|Anthem: Ibaraki kenmin no uta|
|Subdivisions||Districts: 7, Municipalities: 44|
|• Governor||Kazuhiko Ōigawa|
|• Total||6,097.19 km2 (2,354.14 sq mi)|
(December 1, 2020)
|• Density||470/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|• Dialect||Ibaraki dialect|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-08|
|Bird||Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)|
|Tree||Ume tree (Prunus mume)|
Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県, Ibaraki-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Ibaraki Prefecture has a population of 2,871,199 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 6,097.19 square kilometres (2,354.14 square miles). Ibaraki Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Tochigi Prefecture to the northwest, Saitama Prefecture to the southwest, Chiba Prefecture to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the east.
Mito is the capital and largest city of Ibaraki Prefecture, with other major cities including Tsukuba, Hitachi, and Hitachinaka.Ibaraki Prefecture is located on Japan's eastern Pacific coast to the northeast of Tokyo, and is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Ibaraki Prefecture features Lake Kasumigaura, the second-largest lake in Japan; the Tone River, Japan's second-longest river and largest drainage basin; and Mount Tsukuba, one of the most famous mountains in Japan. Ibaraki Prefecture is also home to Kairaku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is an important center for the martial art of Aikido.
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Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province. In 1871, the name of the province became Ibaraki, and in 1875 it became its current size, by annexing some districts belonging to the extinct Shimōsa Province.
In Japanese Paleolithic, humans are believed to have started living in the present-day prefecture area before and after the deposition of the volcanic ash layer from the Aira Caldera about 24,000 years ago. At the bottom of this layer are local tools of polished stone and burnt pebbles.
During the Asuka period the provinces of Hitachi and Fusa were created. Later Fusa was divided, among them, the Shimōsa Province.
At the beginning of the Muromachi period, in the 14th century, Kitabatake Chikafusa made of the Oda Castle his field headquarters for over a year, and wrote the Jinnō Shōtōki (Chronicles of the Authentic Lineages of the Divine Emperors), while he was at castle.
In Edo period, one of the three houses or clans originating from Tokugawa Ieyasu (Gosanke 御 三家, three houses), settled in the Mito Domain, known as Mito Tokugawa family or Mito Clan. Mito Domain, was a Japanese domain of the Edo period it was associated with Hitachi Province.
In 1657 the Mitogaku school was created, when Tokugawa Mitsukuni, head of the Mito Domain, commissioned the compilation of the Dai Nihonshi .
In Meiji era, during the Meiji Restoration, the political map changes, the old provinces are converted or merged, to create the current prefectures, in this case the Ibaraki Prefecture.
Ibaraki Prefecture is the northeastern part of the Kantō region, stretching between Tochigi Prefecture and the Pacific Ocean and bounded on the north and south by Fukushima Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture. It also has a border on the southwest with Saitama Prefecture. The northernmost part of the prefecture is mountainous, but most of the prefecture is a flat plain with many lakes and is part of Kantō Plain.
As of 1 April 2012 [update] , 15% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park, and nine Prefectural Natural Parks. Also, Ibaraki has one Prefectural Geopark. The Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park, also includes the northeast area of Chiba Prefecture.
The northern third of the prefecture is mountainous and in the center is the Tsukuba Mountains (筑波 山地). Its main mountains are: mount Yamizo with an elevation of 1022 m on the border with Fukushima and Tochigi prefectures (tripoint), mount Takasasa with 922 m, mount Tsukuba with two peaks Nyotai-San at 877 m and Nantai-San at 871 m, mount Osho at 804 m, mount Hanazono at 798 m, and mount Kaba at 709 m.
The main rivers that flow through the prefecture include the Tone, Naka (Ibaraki), and Kuji rivers, all of which flow into the Pacific Ocean. Before the seventeenth century, the lower reaches of the Tone were different from its current layout, and the Tone ran south and emptied into Tokyo Bay, and tributaries such as the Watarase and Kinu rivers had independent water systems.
The main tributaries of the Tone River basin are the Kinu River and Kokai River, which flow from north to south in the western part of the prefecture. The Shintone and Sakura rivers flow into Lake Nishiura.
The Edo River flows into Tokyo Bay; its birth currently derives as an arm of the Tone River. In the past, the course of the Edo River was different, its source was corrected and diverted to the Tone River in the 17th century by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the city of Edo (now Tokyo) from flooding.
The Tone River, in addition to the Edo River, is part of the southern border of Ibaraki Prefecture with Chiba Prefecture, and the Watarase River, Tone River, Gongendō River, and Naka River (Saitama) in the southwestern border of Ibaraki with Saitama Prefecture. The Watarase River has become a small boundary of the southern border between Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures.
From ancient times to the beginning of the Edo period, the lower reaches of the Tone River did not exist and the mouth of the Tone was in Tokyo Bay. On the plain was the Katori Sea, which existed in ancient times,the Lake Kasumigaura and other lagoons in present-day Chiba prefecture are remnants of that sea. Katori Sea was connected to the Kashima-nada (Pacific Ocean).
Lake Kasumigaura is currently divided into three lakes: Nishiura, Kitaura, Sotonasakaura. In addition, in the prefecture there are freshwater lagoons such as Hinuma, Senba, and Ushiku.
Fukuoka Dam, is a dam that spans the Kokai River in Tsukubamirai, it is one of the three largest dams Kantō region. Ryūjin Dam, is a dam in the Ryūjin River in Hitachiōta, it is a beautiful dams with a large pedestrian suspension bridge above the dam lake.
Thirty-two (32) cities are located in Ibaraki Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district, 10 towns and 2 villages in 7 districts:
Ibaraki's economy is based on energy production, particularly nuclear energy, as well as chemical and precision machining industries, research institutes and tourism, among others. Hitachi is a global company, as well as the name of the city where the company was founded. Another important sector is agricultural, fishing and livestock activities in the prefecture.
It is one of the prefectures with the highest agricultural production in the country; it possesses flat lands of great extension with abundant water and suitable climate. Under these privileged conditions, Ibaraki plays an important role in supplying food to the Tokyo metropolitan area. Its production of melons, pears, peppers, various varieties of rice and sugar cane, among others, stands out; also flowers, ornamental plants, and forests.
Also, its food crops are used in the rest of the country. As of March 2011, the prefecture produced 25% of Japan's bell peppers and Chinese cabbage.
It is one of the prefectures with the highest fish production in the country; in the Pacific Ocean, Lake Kasumigaura, other lagoons and rivers, various species of fish are obtained.
The Hitachigyū cattle (常 陸 牛 - ひたちぎゅう - Hitachi-gyū, Hitachi-ushi), which is a prefectural bovine breed, is noteworthy in livestock. The name comes from the kanji 常 陸 (Hitachi), the name of the ancient Hitachi Province and 牛 (ushi or gyū, beef).
Background. In 1833 Tokugawa Nariaki (徳川 斉昭) established the breeding of black cattle in the present Migawa-chō (見川 町) of the city of Mito. Originally it remained mainly in the northern part of the prefecture, but later it spread throughout the prefecture.
Ibaraki's population is decreasing more rapidly than any other prefecture.
Ibaraki is known for nattō, or fermented soybeans, in Mito, watermelons in Kyōwa (recently merged into Chikusei), and chestnuts in the Nishiibaraki region.
Ibaraki is famous for the martial art of Aikido founded by Morihei Ueshiba, also known as Osensei. Ueshiba spent the latter part of his life in the town of Iwama, now part of Kasama, and the Aiki Shrine and dojo he created still remain.
Kasama is famous for Shinto (Kasama Inari Shrine), Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, house museum of the calligrapher and ceramist Kitaōji Rosanjin, Kasama Nichidō Museum of Art, residence of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the martial art Aikidō.
The capital Mito is home to Kairakuen, one of Japan's three most celebrated gardens, and famous for its over 3,000 Japanese plum trees of over 100 varieties.
Kashima Shrine (Jingū) Ibaraki's cultural heritage.
Mito Tōshō-gū, is the memorial shrine of Tokugawa Ieyasu in Mito.
Seizansō was the retirement villa of Tokugawa Mitsukuni.
Mito Municipal Botanical Park, is a botanical garden in Mito.
Park Ibaraki Nature Museum in Bandō.
There are castle ruins in many cities, including Mito Castle, Yūki Castle, Kasama Castle, Tsuchiura Castle, Oda Castle.
Hitachi Fūryūmono, a puppet float theater festival, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Makabe Hina Doll Festival - Hinamatsuri - (Sakuragawa City).
Yūki-tsumugi (silk weaving technique) Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Kasama ware, Makabe Stone Lamp, Kagami Crystal Glass Factory, old glass factory in Ryūgasaki City.
The sports teams listed below are based in Ibaraki.
Ibaraki Prefecture with the following national routes:
Ibaraki Prefecture with more than 300 prefectural routes.
The prefecture is often alternatively pronounced "Ibaragi" by those who speak the regional dialect known as Ibaraki-ben. However, the standard pronunciation is "Ibaraki". According to the author of "Not Ibaragi, Ibaraki", this is most likely due to a mishearing of the softening of the "k" sound in Ibaraki dialect.
Ibaraki is twinned with:
Ishioka is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 72,351 in 28,291 households and a population density of 336 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 33.5%. The total area of the city is 215.53 square kilometres (83.22 sq mi).
Ryūgasaki is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 76,218 in 32,714 households and a population density of 970 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 29.4%. The total area of the city is 78.59 square kilometres (30.34 sq mi).
Toride is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population of 104,329 in 44,755 households and a population density of 1492 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 34.8%. The total area of the city is 69.94 square kilometres (27.00 sq mi).
Ushiku is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population of 84,675 in 35,082 households and a population density of 1437 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 29.5%. The total area of the city is 58.92 square kilometres (22.75 sq mi).
Itako is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 27,577 in 10,849 households and a population density of 386 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 32.9%. The total area of the city is 71.40 square kilometres (27.57 sq mi). It is known for its annual iris festival. Much of the city is within the borders of the Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park.
Inashiki is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 39,127 in 14,733 households and a population density of 191 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 37.1%. The total area of the city is 205.81 square kilometres (79.46 sq mi).
National Route 6 is a Japanese highway from Tokyo to Sendai that goes through the cities Mito, Iwaki and Sōma. It traces the old Mito Kaidō route from Tokyo to Mito, and, for much of its 353.6-kilometer (219.7 mi) route, it runs parallel to the Jōban railway line and the Jōban Expressway.
Kantō Railway is a private railway company, which operates two lines in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan. The company is a subsidiary of Keisei Electric Railway and other companies. Besides, the company has a bus department in Ibaraki Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture in Japan.
Tsukubamirai is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population of 51,035 in 20,030 households and a population density of 645 persons per km². The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 26.3%. The total area of the city is 79.16 square kilometres (30.56 sq mi).
Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 269,330 in 123,282 households and a population density of 1239 persons per km2. The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 27.1%. The total area of the city is 217.32 square kilometres (83.91 sq mi).
Tsuchiura is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2020, the city had an estimated population of 138,033 in 60,069 households and a population density of 1123 persons per km2. The percentage of the population aged over 65 was 29.7%. The total area of the city is 122.89 square kilometres (47.45 sq mi). About 3,000 residents are non-Japanese, a large proportion of which are Filipinos, Chinese, and Brazilians.
The Kashima Line is a railway line operated by the East Japan Railway Company. It links Katori Station with Kashima Soccer Stadium Station by crossing and then following the Tone River, at the border between Chiba Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture.
Mito Kaidō (水戸街道) was an old road, kaidō, in Japan starting from the center of Edobashi. It was built to connect Edo with Mito in modern-day Ibaraki Prefecture. Travelers from Edo called it the Mito Kaidō, but travelers from Mito called it the Edo Kaidō. Today, National Route 6 follows the old Mito Kaido.
The Port of Ibaraki is a Japanese maritime port in northeast Ibaraki, Japan. It serves as the primary port for the industrial area centered on the city of Hitachi.
Suigō-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park is a quasi-national park in the Kantō region of Honshū in Japan. It is rated a protected landscape according to the IUCN.
The Kantetsu Green Bus Co., Ltd. is a bus company within the Kanto Railway, and also belongs to Keisei Group. This company was established on 15 March 2002 to inherit the partly business of the Kanto Railway's bus department.
Oda Castle is a hirayama-style Muromachi period Japanese castle located in what is now the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It has been protected by the central government as a National Historic Site since 1935.
The Port of Kashima is a Japanese seaport located in the cities of Kamisu and Kashima in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
The Katori Sea refers to the vanished inland sea formerly located in the eastern part of the ancient Kantō Plain connected to the Pacific Ocean, between the prefectures of Ibaraki and Chiba in Japan.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ibaraki .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ibaraki prefecture .|