Enjoy the yearly festival onboard a Sappa-bune boat, or take a leisurely look around the waterways, river, and lake.
Itako is located in the southeastern part of Ibaraki, surrounded by Hitachi-Tone-gawa river and Lake Kitaura-ko. It is a watertown where narrow waterways run everywhere, and the town forms a part of the Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National park.
There is a half-hour sightseeing tour by small Sappa-bune boat which is steered by boatwoman dressed in Monpe with splashed patterns (a type of Japanese working clothes similar to a pair of trousers) and the hat woven with sedge leaves. The tour of the 12 bridges by Sappa-bune boat called 'Maekawa-junikyo Meguri' is also popular among tourists.
Five hundred kinds of irises called Ayame and Hanashobu, that are one million in number, are in bloom in early summer in Itako and you can enjoy the Itako Ayame-matsuri Festival while on board a Sappa-bune boat.
Located to the slightly east of Itako, Kashima City faces the Kashima Sea to the east and the Lake Kitaura-ko to the northwest. Kashima developed from old times as a relay point of the sea routes that have been used to voyage the Pacific Ocean.
Kashima-jingu Shrine is located at the center of the city and you can enjoy the sight of the fine Ro-mon Gate (a two-storied gate), Hai-den (the front shrine) and Hon-den (the main shrine) that are designated as important cultural properties, and also the treasury, the Homotsu-den.
Kashima was also the site for the 2002 Soccer World Cup.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] By JR Sobu Kashima Limited Express, 1 hour and 50 minutes from Tokyo Station to Itako Station, 2 hours from Tokyo Station to Kashima Jingu Station.