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Ibaraki -Ooarai and Hitachinaka- with JTB

Hello guys! It’s getting cool here in Japan. I guess, it’s starting to look like autumn. I hope you’re doing well wherever you are. Quick update about my life, I got a new job and everything is going well. Last week I got invitation from JTB to join their monitoring tour. Because I have plenty of paid holidays and I don’t know what to do with them, I decided to join the monitoring tour. This is my second time going with them. I went to Nikko with them before and if you haven’t read my post about it, you can check them here and here. This time, the destination is Ibaraki!


First stop: Ooarai Marine Tower

I’ve been to Ooarai before, but I’ve never been to Ooarai Marine Tower. Unlike Skytree or Tokyo Tower, this tower is not a communication tower. It’s not that high compared to those two famous landmarks in Tokyo. From the 55-metre-high observation tower, you can see the beautiful view of Pacific Ocean.

Ooarai Marine Tower

10 Minatochuo, Oarai-cho, Higashiibaraki-shi, Ibaraki

15-min walk from Ooarai Station

 

It cost only 330yen (adult, half price for kids) to go to the observation deck. You can get the beautiful view of the ocean, and if you’re lucky, you can see Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tsukuba on clear day

On the ground level, you can find some omiyage (souvenirs) from Ibaraki and sometimes, they also hold a flea market every month.


Second stop: Ooarai Isosaki Shrine

I went here before and I wrote a post about this place too. This time, I did not forget to bring my ND-filter so I can play a bit with high-exposure photo.

Ooarai Shrine

6890 Isohama-cho, Oarai, Ibaraki

Approximately 2.5km from Ooarai-station

This shrine has 3 torrii and the famous one is Kamiiso-no-torii on the coast. The gate stands proud on an island rock in the sea near the Oarai coast. It’s really beautiful.


Lunch: Ooarai Kaisen Fish Market

Because the place we visited is really close to the ocean, we have seafood for lunch! The restaurant we visited is located just next to Ooarai Kaisen fish market. They serve fresh sashimi and their slice of sashimi is really generous. I never had maguro (tuna) this thick in Tokyo.

After lunch, you can also opt to see the fresh market next door. They sell various fresh seafood, including a super big clams (if you see my instagram stories).

Even if they call it fish market, it’s so clean and the fishy smells is not that strong. Some spots sells fresh raw clams and they also provide area to clean your hands. Growing up in Indonesia, I have different image when people say the word “market” but this fish market is different from what I expected (in a good way).

Ooarai Kaisen Fish Market

8253-56 Isohamacho, Oarai, Higashiibaraki District, Ibaraki Prefecture 311-1301

 


En-route: Ibaraki Local Train

After lunch, we strolled around a bit and we rode a local train in Ibaraki. Unlike Tokyo’s train, this train and even the train station is small and simple. Even the gate is not the automatic one like in Tokyo.

According to our guide, this ひたちなか海浜鉄道湊線 (Hitachinaka seaside railroad minato line) is really “local” and what’s so special about it is that they decorate the station’s board in every single stations along the line.

We took the train from Nakaminato to Ajigaura before we got into the bus to go to the next stop.

 


Third Stop: Hitachi Seaside Park

I also have been here this Spring to see the famous baby-blue nemophila. It’s just… I haven’t write about it.. lol

Hitachi seaside park is a huge, spacious park on the Pacific Coast. Hitachi seaside park is home to a variety of colorful flowers and grasses throughout the four seasons. It also has a lot of refreshment kiosk inside and a lot of attractions such as amusement park, biking and BMX track and many more.

Hitachi Seaside Park

〒312-0012 Ibaraki Prefecture, Hitachinaka, Mawatari, 字大沼605−4
20 minutes on foot from Ajigaura station or
if you go from Katsuta station, you can take bus from there.

This park has different flower in every season. Make sure you check the flower calendar here before you visit the park.

This park is really huge (350 hectares) and it’s a bit impossible to explore the whole area in short time by foot. We rented a bike for 400yen (3 hours, 1 person). This park has separate biking track, so you don’t have to worry that you might accidentally bump into pedestrian. In every area, they also provide spacious parking area for your bike.

It was the end of summer so the current flower is the kochia. These Kochia are still green, however, they’ll turn red once autumn come, giving you a really beautiful scenery (even the green one is also beautiful).

You can see the Kochia from Miharashi no Oka.


From Miharashi no Oka, we rode our bike to the amusement area. Like a normal amusement park, they have several attractions like jet coaster and ferris wheel. They also have small pools for kids. I feel that this amusement area is more suitable for kids. Each attractions require separate tickets (price varies between 600-1000yen).

 

Every area in this park has a refreshment area where you can buy food and drinks. I got my ice-cream. hehehe

  

We spent quite a bit exploring the attractions. Some of my friend went to try on of the attractions.


We only have 2 hours to explore the park, but seriously.. this place is really recommended. If you want to visit here, I’d suggest you to avoid holidays because I went here on Golden Week and it was full of people.


tl;dr

Most of the place is really worth visiting. I’d recommend Hitachi Seaside Park and Oarai Isosaki Shrine. The Marine Tower is not so interesting because it’s not so tall, and depending on the weather you might not be able to see the beautiful scenery.

 

Next post, I’m going to introduce the place where I stayed in Ibaraki. Last hotel in Nikko provided by JTB was really good and this time too, it’s a relaxing place to spend your holiday.

I hope you enjoyed my post and stay tune with me on the next part! As usual, your comments are always loved.

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