Fukuroda Falls (Daigo Town)
At a staggering 120m in height and 70m wide, it's easy to see why Fukuroda Falls is one of Ibaraki's most popular destinations. There are several levels of observation platform to allow visitors to feel the power of the falls up-close as well as a bridge over the river at the base of the falls.
The falls are particularly stunning during the Autumn when the surrounding mountains are transformed by fiery Autumn colours, although the dramatic icy spectacle of the frozen falls during the Winter months gives Autumn a run for its money!
There are also plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops in the town around the falls as well as hiking trails and hot springs in the wider Fukuroda area, making it the perfect destination for a daytrip from the city. Don't forget to sample some of the area's famous apple pie, baked using locally grown apples.
Ryujin Suspension Bridge (Hitachiota City)
This 100m high dragon-inspired suspension bridge towers dramatically over the mountainous landscape of northern Ibaraki. The bridge offers panoramic views of the area including the wild cherry blossoms which dot the mountainsides during the Spring and the dramatic Autumn foliage. And that's not all - the bridge is also home to Japan's highest bungy jump.
If thrills aren't your thing, there are also plenty of hiking trails and soba restaurants in the area.
Oarai Sunbeach (Oarai Town)
With miles of broad golden sands, shallow waters and restaurants and shops within walking distance, it's not hard to see why this beach is one of Ibaraki's most popular destinations. There are also plenty of opportunities to try water sports such as surfing and kitesurfing.
Sunbeach is fully accessible and wheelchairs for use in the sea are available to borrow.
Kasumigaura City and other municipalities on the lake
Japan’s second largest lake, Kasumigaura is designated as one of Japan’s 100 most beautiful spots. It is popular for such activities as fishing, sailing, and riding water motorcycles, and you can cycle along the shores of the lake as well. Sightseers can also enjoy boarding excursion boats to see traditional sailing vessels called hobikisen plying the waters of the lake.
Mount Tsukuba (Tsukuba City)
At 877m tall, the distinctive twin peaks of Mount Tsukuba are one of the symbols of Ibaraki. Mount Tsukuba is accessible in less than 2 hours from Tokyo, the mountain is the perfect place to escape the city and get outdoors. There are variety of hiking trails to choose from, with plenty of options for beginners. If hiking isn't for you, there is also the option to take a cable car or rope way to the summit.
Mount Tsukuba Shrine is located on the lower slopes of the mountain and is the perfect stop-off on a trip to Mount Tsukuba.
Hananuki Gorge (Takahagi City)
This unique landscape features a series of waterfalls which cascade downstream through a series of pools and dams. The gorge's biggest draw is the 60m long Shiomi Falls Suspension Bridge with its stunning views of the nearby waterfalls and lush forested hills surrounding the gorge.
During November, Autumn foliage transforms the gorge into a sea of fiery reds and yellows and the suspension bridge is carpeted with fallen Autumn leaves. Summer is another great time to visit - grab your swim wear and take a plunge into the natural waterfall pools, or relax with a friends at the barbecue area.
Ibaraki Town and other municipalities on the lake
Even some endangered species of animal and plant life exist here peacefully in and around Lake Hinuma, a rare brackish lake where fresh water and seawater meet. Lake Hinuma is a popular spot for observing the sunset, and many people enjoy camping and fishing. Blooming here in June and July, over 10,000 hydrangeas add a cheerful note to Japan’s rainy season.