Spring of Ibaraki is filled with fresh green, when trees in the mountains and along the shores of rivers begin to bud. Flowers are blooming colorfully and festivals take place in cities and towns throughout Ibaraki. Fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables are another spring delight.

Ryujin Gorge Carp Streamer Festival

Hitachiota City

The Ryujin Koi Nobori – koi carp streamer – festival dates back 1988 when carp streamers were first displayed on the nearby Ryujin Dam while the bridge itself was still under construction. Nowadays, the festival features nearly 1000 carp streamers anchored to the bridge’s suspension cables. 

Carp streamer festivals are held across Japan to celebrate Children’s Day on the 5th of May. On this day, the bridge is free for children!

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Mito Plum Blossom Festival

Kairakuen Garden

 Plum blossoms mark the arrival of Spring in Japan. Kairakuen Park is home to around 3000 plum trees of 100 different species which flower from late February to March, filling the park with a delicate floral fragrance. Kairakuen also features various attractions which can be enjoyed throughout the year, such as Kobuntei villa and a lush bamboo forest. Tokiwa Shrine is situated near the main entrance to the park.

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Hitachi Cherry Blossom Festival & UNESCO Cultural Heritage (Hitachi City)

From early to mid-April, around 14,000 cherry trees fill the city of Hitachi with pink blossoms. The cherry trees on Heiwa Street and in Juo Panorama Park are also lit up at night in a special illumination event.
On the first weekend in April, a spectacular parade of traditional festival floats takes place on Heiwa Street. These 15m high floats are used as stages for puppet show performances and are recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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Nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park

From mid-April to early May, nearly 5.3 million nemophila flowers cover a 4.2 hectare area of hillside in Hitachi Seaside Park. All 5.3 million flowers are planted and cared for by hand over the cold winter months!

It’s no surprise that Hitachi Seaside Park was chosen as one of CNN’s 36 most beautiful places in Japan. 

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Himatsuri Pottery Festival

This annual pottery festival takes place between April 29th and May 5th each year and attracts more than 550,000 visitors. During the festival, more than 200 artists, craftspeople and galleries come together to showcase and sell their works.

The festival takes place outdoors to make the best of Japan’s beautiful Spring weather, and there are also plenty of food stalls, coffee shops and musical performances to keep you occupied as you browse the huge range of unique, handmade pottery and ceramics on offer.

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Mount Tsukuba Plum Blossom Festival

Tsukuba City

In the early Spring, more than 1000 plum trees burst into life on the slopes of Mount Tsukuba. The plum groves are located at an altitude of around 250m, offering panoramic views out over the Ibaraki countryside and even as far as Tokyo on clear days.

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Koga Peach Blossom Festival

Koga Park (Koga City)

This blossom festival takes places at the end of March just as the days start to get warmer. The park’s 1500 peach trees burst into life, filling the area with delicated pink and white blossoms.

During the festival, a range of events take place inside the park including hot air balloon rides, rickshaw rides, live music and other open-air performances. 

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Makabe Hina Doll Festival (Sakuragawa City)

People traditionally crafted elaborate displays of 'hina' dolls to celebrate Girl's Day in early March. In the historic town of Makabe, local people decided to open their displays to the public to encourage people to visit the town even during the cold Winter months. Many of the dolls have been passed down through families since the Edo Period, offering a unique glimpse into life in Japan more than a century ago. Other displays feature contemporary designs or unique stone dolls.
This festival is a great time to visit the picturesque, historic town of Makabe and experience of the passion of the local people keeping this tradition alive.

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Strawberry Picking

There are nearly 40 strawberry tourist farms in Ibaraki where you can enjoy picking fresh strawberries from mid-January to May, with high season being from February to late April. Each strawberry farm strives to grow delicious strawberries by devising more effective ways to grow them, such as by making their soil richer.

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.