Yuki and Chikusei area is located in western area in Ibaraki, and the northernmost of Shimousa as the old name of Ibaraki. Sightseeing places are “Tsumugi no yakata” where you can see Yuki tsumugi of traditional arts registered for UNESCO Instangible cultural heritage, and the white wall called “Tsukiji bei wall” that you can feel the history from, “Amabiki-kannon” and etc. Also “Akeno Himawari no sato” (Sunflower town) where a million sunflowers bloom and “Maoka railway” that you can see old train SL.
- 5th Tsukiji bei wall
- 4th Amabiki Kannon
- 3rd Tsumugi No Yakata
- 2nd Akeno himawari no sato
- 1st SL Mooka
1. Spot Ranking in Yuki and Chikusei area
5th. Tsukiji bei wall
Tsukiji bei wall street has white wall “Tsukiji bei wall”. Tsukiji bei is made from mud that is pounded and hardened, and simply called “Tsukiji”. This area was established as development project “Tsumugi furusato history street” held in Yuki city, Ibaraki and was designed as old type warehouse street.
It sets up a pillar on the base of stone wall and put in the framework which threads the joinery, and put in clay-water mixture and pound it by the bar, and this method is called “Hanchiku” that many people used to apply, but also there’s another method that you install the roof frame as a roof on the wall, or thatched by roof tile nad the plate. We recommend you to walk around “Tsukiji bei wall” as you can feel the history in a relax mood.
For the access, take JR Mito line at Shimodate station and get off at Yuki station, then walk for 15 minutes toward to it.
4th. Amabiki Kannon
Amabiki Kannon has been told an ancient temple that Horin Dokkyo Koji who is naturalized from China established in 587. Emperor Shomu and Empress Komyo believed devoutly to this temple and afterwards it became a training hall of Shingon sect of Buddhism lead by Kobou Daishi.
Enmei Kanzeon of Bodhisattva, the pricipal image of Buddhism, is an important cultural property of Japan and very famous for Bando 24th Fudasho. Now, it is featured beneficial of easy birth, child care, blessed with a child and so on, so good luck charm of prayer for safe and easy childbirth and maternity belt are popular. Also many visitors come to the temple only to see four seasons of flowers such as cherry blossoms, peony, azalea, hydrangea and maple. It opens from 8:30am to 5pm.
For the access, take JR Mito line at Shimodate station and get off at Iwase station, then take taxi for 10 minutes.
3rd. Tsumugi No Yakata
“Tsumugi No Yakata” is opened in 2006 as general museum of Yuki Tsumugi. Yuki Tsumugi has amused many people from old times that it is origin of Japanese silk fabrics and weaved from original silk by hand that becomes the greatest of silk. The manufacturing process is registered to UNESCO Intangible cultural heritage as world-class Japanese technology. At “Tsumugi No Yakata”, you will find the archives center, cloth roll museum, Yuki Tsumugi products store, and Dyeing and Weaving workshop.
Upon the different season, there are some special events such as Yukata dyeing workshop, dressing in Kimono workshop, Girls’ festival, new Yuki Tsumugi exhibition and so on. It opens from 9:30am to 5pm (Entry will be until 4:30pm) and closes on Tuesdays (open on national holiday) and End-of -the-year and new year. Entrance fee is free.
For the access, take JR Mito line at Shimodate station and get off at Yuki station and take a walk for 15 minutes.
2nd. Akeno himawari no sato
The Akeno Himawari no Sato is a flower garden in which about 1 million copies of “Yae Himawari” that also appears in Van Gobh’s painting “Sunflower” in the field of 4 hectares backed up by Mt. Tsukuba. “Yae Himawari” is one of the largest sightseeing spots in Japan.
The best time of blooming is late August to early September and it is late than usual, however it might be nice for you even if you got a late start. Also, in the evening, you can see the amazing scenery that is illuminated by the sunset from behind, and the place is compact and it is attractive that you don’t get tired. “Akeno Himawari Festival” is held from late August every year, and the events such as market and candle night are held, so it is recommended to visit this time. Blooming season is only open at all times and entrance fee is free.
For the Access, 20 minutes by taxi from JR Mito Line Shimodate Station. *During the Akeno Himawari Festival, there is a free shuttle bus (operated only on weekends)
1st. SL Mooka
Moka Tetsudo is a railway company operated by Mooka Tetsudo which connects Shimodate station in Ibaraki and Motegi station in Tochigi for 17 stations and 41.9km away. Since this railroad area was once the cotton production area, Moka Tetsudo loved by local people by the nickname of “Cotton way”.
Since two “SL Moka” trains run mainly on weekends and holidays for the whole year, you can adjust your time to get on the train. In addition, if you want to know more about SL, “SL Kyuroku museum” at Moka station which takes 6 stations from Shimodate station is recommended. Here you can enjoy the vehicles’ display, shops, and SL driving experience only held in Kanto area so you can enjoy from adults to children.
For the fare, besides the SL ordinary boarding ticket, “SL Moka ticket (free seat) adult 500 yen, child 250 yen (elementary school student)”. You can get on from Shimodate Station.
2. Getting to Shimodate station from Tokyo
From Tokyo station, a traveller can take JR UenoTokyo Line to Akabane station, then transfer to JR Tohoku Main Line, Commute Express, towards Utsunomiya, and get off at Oyama Station. At the station, transfer again to JR Mito Line, and get off at Shimodate Station. Duration is about 2 hours. Ticket Price is 1660 yen.
3. Other Area List
Hitachinaka, Oarai and Nakaminato
Mito – Kasama
Tsukuba, Tsuchiura and Ushiku
Itako, Hokota and Kashima
Yuki and Chikusei
Fukuroda, Daigo and Hitachiota
Kitaibaraki and Hitachi