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Posts Tagged ‘Hitachi Seaside Park

I am melancholic these days for some reason that I cannot comprehend (probably I’m just burnt out) so I’m listening now to the piano version of the Kimi no na wa soundtrack to ease this heartache. It’s the same music I was listening to when I was on top of a hill, surrounded by blue flowers, while I stared at the Pacific Ocean. Listening to Kataware DokiĀ transported me back to this hill where I spent hours just gazing at the sea and the flowers last spring.

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I remember it was a cloudy Thursday and I was having lunch with colleagues in some traditional Japanese restaurant not far from our Tokyo office in Otemachi. One colleague asked me where will I be going the following day, which was my last free day in Japan. I said I had no idea, probably I’ll go to Ueno. One of them laughed, “What will you be doing in Ueno?!” I then realized it was a bad idea. Then I said, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll find something or somewhere else I could go.

That afternoon I was flicking through my Instagram feeds and saw a friend posted his trip that day to Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki prefecture. It was similar to this photo I took.

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And it took my breath away.

(But his version had flowers that were much bluer, probably due to the filter he used).

I asked him on IG how to get there. He said they just drove there but there was a time (was it last year?) he took a bus to get there. He said it took them more than two hours by bus from Tokyo. I suddenly had the urge to go there, whatever it takes. And according to my research, I can take the Express (JR Joban line) from Ueno station (1.5 hrs) or just the ordinary line, the Tokyo Yamanote Line (2 hrs and 45 mins).

Armed only with information from the Japan Rail app I downloaded on my phone and some Google search, I hopped from my hotel to Kanda Station then took the JR line to Ueno (for JPY 140). Then took the Express going to Katsuta station from Ueno because I was later than I expected. I planned to reach Hitachi 8:30 am, but guess what? It was already 8:30 am and I was still at Ueno station. As you can see it was JPY 3820 (PHP 1,711) for a one-way trip. If you’re not taking the express, you’ll only pay for the first ticket costing about JPY 2,270.

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I just love their trains.

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And how fascinating…their villages are powered by solar energy.

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Upon reaching Katsuta, I searched for the Minato line (Hitachinaka Seaside Railway) that would take me to Ajigaura station. I had to ask the railway officers at the train station office where can I find the Minato line. He had to look for a colleague who can speak English. Note to self: Push through with plan to study Nihongo.

The Minato line was farther down the platform below the railway office. I was pleasantly surprised to see a one-car train, just like the one (albeit it was a two-car-train) in Spirited Away. I was chatting with another friend (who lived in Japan for years for his PhD in Tsukuba University, also in Ibaraki prefecture) via FB Messenger while I was on my way to Ajigaura and he told me that whenever he rode this train, it felt like he was going to be transported to some mysterious fantasy anime land.

The ticket was JPY 1,000, including the entrance to Hitachi Seaside Park.

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So there in Ajigaura station, there is already a bus (free) waiting for passengers alighting from the train to bring to Hitachi. About 5-10 minute drive.

Well, hello there, 10-hectare park!

 

I rented a bike for JPY 300 for 4 hrs I think, can’t remember exactly. Because the nemophilia (baby blue eyes) hill was really far from the entrance. The best way to get around Hitachi is by bicycle.

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There is a train going around the entire park but of course your mobility is limited by the schedule of the train. Better take the bike so you can be free to move around.

And finally, the baby blue eyes!

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Thousands and thousands of them…

 

And spent a few hours just sitting on top of that hill and listen to songs on my iPod.

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It felt like I was in some movie. It was so ethereal.

The nemophilia was the main attraction for me but there are other places in the park where I spent dreaming away my day.

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If you’re hungry, don’t worry. There is a place near the nemophilia area where your can buy your lunch. It was not that expensive as I thought it would be. But you can bring your own food there, too.

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And I had my lunch here among the oldies.

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And of course, I had to have my ramen. I think this was JPY 400-450.

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I got lost riding my bike. So basically I was able to go around the entire park because I got lost looking for the entrance. And I saw that there was an amusement area there complete with Ferris wheel and roller coasters and all those things to keep children happy. Because what kid would be happy hiking among flowers?

So before I took the bus to take me back to Ajigaura station (3:45 pm), I bade the sea goodbye with a kiss.

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I want to go back in autumn to see these:

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It’s like being in a movie.

Flowers make me really happy but I am allergic to them (they trigger allergic rhinitis that lead to asthma). Oh the irony!

 

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