Temples & Shrines
Oarai Isosaki Shrine (Oarai Town)
This shrine was established in the year 856 when two gods, the god of national prosperity and the god of medicine, are said to have down to earth in the sea off the Oarai Coast in the spot now marked by Kamiiso Torii Shrine Gate. As well as pilgrims praying for good fortune and health, the shrine attracts fans of the anime 'Girls und Panzer' which is set in the town of Oarai, and photographers keen to capture the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and 'floating' shrine gate.For more information
Kamiiso no Torii Gate
Kamiiso no Torii Gate stands on a reef in the Pacific Ocean. It is the place where, according to mythology, Sukunahikona-no-mikoto is said to have descended. The view created by the torii gate and the white-crested waves surging toward it is a must-see, and the scene is especially amazing at sunrise.
Kasama Inari Shrine (Kasama City)
Kasama Inari Shrine is one of Japan's most important Inari Shrines, ranked alongside Kyoto's famous Fushimi Inari, and attracts around 3.5 million pilgrims and visitors every year. The shrine is particularly beautiful in late Spring when the wisteria flowers are in bloom, and in Autumn during the chrysanthemum festival.
The streets leading up to the shrine are filled with restaurants, fashionable cafes and pottery galleries as well as plenty of chances to sample local street food like Kasama Inari Sushi and roasted chestnuts,
Kashima Jingu Grand Shrine (Kashima City)
Kashima Jingu Grand Shrine is the oldest and biggest Shinto Shrine in the Kanto region. Pilgrims including the imperial family have visited this shrine since ancient times.
After entering through the imposing red shrine gate, explore the shrine buildings, then take a walk through the leafy grounds to see the deer enclosure and crystal blue waters of Mitarashi Pond.
More than 80 annual festivals and events take place at the shrine including the famous Ofune Matsuri or 'Ship Festival', which is held just once every 12 years.
Amabiki Kannon Temple (Sakuragawa City)
Amabiki Kannon Temple is named for its statue of the goddess Kannon, who people pray to for safe childbirth, child-rearing and protection from bad luck. The temple is known for its beautiful gardens, in particular the hydrangea festival during the rainy season in June, cherry blossoms and Autumn leaves. Amabikisan Rakuho-ji Temple is well known for its Kannon (the Bodhisattva of compassion).For more information
Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha Statue (Ushiku City)
At 120m tall, this giant statue of Buddha holds the Guinness World Record for the world's tallest standing bronze statue. After viewing the imposing statue from outside, visitors can take the lift to the 85m high observation area for stunning views of the Ibaraki countryside and beyond. The area is particularly beautiful during the Spring when countless cherry blossoms fill the area around the base of the statue.For more information