Kitaibaraki and Hitachi area is known as the place where the famous artist was born, such as Okakura Tenshin. This area has a famous spiritual sites, beach and Hananuki valley for beautiful Autumn leaves.
- 5th Oiwa Shrine
- 4th Tenshin Memorial Museum of Art
- 3rd Futatsujima island
- 2nd Hananuki Valley
- 1st Rokkakudo
1. Spot Ranking in Kitaibaraki and Hitachi area
5th. Oiwa Shrine
Let’s go to the spiritual site in Ibaraki. It seems that Oiwa shrine is the most powerful shrine in Japan, so if you’re tired from your daily life, you might feel energetic when you visit. The mountain path is very rough, so you need to wear the walking shoes. As you walk toward the mountain path, you can see the guard frame at the front and the shrine office and Haraedo-jinja shrine.
Furthermore, as you walk by, there is scarlet “Nio-mon gate” (Gate of Deva), but in front of Nio-mon gate, there is sacred tree “Sanbonsugi” (three cidar trees).
This hiking course is good for health that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and feel the trees breathe. So let’s receive the energetic power from Oiwa shrine rumored as the most powerful shrine in Japan.
For the way to Oiwa shrine, take the bus at Hitachi station bus stop via “60 : Higashigodo” and get off at Oiwa shrine. One way ticket is 560 JPY.
4th. Futatsujima island
It is impressive that north island and south island are opposite, the north island is steep and with a lot of leaves and trees and there’s Japanese cormorant breed on the southern rock face, on the other hand, south island is encroached by the wave so there’s no leaves and trees.
The recommended season is summer. People come to the beach and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Isohara coast that the beach and rocky area alternately range, and Futatsujima island and Mt. Tenpi. For the access to the beach, it takes about 10 minutes by car from KitaIbaraki IC which is good for the access so many of the families from other prefectures come to visit.
Also, it is famous from the beautiful sunset. After Eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, it was closed temporary, however the beach was recovered from the land subsidence and started again in 2013. They introduce the lifesaver stationed all time and install the evacuation route map to make the safety as top priority.
For the way to the beach, take JR Tokiwa line from Hitachi station and get off at Isohara station, and then take taxi for 5 minutes so that you can get there.
3rd. Hananuki Valley
Hananuki valley is a great find for the Autumn color leaves in Takahagi city, Ibaraki north area. The suspension bridge is 60m long and across the Hananuki river.
When you walk toward the bridge, there are trees on the riverside and those branches spread far and wide like they hang over the bridge so you might touch the maple leaves. When it’s best timing for Autumn leaves, the maple leaves tunnel will welcome you warmly.
Autumn festival is held in November every year and it becomes the avenue only for pedestrian under the line of Autumn leaves trees.
For the acess, take JR Tokiwa line at Hitachi station and get off at Takahagi station. Then, take taxi and it will take about 25 minutes.
2nd. Tenshin Memorial Museum of Art
Tenshin memorial museum of art, Ibaraki was opened on November 8th, 2007 to praise the Izu artist such as Okakura Tensin and Yokoyama Taikan for their performance as well as to see other beautiful arts.
The bay of Izura coast and a pine tree forest close to the museum is selected for the Top 100 beaches and the sound of its melodious waves is also selected for the Top 100 beautiful sound scenic spots.
Also this place is where Okakura Tenshin and other Izu artists performed in the past. There are still some historic landmark such as Rokkakudo and the site of Japan art museum so that you can enjoy walking around.
For the access, take JR Tokiwa line at Hitachi station and get off at Otsuko station. From Otsuko station, take taxi and it will be about 5 minutes.
Current Rokkakudo is rebuilt in 2012. Due to Eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami back in March 2011, Rokkakudo was washed away. University of Ibaraki mainly concentrated on the rehabilitation project, and as of their investigation, Rokkakudo was rebuilt same as Tenshin designed at that time. Now Rokkakudo is the symbol of rehabilitation.
Okakura Tenshin visited Izura by Hida Shuzan’s guide in May 1903 (Meiji 36) and loved this place, then built Rokkakudo two years later. He worked at Boston art museum in winter, and enjoyed the Izura beach in summer.
The recommended spot to see is the front gate “Nagayamon” which is designated for registered cultural properties and the rough rocks and cliff with ruffling waves. This scenery is impressively dinamic. Open time is 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. The entrance fee is 300 JPY.
For the access, take JR Tokiwa line at Hitachi station and get off at Otsuko station. Then, take taxi at Otsuko station and it will be about 5 minutes.
2. Getting to Hitachi Station from Tokyo
For the way to Hitachi station, take the train Hitachi 13 from Tokyo station via Iwaki. It will take about 1 hour and a half, and the train fare is about 4,790 JPY.
The another way is to take JR Yamanote line from Tokyo station and reach to Ueno station. Afterwards, change the train to JR Tokiwa line via Tsuchiura by special express. Next, take JR Tokiwa line via Katsuta station and get off at Mito station and change the local train to JR Tokiwa line via Tomioka and get off at Hitachi station. It will take about 3 hours and the fare is 2,790 JPY.
3. Ibaraki Area List
Hitachinaka, Oarai and Nakaminato
Mito – Kasama
Tsukuba, Tsuchiura and Ushiku
Itako, Hokota and Kashima
Yuki and Chikusei