I haven't had any trips to share with you lately, and my sewing machine has been quiet as I've been knitting things for cold weather. Now that Spring is thawing us out, my other half and I decided to cross off another prefecture on our list and go to Ibaraki.
We stayed in Mito, a decently sized city, to go see Kairaku-en, the last garden of the 3 Great Gardens in Japan list we hadn't yet seen. Also, our timing was to see the Ume Festival (plum blossom) there.
We weren't disappointed. Usually the plum blossoms bloom right before cherry blossoms, and so I have a hard time telling the different between the two.
We were a little early for all the flowers to be in bloom, but to see the first signs of them warms your heart after a long Winter.
This trip was not complete with me trying some plum ice cream. I don't care for plums in their sour, pickled versions, but in sweet ice cream... divine! We also spent a day at the local aquarium, Aquaworld Oarai.
I'm not usually excited at the idea of seeing an aquarium, but this one had a sight I really wanted to see.
I have a thing for Ocean Sunfish, or Mola Mola. I can't explain it. Maybe it's the "it's so ugly it's cute" sort of thinking. They're unique compared to other fish in their size and shape.
The Capybara were cute too, even though they couldn't be bothered to pose for me. They were too busy napping and taking in the morning sun.
On the shinkansen I tried a hamburger rice ball from 7-11. It looks as appetizing as it was. The plum ice cream was better!
Ibaraki may be grossly overshadowed by nearby Tokyo in things like sightseeing, but it's a nearby getaway from the busy metropolis.