Itinerary Guide: The Best Spots to Visit in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture

The view of Lake Kasumigaura is the best.


Tokyo and Osaka may be on everyone’s bucket list, but adventurous travelers know that they’re just a taste of what Japan has to offer. In Ibaraki Prefecture alone, you’ll find no shortage of things to do.
Along the driving route from Tsukuba City to Namegata City, you can visit two exciting space exploration facilities, get a glimpse of Kasumigaura, a lake that’s almost the size of the sea, soak in a hot spring, and eat at some of Ibaraki Prefecture’s elite ramen restaurants. Read on to find out more about these places!


Kigenmon


Kigenmon
is one of the most popular and well-established shops in Ibaraki’s ramen industry. They’re mainly known for their evolutionary dishes involving thick soups with vacuum soba and animal and seafood stock. Aside from this, the restaurant gives you the option of enjoying your roasted pork fillet roasted, grilled, charcoal-grilled, or cooked in low temperature.


The noodles in the Ago Dashijiru are delicately cooked by adjusting the boiling time.


The
Ago Dashijiru (¥800) (Japanese flying fish stock) is made up of Nagoya cochin, anchovies, round herring, and a thick sauce from the grilled Japanese flying fish. These ingredients combine perfectly to produce a deep and fragrant flavor.


The Salty Shrimp Ramen has a strong shrimp oil flavor.


The
Salty Shrimp Ramen ’s (¥740) thick soup is a great match with the noodles’ strong wheat taste. On the other hand, the carefully selected Sakura shrimps used in the shrimp oil bring out the dish’s strong flavors.


Kigenmon is located at
6-6 D12 Bldg. 101, Kenkyu-gakuen, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Tsukuba Expo Center


Tsukuba Expo Center


The
Tsukuba Expo Center is a science museum where you can check out different types of scientific equipment and learn more about how certain technologies work. In addition to this, you can find one of the world’s largest planetariums, together with other interesting exhibitions, in this facility.


Tsukuba Expo Center
is located at 2-9, Azuma, Tsukuba City. It is open from 9:50 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Last entry is at 4:30 p.m.). The entrance fee costs ¥410 for adults and ¥820 with the planetarium access.


JAXA Tsukuba Space Center


JAXA Tsukuba Space Center


At the
JAXA Tsukuba Space Center tour area, you can familiarize yourself with the history of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The facility also has a life-size exhibition of  “KIBO,” the International Space Station.

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The JAXA Tsukuba Space Center is located at 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba City. The Space Dome (normal exhibition) is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the Planet Cube (special exhibition and museum shop) is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Raon


The chef of
Raon was formerly a truck driver who immersed himself with the different types of ramen across the country. Today, he is known for producing one of the best ramen dishes in the Ibaraki Prefecture.


The key to the taste of Raon’s soups lies in the use of extracted pork and chicken stock when cooking the ramen dish. Straight noodles or handmade, wavy noodles are added depending on the type of ramen being made.


Raon Soba


The most popular item in the restaurant’s menu is the
Raon Soba (¥750). Its soup is made from smoked mackerel and deep-flavored pork and chicken stocks. Aside from this, the rich soy sauce adds to the flavors of the ramen dish.


Wonton Noodle


The restaurant’s additive-free
Wonton Noodle (¥900) makes use of homemade wonton. The soup spreads gently over your taste buds as soon as you take your first sip.


Raon is located at 3-5, Wakamatsu Town, Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and  5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. except for Wednesdays.


Kaho’s Hot Spring


Relax your body after a long drive at Kaho’s Hot Spring


Kaho’s Hot Spring
offers a panoramic view of Kasumigaura from its bathroom window. You can relieve your traveler’s fatigue at their artificial hot spring and tatami resting place.


Kaho’s Hot Spring is located at
255 Oiwata, Tsuchiura City. It is open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily except on Mondays. If the Monday falls on a national holiday, then it is closed the next day.


Kasumigaura


There are tourist facilities found near the area of Kasumigaura


Kasumigaura
is more popularly known for being the second-largest lake in Japan. Around it, you can find various sightseeing locations from which you can view the majestic lake. During the summer, this lake is famous for sailing tours.


Kotetsu


Kotetsu
is famous for being the only ramen shop that offers soups that stay true to their ingredients’ flavors. Among the items in their menu, the Kotetsu Soba is the most popular. It uses two local chicken stocks for its chintan soup and a pork roast that’s cooked in a furnace.  

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Kotetsu Soba


The
Kotetsu Soba (¥780) contains Nagoya Cochin, local chicken stock, and handmade, straight noodles in its soup. You can change to wavy noodles too. Its deep and thick texture is from the seafood sauce added to the dish.


Another dish worth trying is the
Dried Anchovy Soba (¥780) whose soup is made with dried sardines, wagtails, and silver croaker. It is a ramen dish with a distinct seafood aroma.


Dried Anchovy Soba


Kotetsu is located at
661-6, Tamatsukurikou, Namegata City, Ibaraki Prefecture. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily except on Mondays. If the Monday falls on a national holiday, then it is closed the next day.


Provided by Tokyo Walker™, Japan Walker™, and Walkerplus™ (26 January 2019)


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