Hello guys! I hope you enjoy my last post about my Ibaraki trip with JTB. Last time I promise to review the hotel where I stay with them, so.. here you go! I’ll also post some info about the places we visited in the second day. Mainly we explored the natural area, hence the title of this post is Jungle Adventure lol.
We stayed in this hotel called Itsuura Kankou Hotel. The hotel is famous for it’s open air bath facing the beautiful scenery of the Itsuura Coast line. The room is also very spacious and you can see the coast from your room as well.
That view is taken from my room, 5AM in the morning.
Even though there’s no private onsen in the room, you still can book a private onsen for you and your family. And did I mention that you can also see the ocean view from the onsen? At some area, you can also enjoy the view of Rokkakudo (Hexagonal Hall) at Izura Coast.
Dinner and breakfast are provided by the hotel and they’re so tasty. They served a full course Japanese meal for dinner and Japanese style-breakfast.
Hotel Info: Itsuura Kanko Hotel
722 Otsu-cho, Kitaibaraki City, Ibaraki Prefecture 〒319-1702
5 minutes drive from Otsuko Station
First Stop : Hananuki Keikoku (花貫渓谷)
This place is known for it’s view during autumn. Hananuki Keikoku is a valley located in Kitaibaraki, in summer, the green leaves and the moss gives a refreshing feeling and in autumn, the leaves will turn to red.
It’s literally located in the middle of the mountain and it can’t be accessible with car or bus. If you come by car or bus, they’ll need to stop at the parking area and you have to walk around 30 minutes to reach your destination.
After you cross this bridge and walk a little bit more, you can find a camping ground.
Even though this place is in the middle of nowhere, I’d say that it’s a bit tolerable as well. You can still find toilet and vending machine near the car park. However, it might be a little bit difficult to get phone signal.
I’d say that the scenery is also pretty as well. Even though it was late summer, it’s really refreshing and I don’t feel hot at all. I’d suggest you to come on Autumn and if you plan to hike, wear a proper clothes and shoes.
Hananuki Keikoku: 〒318-0104 Ibaraki Prefecture, Takahagi, 中戸川大能
Second Stop: Fukuroda Falls (袋田の滝)
Compared to Hananuki Valley, Fukuroda Falls is more tourist-friendly. It’s accessible by public transport and you can find some rest place and restaurants around the falls. Fukuroda falls is one of three most beautiful waterfall in Japan and I can see why. People say that no matter what season you come here, the scenery is always breath-taking. In summer, the green foliage frame the waterfall. In autumn, they’ll change to red and in winter the waterfall is partially freeze into beautiful glass structure.
To get into the viewing place, you need to pay a little bit amount of money. I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was not that expensive either. You’ll need to go through tunnel and you can stop a bit to enjoy the Lover Sanctuary Series (like the one in Nikko here).
There’re 2 viewing point, one is in the base of the waterfall and the top viewing place.
After you enjoy the view from the base waterfall, you can go to the elevator and it will take you 44m above to enjoy the view of the waterfall from above.
My tour guide explain that what makes the waterfall beautiful is not only the scenery, but also the structure of the waterfall. I don’t know if the photo is clear enough or not, but the waterfall has 4 levels from top to bottom.
I went there on Monday and despite that, I still bumped into a lot of tourist.
Next to the waterfall, there’s a small suspension bridge that can bring you back to the entrance. You don’t have to travel back through the tunnel.
Fukuroda Falls: Fukuroda, Daigo, Kuji District, Ibaraki Prefecture 319-3523
(2 km from JR Fukuroda Station)
We have the lunch in this restaurant at the hotel Honen Mansaku. You’ll find the place quickly because it has a spacious park area and the building is in bright yellow color.
We have oyakodon in this restaurant and the guide explain that unlike the other oyakodon in Tokyo, this oyakodon use ingredients and specialty from Daigo area. On top of that, they also serve Apple Pie for desserts and let me tell you: this Apple Pie is finger licking good.
They sold the Apple pie on a booth outside the building, I recommend you to get it. It’s really really really good, I can’t describe with words.
Third Stop: Ryujin Suspension Bridge
Ryujin suspension bridge cross over the Ryujin Gorge in Okukuji Prefectural Natural Park. It’s the largest suspension bridge in Honshu that can be passed by pedestrian. The length of 375 meters and a height of 100 meters, this also makes the bridge as one of the highest bungee jumping spot in Japan.
The bridge is called Ryujin (dragon) because there’s a dragon painting on the end of the bridge. In this place, you can also do bungee jumping (around 16.000-18.000 yen per jump), check bungee japan for more info.
The scenery is also pretty and to cross the bridge back and forth, you’ll need to pay around 310yen. We came on Monday and still there’re lot of people waiting their turn to do bungee jumping.
Because of this places is quite famous, you can find rest area easily and if you want to do bungee, I saw some foreign instructor and staff as well.
Ryujin Suspension Bridge: Ryujin big suspension bridge, 2133-6 Keganocho Hitachiota-shi, Ibaraki
Last Stop: Oiwa Shrine (大岩神社)
This shrine is not as famous as Oarai Shrine, however, the guide explained that this place is considered as power spot (places with strong spiritual power).
You can see a really big cedar tree as soon as you approaching the entrance. They said this tree is around 600 years old.
This cedar tree is considered as natural monument in Ibaraki.
The entire shrine complex is really huge. You’ll need to walk around 5-10 minutes to reach the first shrine building and then you can do hiking around 40minutes to 1 hour to explore the other building.
Even though the shrine is so big, most of the areas are basically mountain and trees. That’s why if you decide to hike, it’s better if you wear a proper shoes. I was not able to hike because I did not wear any hiking gear. I was about to continue to the top and I passed by people who just returned, they advised me to go back because the hill is quite steep and there’s no proper hiking road.
Even if you’re not going to the top, the view around the main building is also beautiful. The place is not well-lit too, so probably it’s a bit scary when it’s dark.
This is the shrine building. It’s a bit small and as you can see it’s in the middle of renovation.
Oiwa Shrine: 〒311-0402 Ibaraki Prefecture, Hitachi, 入四間町７５２
And that’s the last stop for my adventure in Ibaraki this time. I feel that Ibaraki is a good place to escape from Tokyo. It’s really not that far from Tokyo, not really a small city but you can also find natural places to relax.
However, I’m not really recommending the Hananuki Valley and Oiwa Shrine. It’s a bit far and not really accessible with public transport. Both of them is also not having a high recognition and thus, English guidance is a bit difficult.
I’d to recommend Fukuroda Falls and the suspension bridge (especially if you’re brave enough to do the bungee) lol. Both of them have a really beautiful scenery and you can do other activities and rest around the area.
That’s all my review for the trip to Ibaraki with JTB. As usual, your comments are always loved <3 See you at the next post!