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 river and Lake Kitaura. It is a riverside district where narrow waterways run everywhere, and the town is 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.
One milion plants of five hundred kinds of irises called Ayame and Hanashobu are in bloom in early summer in Itako and you can enjoy the Itako Ayame-matsuri Festival while on boarding a Sappa-bune boat.
Located to the slightly east of Itako, Kashima City faces the Kashima Sea to the east and the Lake Kitaura to the northwest. Kashima was prosperous from old times as a relay point of the sea routes that have been used to voyage the Pacific Ocean.
Kashima 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 treasures, the Homotsu-den. Kashima was also the site for the 2002 Soccer World Cup.
From Tokyo Station:
[Bus] 2h from Tokyo Station to Kashima Shrine Station