shigaku Kensankai Yoshida Juku)
Where: Kodokan Seicho

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Urasenke)
When: March 19th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

71st Annual Plum Viewing Haiku Contest (Hitachino)
When: March 19th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Ibaraki Prefectural Youth Hall

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Suijo High School)
When: March 25th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Omotesenke)
When: March 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Plum Viewing Entertainment Festival
When: March 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Upcoming Events

Spring Festival in Mito 2016

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The Spring Festival in Mito 2016 consists of several flower festivals held in April and May in Mito, kicking off with the 32nd Annual Mito Cherry Blossom Festival. Enjoy the delicate beauty of Mito’s spring flowers with a number of fun events!

Mito Cherry Blossom Festival

When: April 1 – 15
Where: Kairakuen, Senba Park, Sakurayama, Sakuragawa River (between Ekinanko Bridge and Midori Bridge), Rokujizouji Temple, Old Prefectural Office Building

Other places to see: Okushikaizuka Fureai Park, Uchihara Toman Dōri, Komon-san no Manyu Cherry Blossom Embankment

Events

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Omotesen-ke)
When: 10am – 3pm, April 3
Where: Kairakuen

Ohori Night Cherry Blossom Concert
When: 6pm onward, April 8-9
Where: In front of the Old Prefectural Office Building (1-5-38 Sannomaru, Mito, Ibaraki/茨城県水戸市三の丸1-5-38)

Lights

Sakurayama, Sakuragawa River Lantern Decorations (Ekinanko Bridge to Midori Bridge)
When: 6-10pm, April 1 – 15
Where: Sakurayama, Sakuragawa River

Lake Senba Lakeside Cherry Blossom Light Up
When: 6-10pm, March 30 – April 15
Where: Lake Senba southern lakeside

Ohori Cherry Blossom Light Up
When: 6-10pm, April 1 – 15
Where: Cherry blossom trees in front of the Old Prefectural Office Building (1-5-38 Sannomaru, Mito, Ibaraki/茨城県水戸市三の丸1-5-38)

Mito Waterworks Low-zone Water Tower Light Up
When: 6-9pm, April 1 – 15
Where: Mito Waterworks Low-zone Water Tower (2-11 Kitami-cho, Mito, Ibaraki/茨城県水戸市北見町2-11)

Katakuri Festival

When: 9am – 4pm, April 1 – April 10
Where: Katakuri no Sato Park (2053-2 Ariga-cho, Mito, Ibaraki/水戸市有賀町2053-2)

These reddish violet flowers, known as dogtooth violets in English, cover the ground in spring. During the festival there will be stalls selling local produce and foods.

32nd Annual Mito Azalea Festival

When: April 16 – May 8
Where: Kairakuen

Events

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Sekishuu Style)
When: 10am – 3pm, April 29
Where: Kairakuen
*Will be held in the Kairakuen Miharashi-tei if it rains

Mito Komon Manyu Troupe Commemorative Photo Shoot
When: 10am – 3pm, April 29
Where: Kairakuen
*Cancelled if it rains

Forest Park Festival

When: April 29 – May 8
Where: Forest Park (588-1 Aboshike-cho, Mito, Ibaraki/茨城県水戸市木葉下町588-1)

Events

Bubble Booth
When: 11am – 2pm, April 29 – May 1, May 3 – 8
*Cancelled if it rains

Spring Plant Observation
When: 10am – 12pm, April 29
*Will go ahead in light rain. Reservation required (limited to 20 participants). Participation is free

Forest Handicraft Workshop (Carp Streamers)
When: 10am – 12pm, 1 – 3pm, April 30
*Limited to 40 participants per session, first come first served. Participation fee of 100 yen

Forest Quiz Rally
When: 10am – 3pm, May 3 – 5
*Cancelled if it rains. Limited to 100 people per day

Baby Goat Petting Zoo
When: 11am – 2pm, May 3 – May 5
*Cancelled if it rains. Free of charge

Forest Concert
When: 12:30pm onward, May 5

Cedar Chopsticks Making Workshop
When: 10am – 12pm, May 6
*Limited to 40 participants, first come first served. Free of charge

Tree Guessing Quiz
When: 10am – 3pm, May 7 – 8
*Cancelled if it rains. Limited to 100 participants per day. Free of charge

Mito Botanical Park Festival

When: May 3 – 5, 7 – 8
Admission: Adults 300 yen, elementary/junior high students 150 yen (free for elementary and junior high students on children’s day)

Events

Lavender Herb Fair
When: April 23 – May 8

Flower Flea Market
When: 9am – 3pm, April 29

Flower Label Making
When: 10 – 11am, 1 – 2pm, May 3 – 5

Tram
When: 10am – 12pm, 1 – 2pm, May 5, 7-8

Woodwork Workshop
When: 9am – 3pm, May 7 – 8

Flower Quiz Rally
When: 9am – 3pm, May 7 – 8

Play with Bubbles
When: 10:30 – 11am, 1:30 – 2pm, May 7 – 8

Stamp Rally

Throughout the event, the first 100 people to collect stamps from two of the locations (Miharashi-tei in Kairakuen, the Kodokan entrance, Mito Botanical Park Flower Store, Forest Park Mori no Koryu Centre, Okushikaizuka Fureai Park Mito Archaeological Centre) can receive a Mito-chan original magnet from the second location they visit. Those who collect all five stamps can receive a tote bag!

Print the flyer with the stamp slip here.