Thursday, February 15, 2018

Japan Autumn Nov 2017 一人で日本の旅 - Mito JR Station 水戸駅

Ticket gates.
Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture. As the train station is served by several railway lines, Mito is an excellent pit stop for exploring nearby cities within Ibaraki Prefecture.

Some of the railway lines serving Mito JR Station include:
(1) Joban line (常磐線): connects Tokyo to Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture.
from Mito,
- train commutes southwards to Tsuchiura, Toride, Ushiku and Tokyo.
- train commutes northwards to Hitachi and Takahagi, and eventually to Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture.
Both Tokiwa (ときわ) and Hitachi (ひたち) are limited express trains commuting along Joban line and there are about two limited express trains operated every hour.

Boarded Limited Express Tokiwa from Ueno Station heading for Mito.
(2) Suigun line (水郡線): from Mito, trains commute northwards to Fukuroda and Shimonomiya.
- Alight at Fukuroda for Fukuroda no taki (袋田の滝).
- Alight at Shimonomiya (下野宮駅) for Tsukimachi no taki (月待の滝).

(3) Mito line (水戸線): from Mito, trains commute westwards to Tomobe and Kasama.
- Alight at Kasama for Kasama Inari Shrine (笠間稲荷神社).


What's nearby?

South Exit of Mito JR Station. Building on the left is OPA while the right one is Excel Minami.
(1) Shopping malls, fast food chains and restaurants
There are a couple of shopping facilities connected seamlessly to the train station.
  • Excel and Excel Minami: Anchor tenants include Bic Camera, MUJI and local bookstore chain, Kawamata Books (川又書店). Yoshinoya, MacDonalds and Soup Stock Tokyo are located on the same floor as the ticket gates. 
  • Mito OPA (水戸オーパ) located outside the South Exit of train station. Can Do (¥100 shop) can be found on on 5F while restaurants are located from 8F to 10F. 
  • Marui Mito (丸井水戸店) located outside the North Exit of train station. ABC Mart and Daiso can be found on 5F while restaurants are located on 10F. 

(2) Tourist Information Center (水戸観光案内所), situated just outside the ticket gates.
Visited the information center on two occasions and was extremely grateful for the assistance rendered and advice provided by the approachable staff. It has been a routine ritual for me to drop by here whenever I reached a new place on the map. Followed their recommendations to explore Mito city by rental bicycle and also to try out several local specialties such as Hitachiaki Soba (常陸秋そば) and Stamina Ramen (スタミナラーメン).

(3) South Exit Rental Bicycles (水戸駅北口レンタサイクル), a minute walk away from the South Exit of train station.
If you are able to ride a bicycle, I will highly recommend utilising it to commute to nearby attractions especially when the rental cost is not too pricey. Rented a bicycle here and moved in an clockwise direction, covering Lake Senba (千波湖), which has a wide circumferential track catered for both cyclists and pedestrians, Kairaku-en (偕楽園) and Koudoukan (弘道館). Inclusive of lunch, it took me about 6 hours to cover the entire itinerary mentioned.
Operating hours: 0900 - 1800 hrs
Cost: 500 yen/day (only conventional bicycles; no battery operated ones)
Location (Point 1 on the map):

North Exit of Mito JR Station.

Mito city.

Commemorative stamp:

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