Before I knew it, it was already my last day in Ibaraki. I wish I could stay here longer because the leaves were just starting to change colour and it was so beautiful!
Near Omoide Romankan was the Fukuroda Falls (袋田の滝), a famous waterfall in the town of Daigo in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Lovely hues of changing leaves.
In winter, the falls would be frozen and that would be a different sight to admire.
I would advise coming here in the afternoon instead as the sun direction would be better for photos in the afternoon.
Fukuroda, Daigo, Kuji District, Ibaraki Prefecture 319-3523, Japan
Opening hours: 8:00am -6:00pm (May to October), 9:00am – 5:00pm (November to April)
Admission fee: ¥300
The area is also famous for apples and I got to experience apple picking in Kuroda Apple Farm (黒田りんご園) . Apple picking season lasts until the end of November and I was just in time for it!
There are A LOT of apples in a tree and these are really heavy! They are huge, unlike those apples we have in abundance at our local supermarkets.
The experience of choosing your own from the trees and picking them off is just different. You could either have them on the spot (knives and tables are provided) or take them home.
1kg of apples is ¥600 and this is actually quite reasonable! I’ve seen Japanese apples going at 2 for $9 in our local supermarket.
I am no fan of apples but these are really the best apples I’ve ever tasted in my life. I could really have one right now.
They also sell apple products like apple juice and apple jam. This place is really worth to check out because you’ll never get such good apples (and such good apple farms) in Singapore!
４４４５ Konamase, Daigo, Kuji District, Ibaraki Prefecture 319-3512, Japan
Opening hours: September to November
Admission fee: ¥300 (adult), ¥200 (child) Apples are charged separately.
The last attraction for my trip was one which I was looking forward to – Kiuchi Brewery (木内酒造), a place which produces sake and beer, located in Naka City of Ibaraki Prefecture.
Hitachino Nest Beer is not new to Singapore and I’m sure many have seen it around. You can find it in Meidya Liang Court or craft beer stores.
Among the 3 I tasted here, this was my favourite!
The plum wine was also nice but it is on the sweet side. I preferred the drier sake to this!
Hitachino Nest beers are typically quite easy to drink. This one is a White Ale.
1257 Kounosu, Naka-shi,Ibaraki,Japan, 311-0133
The restaurant for lunch was in the same premises. It is called Nakaya (な嘉屋）and it specialises in soba. Buckwheat is also a local produce of Ibaraki and I guess that’s why the best soba I’ve ever had in my life was found here.
I had the set which costs ¥2100 and it consists of appetizers, kakiage tempura, soba, dessert and coffee.
Here we have cream cheese & miso, salmon and sweet potato stem.
The cream cheese & miso was so good – almost like foie gras mousse! I’ve never tried something like it before and other than SO GOOD I can’t think of any other description.
This is the best kakiage I’ve ever had. I know, this is commonly seen everywhere and you probably found this kind of dish to be mediocre at best, but the one at Nakaya was extraordinary! It was good even when no longer hot. Salt or dipping sauce was provided for eating this.
And the star of the meal was none other than the soba!
The texture was just different from other renditions I’ve had. They make their own soba so no luck with attempting to bring some home.
This last meal of the trip was a worthy and memorable one and I really highly recommend trying the soba here. Even our Japanese friends think that it’s the best soba ever!
1257 Kounosu, Naka-shi,Ibaraki,Japan, 311-0133
Opening hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 8pm
Before I knew it I was back at Narita Airport again. However, it’s always fun at Narita Airport because you can go crazy shopping at the Duty Free Shops for Japanese goodies! There are so many snacks to choose from.
The flight back was a good one and I found many interesting programmes on the entertainment system. It was a pity I couldn’t finish watching them because I fell asleep after having dinner!
After having 6 days of delicious Japanese food, the plane food paled in comparison. But what do you expect from plane food anyway?
My first duty-free purchase on board was this Jill Stuart Travel exclusive blush! I always loved their blushes and this cost around $48, really reasonable in my opinion.
Here are some of the souvenirs from the various attractions I visited on this trip! Yes, there are a lot of liquids and it was bulky and heavy but it’s worth it. I would like to thank all who are involved for making this trip a pleasant one especially the tour guides and coordinator from JTB, and the representatives from Chiba and Ibaraki.
In case my review isn’t informative enough, check out http://www.ibarakiguide.jp/en/ to read more about Ibarki (in English).
It was truly one of the best trips I ever experienced and I would definitely recommend these places and I do wish to come back someday!
The obvious benefits of choosing Chiba and Ibaraki over the more famous cities like Tokyo or Kyoto is that generally costs are cheaper in these areas and you can get to experience unadulterated local culture due to it being less commercialised or catered for foreigners, as of now. What I really appreciate here is that hotel rooms are generally bigger than what you’ll get in the busier cities!