Autumn

Autumn

The landscape changes dramatically as if all the trees were changed into different species. Ibaraki provides various scenic spots for visitors to take nice pictures, and from mid-October till mid-November is the best time to visit. Also, autumn is the season of feast in the bounty of fruit, seafood and vegetables.

Fukuroda Falls

At 120 meters in height and 73 meters wide, Fukuroda Falls is one of the three most splendid waterfalls in Japan. You can view the falls up close from observation decks, and the surrounding foliage will also amaze you, especially in autumn. In the severe cold of winter, the falls ice over, creating a tranquil atmosphere. They are also becoming popular as a lovers’ sanctuary.

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Ryujin Big Suspension Bridge (Ryujin Gorge)

A dam creates a placid lake surrounded by mountains in Ryujin Gorge. The gorge features a 375-meter-long suspension bridge which is decorated with countless traditional carp streamers around Children’s Day in spring, in the hope that children will grow up to be healthy and strong. A 100-meter-high bungee jump from the bridge is another attraction here.

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Kochia at Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachinaka City

 Kochia plants are grown from July to the end of October on a large hill in Hitachi Seaside Park. The kochia are green at first, but the most popular time for viewing them is mid-October, when they turn scarlet red. For a week in August, the green kochia-covered hill is lit up in the evening, creating a colorful dream-like world.

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Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of History

The Ibaraki Prefectural Archives and Museum exhibits historical artifacts from ancient to modern times. The museum hosts special exhibitions twice a year and themed exhibitions six times a year. Rows of gingko trees provide beautiful yellow foliage in autumn. On the grounds, an old elementary school building called Mitsukaido Shogakko is well worth seeing, and the Kairakuen Garden is just a few steps away.

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Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition

The Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition takes place annually on the first Saturday in October. Roughly 20,000 fireworks are launched and nearly 700,000 people come to see them. Don’t miss the gorgeous star mine that lasts for five minutes at around 7:00 pm. Most impressive, it is the highlight of the event.

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Mt. Tsukuba

Mt. Tsukuba, 877 meters high, is a symbol of Ibaraki, and mountain climbing can be enjoyed there throughout the year. For non-climbers, going to the top by cable car or ropeway is fun. Viewing the stars twinkling in the winter night sky is amazing. Halfway up the mountain stands Tsukubasan Shrine, which has a history of over 3,000 years.

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Hananuki Gorge

Hananuki Gorge features a series of waterfalls that cascade down into basins of various sizes. The gorge has a dam and streams, and along them there are walkways from which seasonal natural beauty can be enjoyed. The highlight is the view seen from a 60-meter-long suspension bridge. The colored leaves in mid-November draw a growing number of visitors from all over Japan.

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Nishikanasago Soba no Sato, Soba Koubou

Hitachiota City

  Soba is noodles made from buckwheat flour. The Kanasago area is famous for its high-quality buckwheat, which features a good flavor and aroma. Nishkanasago Soba no Sato has a simple lodge called Momiji-so, a water mill, and a folk museum. You can try making soba in their workshop.

ISHIOKA NO MATSURI

The Ishioka Festival is one the three most popular festivals in the Kanto region. You will be awed by the huge, magnificent portable shrine, where the deity is believed to temporarily stay, as well as amazed at the gorgeous festival floats and spirited lion mask performances. You can also see sumo matches and kagura (dancing to music), both of which afford you the opportunity of getting a close-up view of traditional cultural beauty and energy.

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Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival

Kasama Inari Shrine/Kasama City

  From late October to late November, the Kasama Chrysanthemum Festival is held at Kasama Inari Shrine. The festival has a history of over 110 years, which makes it the oldest chrysanthemum festival in Japan. Nearly 10,000 potted chrysanthemums are displayed throughout the shrine grounds, and, in particular, dolls and decorations skillfully made using chrysanthemums draw lots of visitors. Some traditional events such as yabusame (horseback archery) and Shinto rituals with music are also held during the festival.

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Pear Picking

The season for pear picking is from mid-August to late September. Ibaraki pears are juicy, with a crisp texture, and Ibaraki is one of the major pear producers in Japan.

Grape Picking

Late June to early October is the best time to harvest grapes. On a tourist farm you can try picking bunches of grapes and eat them on-site. Various kinds of grapes, from kyoho to shine muscat grapes, are available.

Apple Picking

Apples are picked from September to November. Ibaraki’s apples are mainly grown in the northern area of the prefecture, where the climate is cooler. The apples in Ibaraki are big and sweet with a pleasant aroma.

Chestnut Gathering

Chestnuts are gathered from early September to mid-October. Ibaraki’s quality chestnuts are big and smell sweet. Japanese people usually eat chestnuts after baking or boiling them, and they are used in producing various kinds of processed sweets.