Ibaraki Prefecture is located in the Kanto area, about 1-2 hours’ drive away from Tokyo. It is one of the closest places from Tokyo (apart from Chiba) that has great surfing spots, which is the reason why we were there in the summer this year. The danna was really itching to reach for the waves.
It is not a very popular tourist destination, but you may have seen pictures of the Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園), famed for its super dreamy and surreal seasonal scenes.
(image from Google)
Have you seen these scenes before? It’s real!! A floral ocean of pastel blue Nemophila in spring and flaming red Kochia in autumn. I was there 3 years ago but it was tulip season back then.
We settled down at Oarai coastal area after driving since 4am in the morning.
It was bright and sunny at 6am in the morning!
The danna built a small tent for us and ran off for the sea with his surfboard haha. Oniichan played with sand and his empty R1 yogurt drink bottle for hoursssss.
Sakura’s first beach play.
I’m totally not a beach person omg😯 In fact beach holiday are probably the last vacation choice for me. And if I can choose I would even probably choose not to go😅.
I just cannot understand what is so fun about getting sand all over yourself and every. freaking. thing. around. you. Your clothes. The towels used to wipe your body and clothes. Your slippers. And car seat/carpet which you step on with your sandy shoes. Your butt creaks. Just thinking about it stresses me out…
I remember I posted IG stories about this on that day haha.
I must be the danna’s true love lol. I mean, for someone who cannot live without the sea waves, how much happier and easier would it be if he had married an ocean enthusiast, who wouldn’t get irked by keep having to adjust the shades of the tent as the sun moves higher and the shadow gets narrower lol.
But we are here, so we must take all these beachy beachy omg-i-wish-i-could-live-here-forever shots.🙄
I dislike the beach so much I haven’t bought any swimwear in like, 5 years 😅.
But as long as he comes back fulfilled and content as a surfed man. Haha. Only good things can happen if your husband/wife is happy.
We went for lunch after at this humble little canteen-style restaurant.
If you travel out of Tokyo, you will be surprised how insanely cheap you can get a meal for. A grilled fish set meal at 780 yen!!!
This is… zhap cai. Hahha. Stir-fried mixed vegetables.
Squid and onion.
Pork intestines. This was sooooo gooood!
My 800 yen set meal.
Kanpo No Yado
We decided to stay a night in Ibaraki instead of rushing back to Tokyo. So the danna can surf again the next morning. We checked in to Kanpo No Yado, a ryokan in Oarai town.
View from our room!
Naka River of Ibaraki.
There’s something very comforting about tatami. I guess it always feels a lot cleaner than carpets, and very children friendly, especially for crawlers and toddlers. You eat, sit, sleep on the tatami, there’s no worries your little ones will fall over, drop off the bed, etc.
The ryokan’s onsen bath!
Love ryokan that have cribs for baby when the mommy changes. There was no one in the bath so I could snap this photo. Please don’t do it later they bring you to police station hahaha.
When we checked in, we could choose whether to include dinner+breakfast, for maybe about 2000-3000 yen extra. Out of convenience we did! We always love to dine in the ryokan.
Fish cake nimono.
Fried oyster in red wine sauce.
I don’t have pictures of the rest of the food because Sakura started toddling around (she juuust started walking back then!) and I had to chase after her the entire time haha.
Sunset view from our room.
Ahhhh I looove ryokan breakfast!! Nothing beats warm, comforting Japanese-style breakfasts. T_T. I remember when we traveled to Europe for our weddingmoon, I was feeling so miserable every morning because nothing served on the breakfast table was vaguely warm, except coffee, which I don’t drink T_T. My tummy just feels a little sad when I had to feed it cut fruits, cold milk & cereal and stone-hard bread haha.
This is my breakfast plate to share with Sakura! White porridge, miso soup, nori seaweed, tamagoyaki, atsuage tofu, grilled fish, wieners, braised daikon and siu mai.
To go with porridge – jyako and… jeng jeng jeng… mentaiko!!!
The danna’s plate has so much more green XD.
That’s all for today! Did you know that there’s a Mentai Park in Oarai where you get to see how mentaiko is made and also taste the freshes mentaiko straight from the manufacturer? 😀 Up next!!
I also still have Nagasaki, Aomori, Hakodate to go.