Read: "Enjoy Staying in Oarai"

My “Good-Luck Oarai” – 1-night, 2-days stay in Oarai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture

I wanted to reset my hectic feelings, so I escaped the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. I came to Oarai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture where there is a floating torii gate “Kamiiso-no-Torii” in the sea, I aim to embrace the simplicity and mystery of Japan in everyday life.

Day 1

Departing from Tokyo by train, I switched to an atmospheric local train at Mito Station, and arrived at Oarai. It’s about an hour and a half. When I was picking up a tourist map at the tourist information center “Umimachi Terrace” at Oarai Station, it seemed that they were offering an experience called Good-Luck Oarai. Take a bus from the station for about 15 minutes to Kamiiso-no-Torii gate. The sea breeze ruffled my hair as I got off the bus and followed the pathway down to the ocean. It is very windy today.

At the end of the path, beyond the embankment is the sea. Kamiiso-no-Torii is a gate that stands amidst the waves lapping against the rocks.
A little smaller than I expected. That’s why it appeared even more graceful and powerful. I feel as if I can understand why God descended here.


The sunrise is said to be very beautiful. Hence, on New Year’s Day, crowds flock to this modest embankment to witness the dawn of the new year.

Before ascending to the terrace-like area beside the torii gate, there stood a stone monument. Apparently, Tokugawa Mitsukuni, grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period (1603-1868), when there were many samurai, and who is also featured in the TV drama Mito Komon, is said to have composed this waka poem on the Oarai Coast.
“””Scattering on the rocky shore, the moon,
gathers itself as one, returning with the waves.””
Well, the moon. I think I’ll come back at night.”

Next is Oarai Isosaki Shrine. From the big white torii gate, look up the stairs… this is tough! Somehow, someway, I managed to make it to the top. Looking back, I felt a breeze caressing my warm body, and my heart grew lighter. After visiting the shrine and receiving a Goshuin stamp, head to Oarai Town. Since I’m here, I’ll try the Good-Luck Oarai experience!


Travel is for hot springs and gourmet! Shiosai-no-Yu is a natural hot spring. Here in Oarai, ancient strata compose the land, and within these layers lies the water of the ancient sea, which forms hot springs. The Kamiiso-no-Torii gate, which I visited earlier, seemed to stand where the ancient strata appeared on the surface of the earth. It’s like paradise, going into a hot spring and sauna filled with the power of the sea. The dragon wall painting at the entrance of the hot spring is also a nice, gentle touch.


Once my body warms up, I start to feel hungry. As I sat in the restaurant overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean that filled the window, the “Daikaiun Gozen” was served to me.
Oh…wow, amazing volume! There are plenty of fish, meat, and vegetables. “Let’s dig in!”


I was restless about work, family, and the future, but I suppose I managed to take a breather. I was told that there are various fortune tellers at Shiosai-no-Yu every day, so I tried the “little fortune-telling” as part of my Good-Luck Oarai experience.

“Let’s see, what do you want to ask me today? What themes do you want to hear about?” The fortune-teller spoke Japanese and a bit of English. Umm…I have an idea of what you talked about…YES!
As I listened to the fortune-teller, I think about myself again. Inspired by the energetic blessings of the fortune-teller, I have a feeling that I will be able to embrace a new perspective on life. The 10-minute little fortune-telling session went by no time that I had to have it extended for an additional fee.


The colors of the sea gradually darkened, and the hour of dusk approached in the town of Oarai. Since I ate a full lunch, I wandered around town for a bit until dinner at the hotel.

Walking down the Magarimatsu Shopping Street, you will find the local sake brewery, Tsukinoi Sake Brewery.Here, you can taste the Good-Luck Oarai and take a sake brewery tour. I found the atmosphere very retro; it’s said to be a sake brewery that has been around for over 150 years.Learn about the sake brewing process and visit the sake brewery. When you go on a tour of the brewery, you can smell the soft aroma of sake.Benefiting from the finest rice-malt strains and nature’s optimal temperatures, Oarai’s sake brewers craft the best flavors of the year to delight people.Like an artist searching for the best in sake, which varies from year to year and even day to day… such an incredible approach.The sake embodies the heavenly blessings we cherish; each drop becomes blood, strength, and the essence of good health.The taste of Tsukinoi Sake is also said to be exceptional, changing depending on the temperature. I might buy some souvenirs at the adjacent shop and enjoy them at home.


Tsukinoi Sake Brewery

Address: 638 Isohama-cho, Oarai-machi, Higashi Ibaraki-gun

Take a leisurely walk along a quiet road, carrying sake. I feel I’ve met people from all walks of life in the Good-Luck experience. The sun has already set, but the road back to the hotel is bright. Perhaps it was the sound of the waves that made me feel less lonely. As I gazed up at the sky, the moon in the night sky seemed to be watching over me.


Day 2

<Good-Luck Oarai! Early morning aerial yoga at Umikaze Yoga Studio>

Early rising is the motto of good luck! After a restful stay at the hotel, I went to Umikaze Yoga Studio at the Oarai Seaside Station for an early morning aerial yoga session that I had booked the day before. If you reset your mind, you also want to reset your body.
I have tried yoga before, but this is my first experience with aerial yoga. Feeling a bit nervous, I opened the door and was greeted by a friendly, smiling instructor. I came empty-handed, but rental wear and water were provided./p>

After filling out the consent form, it was time to begin the experience! Colorful fabrics hang from the ceiling. Stand barefoot on a yoga mat. While watching the instructor’s easy-to-understand movements with simple English instructions, I took on the challenge.I’m not so good at sports, but trying it for the first time ignites my adventurous spirit. I never imagined I’d find myself upside down! My blood circulation improved, my body felt lighter, and I was somehow wrapped up and enraptured.A sound mind dwells in a sound body, right? Aerial yoga might be a little addictive.


Umikaze Yoga Studio

Address: 2F, Seaside Station, 11-2 Minato Chuo, Oarai-machi, Higashi Ibaraki-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture

<Good-Luck Oarai! Maiwai Market’s Lucky Bag>

Located just down the street from the Umikaze Yoga Studio, Oarai Maiwai Market in the Seaside Station is a souvenir store filled with delicious foods from Oarai and Ibaraki Prefecture.If you make a reservation for the Lucky Bag Plan, the staff will guide you around the store and give you a delightful tasting, a selection of Good-Luck food and a package of selected souvenirs.A great value and convenient plan. There may be exceptions, but they offer a variety of customs-approved souvenirs that you can bring back to your country as they are.I looked around the store and found other things that I was interested in.I could also consult with the staff who guided me around, and now I have the perfect souvenirs.


Oarai Maiwai Market

Address: 1F, Oarai Seaside Station, 11-2 Minato Chuo, Oarai-machi, Higashi Ibaraki-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture

The trip to Oarai made me feel I was able to face myself, feeling the energy of the people who inhabit this land and experiencing the simplicity and mystery of everyday life in Japan.

Before returning to Tokyo, I revisited the Kamiiso-no-Torii gate to express my feelings of having reset and feeling energized, ready to give my best. It stood serenely amidst the verdant sea, as if cheering me on and gently nudging me forward.

Yes, I’m going to pioneer my fortune from now on. Good-Luck Oarai!


Click here to make a reservation for a Good-Luck Oarai plan or to experience Oarai Town.

Click here for the Oarai Experience Reservation System.   >