Ibaraki is home to various kinds of summer outdoor activities since it faces the Pacific Ocean and has several large lakes and rivers. Also, festivals and fireworks displays are special events making you feel things unique to Japan.

Oarai Sun Beach

  The shallow sea surrounded by rocks at Oarai Beach makes for the perfect place for family visitors to spend their summer holidays. Naturally you can enjoy various kinds of marine sports here, and you can take wonderful photographs of a torii gate called Kamiiso-no-torii standing on a reef. The beach is barrier-free, and even wheelchair users can enjoy frolicking in the waves.

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Lake Kasumigaura

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.


The Mito Komon Festival is a three-day affair that takes place in early August and draws scores of people from all over. Roughly 4,500 fireworks are set off at Lake Senba on the first night of the festival, and over the next two days you can see a variety of festival floats with colorful decorations and portable shrines shouldered by local people parading the streets. A Citizen’s Carnival and other festive events are a lot of fun, too.

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Hydrangea Festival

Amabiki Kannon Temple/Sakuragawa City

 Located in a mountainous area, Amabiki Kannon is a temple known for answering prayers for a safe birth and sound child rearing. The Hydrangea Festival is held here from early June till mid-July during the rainy season. Ten different types of hydrangeas, some three thousand in number, bloom during the festival. The imposing temple building is also something to see.

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Itako Iris Festival (Itako City)

Itako City is a waterfront city surrounded by the ocean on one side and rivers and lakes on the other. The city is most famous for its Iris Festival in which nearly one million iris plants fill the city with innumerable shades of purple. During the festival in late May and June, visitors can also see a traditional ceremony in which a bride in a stunning white wedding kimono travels by boat to join her new husband's family as well enjoy leisurely row boat cruises on the city's many canals.

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Ushiku Daibutsu (Buddha)

The Ushiku Daibutsu (statue of Buddha) has a total height of 120 meters, and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest bronze statue in the world. You can go inside the Daibutsu, where nearly 3,400 gold-colored images of Buddha are displayed. The view of the vast Kanto region from the observatory at a height of 85 meters is breathtaking.

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Harvesting and Eating Melons

Ibaraki is the leader of melon production in Japan. You can enjoy eating melons on-site at some tourist farms, and even try your hand at harvesting. Generally speaking, early summer (June) is the best time to visit melon farms.