Winter

Winter

Since it’s a cold season, people eat hot local dishes and bathe in a hot spring bath to keep them warm. In the severe cold of winter, a huge waterfall will ice over for a limited period. It’s also the season of shopping and visiting shrines and temples for a new year and prays for success in examinations.
           

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.

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Kamiiso no Torii Gate

Oarai Town

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,

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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.

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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.

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Anko (Angler Fish)

Anko (anglerfish) is a collagen-rich deep-sea fish that is often served in a hot pot dish, anko nabe, in the winter. Like natto, anko nabe is especially associated with Ibaraki. Nutritious anko nabe also contains fresh vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage and green onions, making it a healthy dish indeed. Why not try it if you have the chance?