Hitachi Fudoki no Oka

Japan Museums: Hitachi Fudoki no Oka

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka 常陸風土記の丘

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka close to Ishioka in Ibaraki Prefecture is an open-air museum about a 30-40 minute drive from Tsuchiura or Tsukuba.

Ishioka city was once the capital of Hitachi Province during the Nara Period (710-794) of Japanese history.

This area of Japan around present-day Ishioka city has been inhabited since the earliest periods of Japanese history and various ceramics, tools, roof tiles, weapons and distinctive goggle-eyed dogu figurines excavated at the site are on display in a small but impressive museum on entrance to the site.

Exiting the museum there are a number of reconstructed dwellings recreating the life of people who lived in this area during the Jomon, Yayoi, Asuka, Heian and later periods of Japanese history.

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka Layout

The Hitachi Fudoki no Oka site has reconstructed thatched-roofed dwellings arranged in a rough circle showing housing designs from the Jomon, Yayoi, Asuka, Kamakura and Edo periods. The buildings representing the earlier periods have suitably long-haired mannequins inside sat around a wood fire.

Moving from house to house reveals the development of Japanese architecture and interior design over time as the buildings progress from rough earthen floors and open fires to more refined tatami flooring, interior walls, sliding doors and kamado stoves.

Beyond this circle of dwellings are more reconstructed houses arranged in a block. These are pit dwellings reconstructed after remains from the 8th-10 centuries were discovered during the construction work on the nearby Joban Expressway. These buildings are divided into two blocks: a residential and manufacturing block and a government block where officials sent from the Imperial court in Nara and then Kyoto would have resided. A ditch once surrounded the entire site with one main entrance gate.

Surrounding the Hitachi Fudoki no Oka open-air museum is a free park popular with families especially during the cherry blossom season. This area of open lawn includes Japan's largest lion-dog - a concrete statue of a 10m-tall shishi - that references Ishioka's main festival, the Ishioka Festival held annually in September that includes vibrant and enthusiastic lion dances. The park is also known for its lilies, hydrangeas and lotus flowers.

There is also a restaurant in the park in an Edo era-style thatched building. Hitachi Fudoki no Oka is not a well-visited attraction except for obligatory school trips but is well worth a visit if you are in the area for its peaceful, tranquil atmosphere.

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Museum, Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Pit-dwelling, Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka Access

From JR Ishioka Station take a Kanto railway green bus to the Murakami bus stop (about 20 minutes) from here it is about 15 minutes on foot. By car, Hitachi Fudoki no Oka is 15 minutes from Chiyoda-Ishioka IC on the Joban Expressway. There is free parking at the park.

JR Ishioka Station is 14 minutes by train north on the Joban Line from Tsuchiura Station and 21 minutes by Limited Express south from Mito or 28 minutes by local train.

Tsuchiura can be reached in about an hour or less on the JR Joban Line from Tokyo Station and Ueno Station.

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka
1646 Someya, Ishioka
Ibaraki Prefecture 315-0007
Tel: 0299 23 3888

Admission is 310 yen for adults (Reductions with the Ibaraki Kids card).
Hours: 9am-5pm March-October; 9am-4pm November-February; closed Mondays or the next day if Monday is a public holiday.

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Giant shishi, Hitachi Fudoki no Oka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

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