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Sightseeing in Ishioka, Ibaraki: Video Introduction

This video, titled "[Ishioka Ibaraki Prefecture Official] SATOYAMA landscape ISHIOKA: See the Satoyama Landscape of Ishioka, the Original Landscape of Japan, With Seasonal Images and a Soul-Stirring Tsugaru Shamisen Performance" (【茨城県石岡市公式】SATOYAMA landscape ISHIOKA  日本の原風景、石岡の里山風景を四季折々の映像と津軽三味線の魂を揺さぶる演奏とともにご覧下さい。), was uploaded by "Ishioka, Ibaraki" (茨城県石岡市).

The Tsugaru shamisen performer in the video is Shotaro Yo, a hometown ambassador for Ishioka. This video of Ishioka's sightseeing spots lets you soar like a gust of wind along with the soft-yet-wild tones of the Tsugaru shamisen. The combination of beautiful Japanese scenery, Satoyama (an area between the natural environment and an urban space, consisting of a village, surrounding forests and farmland, reservoirs, grasslands, and so forth.) scenery, and the Tsugaru shamisen will transport you away from reality, and into a world overflowing with the near-forgotten spirit of "wa" (the Japanese concept of 'harmony').

What Kind of City is Ishioka, Ibaraki?

Image of Ishioka, Ibaraki
Photo:Ishioka, Ibaraki

Ishioka is located in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan's Kanto region, less than 60 minutes from Tokyo by train, making it the perfect distance for a day trip from Tokyo.

Gazing at the satoyama scenery, an image of a Japan untouched by human hands extends in every direction, a sight that's sure to wash away the stresses of daily life.
Ishioka is a relatively flat place, and this geography allows for an even wider view of the awesome landscapes and satoyama scenery. Thanks to high quality groundwater, Ishioka is also a brewery town, where sake and soy sauce production have flourished for many years.

Ishioka has many places to relax, including flower gardens and hot springs, and a variety of fun activities that can be enjoyed in the area, including leisure facilities where you can enjoy the blue skies, hiking through the mountains, and much, much more. We're certain you'll be able to refresh both your body and mind with a visit to Ishioka!

Enjoying Cherry Blossoms at Hitachi Fudoki no Oka

Image of Kanokoshiseki Park near Hitachi Fudki no Oka
Photo:Kanokoshiseki Park near Hitachi Fudki no Oka

Among Ishioka's many sightseeing locations, Hitachi Fudoki no Oka is one that brings you close to some important history. In addition to the location's credentials as a cultural resource, Hitachi Fudoki no Oka's "Chibiko Hiroba" (ちびっこ広場, lit. 'kid's park') has plenty for the kids to enjoy too.

Another hit with the kids is the observation deck, that doubles as the largest lion mask in Japan, which was made famous through the Ishioka festival "Ishioka no Omatsuri" (石岡のおまつり). The imposing lion mask and the blue skies are great for taking Instagram photos!

As for adults, you can enjoy seasonal flowers, including cherry blossom, lilies, lotuses and so on between spring and summer at the waterside park. Chibiko Hiroba, the lion mask observation deck, and the waterside park are all, happily, free of charge.
[Video] 2:09 - Shishigashira Observation Deck!

Inside the paid area is a plaza populated with reconstructed ancient houses, with reconstructions of houses from the Paleolithic/Jomon era (between around 14,000B.C. and 400B.C.) to the Yayoi period (between around 300B.C. and 250A.D.), and an exhibition and research facility where buried cultural resources and remains are on display. If you're a history buff, you'll definitely want to check this out!

Popular Tourist Attractions in Ishioka, Ibaraki: Petting Zoos

Image of Ostrich Kingdom, Ishioka, Ibaraki
Photo:Ostrich Kingdom, Ishioka, Ibaraki

Tsukuba Utopia (筑波ユートピア) and Ostrich Kingdom (ダチョウ王国, dacho okoku) are absolute musts if you're sightseeing in Ishioka. Both facilities offer the rare opportunity to interact with animals. These spots are great fun for both kids and adults alike, and are great for any sightseeing itinerary.

In addition, you can enjoy a plethora of hands-on events as well as looking at the animals. There's plenty of fun to be had here, not just for families, but for couples on dates too! Enjoy an extraordinary time while getting in touch with nature and petting cute animals.

Camping and Other Outdoor Activities in Ishikoka; Make Lifelong Memories Here!

Ishioka has a wide range of facilities where you can enjoy nature. There are a total of four places offering paragliding experiences: Mt. Ashio (足尾山, ashio-san), Mt. Wagakuni (吾国山, wagakuni-san), Mt. Maie (真家山, maie-san), and Mt. Minedera (峰寺山, minedera-san). It's a great way to experience the beautiful scenery of the Japanese countryside from the sky!

Also, those planning to climb Mt. Tsukuba (筑波山, tsukuba-san) often stay at "Tsukubane Autocamp" (つくばねオートキャンプ場), a campground from which hot spring facilities are easily accessible by car.

You can spend time in nature with family, go for a date with your partner, or hang out with your friends in the natural surroundings. The special time you spend here is something you just won't find in day-to-day life, and is sure to make for some treasured memories.

Chow Down on Some Local Specialties in Ishioka

Image of soba

Don't forget to try the food in Ishioka as well! Enjoy slurping on some delicious soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) while enjoying the hot springs at Yasato Onsen Yuri no Sato. Ishioka is home to vast fields of buckwheat. Slurping down soba while smelling the fragrance of buckwheat makes it all the more delicious. The brewing industry is also big in the area, meaning you can enjoy the ultimate combination of Japanese sake and soba. Combine that with the breathtaking Japanese scenery, and you might understand what it would have felt like to live in Japan in the past!

In addition, at Sanpoen (三宝園) you can indulge in apples and persimmons still dripping with morning dew, among a whole host of other fruits. The fruit tour, which can be enjoyed as part of a day trip, is another activity to consider.

Ishioka Sightseeing Summary

Did you watch the video introducing Ishioka's sightseeing spots, with backing provided by the tones of the Tsugaru shamisen? The video also includes scenes of Shobuzawa Yakushi Kodo (菖蒲沢薬師古道、lit. Old Shobuzawa Physician's Road), and old-school billboard architecture (an architectural style resembling the art deco style), that aren't mentioned in this article.
[Video] 0:31 - Shobuzawa Yakushi Kodo
[Video] 0:49 - Billboard Architecture

Furthermore, at Daikakuji Temple (板敷山大覚寺, Itajikiyama Daikakuji), there is a splendid garden, modeled after Kyoto's Tenryuji Garden. If you're interested in Japanese culture, you ought to add it to your sightseeing itinerary.
There's too much to do in Ishioka for just one day. From autumn tasting trips on bike, to experiencing the outdoors and paragliding, it might be worth picking a theme to explore before your visit. Either way, we definitely recommend adding Ishioka to your list of travel destinations in Japan!


Written By
Last Updated : Mar. 12, 2023
さとうとしお(sugar & salt)
A nature lover and traveler with a wandering heart.
Things to Do in Ishioka, Ibaraki! Explore Sightseeing Spots to the Sound of the Tsugaru Shamisen in This Video Full of the Japanese Spirit of 'Wa'
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