Ibaraki prefecture is in the northeastern part of the Kanto region, and its eastern side faces the Pacific Ocean. The capital city of Mito is located at the center of the prefecture. While industrialization is progressing in the northeastern area, agricultural production thrives in the western area where the Kanto Plain is. The southern part with Tsukuba Sci
ence City has developed as a commuter town for the metropolitan area with the opening of the Tsukuba Express. Many Japanese people would think of Mito Natto (fermented soy beans) and Mito Komon when speaking of Ibaraki. Presently, Mito Natto refers to the brand of natto that meets the specific conditions such as being produced within the boundary of Ibaraki prefecture using soy beans harvested in the prefecture. Mito Natto has a long history. It is said that when Minamoto no Yoshiie stayed in Mito on the way to Oshu for the “Later Three-year War (1083),” cooked soy beans he had wrapped in straws to feed horses fermented, and these fermented beans became the precursor of natto. On the other hand, Mito Komon is a popular TV drama series in which Tokugawa Mitsukuni, retired feudal lord of Mito, travels around Japan with his attendants to correct the injustice in society. This historical drama series was so popular that it lasted for over 40 years. Fukuroda Falls, one of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan, is a popular tourist spot in Ibaraki prefecture. The 73-meter-wide waterfall is located in Daigomachi in Kuji-gun and has an elevation fall of 120 meters. Since visitors can enjoy different sceneries in each season, it is also called “Yondo no taki” (waterfall of four visits). Mount Tsukuba, which is included in 100 famous Japanese mountains, is also famous. The mountain is 877 meters high and is comprised of Mount Nantai on the west side and Mount Nyotai on the east side. Visitors of all ages come here since even children and senior citizens can enjoy climbing and there is also a cable car.
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