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Around Japan: Ibaraki Prefecture

Posted on the 23 December 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Today, we’re going to move a bit closer from Tokyo and discover a place that absolutely no one ever goes to, I’m talking about Ibaraki prefecture.

To be fair, I have only been to one city in Ibaraki and that is Tsukuba. Tsukuba isn’t that bad, it’s quite close from Tokyo too, only 45 minutes by express train which is a shorter trip than many people’s commute. The one thing that shocked me in Ibaraki is how much you easily see ruins. I am sure you are all familiar with Japan’s many ruins like amusement parks or love hotels, Ibaraki is a paradise if you’re looking for some of those. Judging by the number of those I have seen next to major roads, I think if you go deeper there are definitely some gems to be discovered. Either way, it should tell you a lot on the state of Ibaraki’s economy.

Around Japan: Ibaraki Prefecture
Tsukuba is a bit luckier in this aspect because it’s close to Tokyo. It’s a well-known hiking spot, it’s quite easy to get on top of Mount Tsukuba, a bit dangerous when the weather is bad (obviously that’s when I went) but quite worth it as the view is beautiful (or must be, I haven’t seen anything, it was so foggy you could barely see 10 meters away). As with every mountain in Japan it’s also a big place of worship and honestly quite a refreshing trip, it isn’t as crowded as I thought it would be.

Around Japan: Ibaraki Prefecture

Another thing the city is well-known for is its university. This university is well-known for its engineering and astronomy as well as biology departments. Again, it’s close to Tokyo, it has the luxury of space, it can be quite interesting for students. It’s also interestingly well-known for not having many distractions around so students actually study and when they don’t study they get married. Or they do both. Given the obsession Japan has with marriage it shouldn’t come as a surprise but people usually do wait until they’re not students anymore.

Either way, one of the most interesting thing about Tsukuba is that it’s home to JAXA space center. Which you can visit. For those of you who have seen Space Brothers, do you remember the huge rocket as Mutta comes into JAXA? It’s there. And, while the space center is basically just a huge exhibition of satellites, it has the merit of being heavily translated into English, not everything obviously but English is there and it’s otherwise pretty easy to understand.

Around Japan: Ibaraki Prefecture

Moral of the story, there’s something interesting everywhere, you just have to know where to look.

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