A Model Driving Route to Photogenic Spots and Food from Ibaraki Airport

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Ibaraki Prefecture, with its nature, local cuisine, shrines and temples, hot springs, and great views, has recently become a place of interest. This article is about various sightseeing spots which can be accessed from the airport with a rental car.

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Tour Popular Ibaraki Spots in a Rental Car

Ibaraki Prefecture boasts many appeals, such as shrines and temples, magnificent views, and local cuisine. This article is about a sightseeing route starting from Ibaraki Airport around popular spots in Ibaraki using a rental car.

Reserve a Rental Car and Depart from Ibaraki Airport


Ibaraki Airport is the gateway to the prefecture. It also serves as a portal to Tokyo and the Tohoku Region.

The airport offers various services to visitors from abroad. For details, please check Ibaraki Guide, or the official site of Ibaraki Airport.


Picture courtesy of Toyota Rent a Car.

There is a Toyota Rent a Car office at the airport. The tour, visiting spots with great views and spiritual power, starts here.

Hitachi Seaside Park: Photogenic Wherever You Go


Picture courtesy of Hitachi Seaside Park.

The current fashionable spot in Ibaraki is the Hitachi Seaside Park, which appears frequently in social media. A large number of tourists flock to the park in the nemophila season.

The flower is at its best from mid-April to early May. Its pale blue color and adorable petals have been fascinating the visitors for a long time. The blue carpet extends toward the sky, creating a dream-like scenery.


Picture courtesy of Hitachi Seaside Park.

Kochia is another charming plant, which looks like a ball of yarn. Its color changes by the season.

From mid-August to late September, its leaves are green. Come early October, the color gradually changes to red, and the ground will be covered in both red and green to create a mystical sight.

The best season to watch the red kochia would be mid-October.

The scenery at Hitachi Seaside Park changes by the season. Those who haven't seen the plants covering the grounds should plan a visit when the flowers bloom.

Nakaminato Osakana Ichiba: Great Sushi and Sashimi

The sea off Hitachinaka City is where the Japan Current and the Kurile Current meet, creating a fertile fishing ground.

Nakaminato Osakana Ichiba, located by the fishing port, handles freshly caught seafood at an affordable price. Along with the tourists, chefs at the restaurants in the city, and local residents frequent this facility.


There are many seafood eateries in Osakana Ichiba, serving kaisen-don, sushi, and sashimi. Those who have the chance should not miss the fresh fish.

Sushi enthusiasts should head for Kaika-tei, the sole sushi restaurant in the facility. The price is moderate and they serve wonderful sushi made with seasonal fishes. Everyone will be satisfied when they get a taste of the most amazing sushi.


Hama no Jizakana Nigiri, a set of twelve types of sushi, including fatty tuna, sea urchin, and sea bream, is the popular choice. The local fish can be enjoyed at the price of 2,750 yen (after tax). It is sure to be a satisfying experience.

The restaurant also serves kaisen-don, topped with six types of sashimi. All their dishes are alluring.


Those looking for a warm dish should try the grilled or fried fish and miso soup.

Among those dishes, ara-jiru is especially popular. This soup is made with scraps after preparing sashimi that is slowly simmered into a stock. The taste of fish and miso blend to make a soup that you will want to keep on drinking.

Oarai Isosaki Jinja: An Unforgettable Torii Gate in the Ocean


Picture courtesy of Oarai Isosaki Jinja

Oarai Isosaki Jinja, located at Oarai Town, is known for its Kami-iso no Torii.

As the torii gate stands on a boulder, awash in the Pacific Ocean, visitors can enjoy both the view and the sound of the waves as it crashes into the rocks. It's a place that will delight both your sense of sight and hearing.

This spot is also known as the place to view the sunrise. The torii gate and the ocean changes its colors with the rising sun, creating a fantastic scenery that is sure to make a long lasting memory.

The spectacular view has drawn many tourists, turning it into a popular photo spot. It is one of the great sceneries that Ibaraki has to offer.


Picture courtesy of Oarai Isosaki Jinja

After enjoying the sunrise, walk through the white torii gate across the road, and climb the steps into the solemn atmosphere that blankets the main shrine of Oarai Isosaki Jinja.

As the shrine was built in 856, it has more than 1,100 years of history, blessing the lives of visitors with good relationships, financial success, and safety of their families.

The shrine is easy to access, located in the area near Hitachi Seaside Park and Nakaminato Osakana Ichiba. This makes it an easy addition to add to your travel plans.

Futatsushima Kanko Hotel: Wonderful View, Onsen, and Local Cuisine


Those who haven't decided where to stay should take a look at Futatsushima Kanko Hotel, which offers a stunning view and Ibaraki cuisine.

The hotel is located at Kita-Ibaraki City. Futatsushima, a huge boulder, and the Pacific Ocean, can be viewed from all the guestrooms. You can thoroughly enjoy the amazing view created together by the crashing waves on the coastline, the symbolic Futatsushima, and the blue sky.

On a clear day, guests can also enjoy the fantastic sunrise as you wake up in the morning.


The hotel also has an open-air bath, where guests can enjoy the magnificent view of the boulder and the ocean. Surrounded by the soothing sound of the waves, they will be enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience.

The bath is filled with onsen (hot spring), which is said to be effective against fatigue and muscle/joint pains. It will heal the jet-lagged body as well.


The hotel dinner uses seasonal ingredients, with a wide array of dishes.

In winter, anko nabe (monkfish pot), a typical Ibaraki cuisine at the time, will be served. The soup contains collagen, which is said to have a beautifying effect on the skin.

Anko, caught off the shores of Ibaraki, is famous for its fatty meat and delicious taste. Its meat, ankimo (liver), and skin is used in this dish. Each ingredient has its own texture, and contributes to create a rich taste.

Futatsushima Kanko Hotel is not just a place to stay, but a facility offering a one-and-only experience, to make the trip more special. It has a traditional atmosphere, magnificent view, anko nabe, and onsen. This hotel should not be missed in a trip to Ibaraki.

Oiwa Jinja: Shrouded by a Mystic Aura


Many people may visit historic shrines and temples in their trip to Japan. Oiwa Jinja is such a shrine.

Visitors can feel the change in the air beyond the torii gate. Sunlight is filtered by the lush forest surrounding the shrine, that might result in you experiencing the solemn and mystical atmosphere.

There are three cedar trees worshiped as goshinboku (sacred trees) in the grounds. The trees are more than 50 meters tall, and estimated to be over 600 years old. The cedars are the only entry from Ibaraki to be chosen as one of the "100 Giants in the Forest" by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.


Picture courtesy of Oiwa Jinja.

The shrine is said to have more than 1,300 years of history.

The legend goes that Mt. Oiwa is where the deities dwell. It is mentioned in Hitachi no Kuni Fudoki, one of the oldest documents in Japan.

In the Edo Period, the shrine was designated as a place of worship by the Mito Domain, and the successive lords have since visited the grounds.

Oiwa Jinja is filled with an enigmatic aura, which can be felt by all the visitors. It should also boost one's fortune as well.

Kurosawa Soy Sauce: Try the Shoyu Ice Cream


Kurosawa Soy Sauce, established in 1905, produces naturally distilled shoyu (soy sauce) employing traditional methods. Besides shoyu, they also make miso, yakiniku sauce, and amazake.

The gift shop handles various items, and visitors can also sample different types of shoyu. This is a place for those who love to cook.

If you're interested in the distilling process, there is a factory tour which can be booked in advance. Participants will be able to look at the products made with wooden barrels which has been used for several generations, up close.


There is a cafe in the gift shop, serving soft-served shoyu ice cream, shoyu dango, and soya milk amazake. Here, you can enjoy various light snacks and dessert.

The interior is designed in the retro style, and visitors can enjoy snacks while viewing the Japanese garden. Some people might feel as if they are enjoying a tea ceremony in Kyoto.

Many will be surprised by the taste of shoyu ice cream, which may be close to a salted caramel. The balance of saltiness and sweetness is just right, with an aftertaste of shoyu. It's also interesting how the flavor changes as you savor it in your mouth.

Look for Souvenirs at Sora no Eki So-La-La Next to Ibaraki Airport


Picture courtesy of Sora no Eki So-La-La.

From the airport, it is a 3 minute drive to Sora no Eki So-La-La in Komitama City, the place to buy souvenirs. You can purchase famous products and local specialties here before leaving Ibaraki.

The facility handles agricultural and dairy products from Komitama, and all over Ibaraki. Hoshi-imo and pudding, priced moderately, are especially popular.


Visitors can also relax in the spacious facility. This is the perfect place to purchase Ibaraki products before leaving for home.

Experience Ibaraki by Rental Car!

Ibaraki is rich in nature, fine food, historic architecture, special products, and great scenery that will make you exclaim in surprise. All its appeals can be recognized at a glance when you visit.

If you're thinking about a trip to Japan, be sure to add Ibaraki in your itinerary.
For those who want to enjoy the Ibaraki suburban area affordably, we recommend the "JR TOKYO Wide Pass." Be sure to check it out as well.

Author: ChanYeeKi
Sponsored by Ibaraki Prefecture.

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Tokyo, Japan

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