This Showa Kinen-like Park, adjacent to the ocean, has some stunning garden displays, an amusement park, family golf courses, and a BMX course. English maps of the park are available at the Ticket Entrance. For garden enthusiasts, the park has a number of magnificent gardens that bloom at various times throughout the year. When we visited, in fall (mid-October), the northwestern garden, on Miharashi Hills, was ‘ablaze’ with red Kochia bushes (see pictures). Amazing! This same area is also very popular in spring (late April – mid May) when the hillside is completely blue with 4½ million Nemophila (‘Baby Blue Eyes’). In late March – mid April 1 million daffodils are on display at Suisen Garden, from mid April – late April there is a spectacular display of 270,000 tulips at the Tamago no Mori Garden. The park’s map has a detailed walking guide around the various garden displays for any time of the year.
At the family amusement park, Pleasure Garden, there are 30+ rides, including a giant Ferris Wheel, rollercoasters, a spinning disc, and a labyrinth. Tickets for the rides are sold separately and cost anywhere between ¥100 – ¥600. There are some height and/or age restrictions for the rides, but these only cover a few of the rides and there are plenty of other rides that should keep under 3 year old and under 120 cm happy.
For golf, the park has two courses; The Family Park Golf Course and the Putter Golf Garden. 9 and 18 holes can be played on either course and these cost ¥500 and ¥800 respectively. No 3 year olds are allowed golfing.
According to the park’s map, the BMX course is “a real course of BMX specialty”. To ride here, I believe long sleeved clothing, pants, and sneakers are required. On every 2nd Sunday, in each month, there is a free “experience Classroom ‘challenge the BMX’” session. Children, under age 16 need a guardian’s signature to participate.
There are restaurants, cafes and BBQ areas (reservations required) located throughout the park. Bicycles can be rented at various places too. Strollers can be borrowed, free of charge, at the park entrance gate. There are miles of bike lanes and just like Showa Kinen Park there is a train that can take you around the park. Cost ¥500. Pets are permitted on a leash. Roller-skates, rollerblades and skateboards are not permitted.
Admission for adults: ¥400. Junior high – Elementary students: ¥80. Children under 6: free. There are discounts for groups over 13 people. Parking at the park costs ¥500. HOURS: Hitachi Seaside Park is generally closed every Monday and on Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday. There are, however, exceptions to this rule during spring (Mar 26 – May 13), summer (Jul 21 – Aug 31) and fall (Oct 1 – 31) breaks. Most of the time the park opens at 9:30am. From Jul 21 – Aug 3 the park closes at 6pm and from Nov. 1 to the end of Feb it closes at 4:30pm. The rest of the year it closes at 5pm. If you need more information the park’s phone number is 029-265-9001.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: This park is a 2-3 hour drive Northeast of Yokota and Tokyo. It is near Mito and Hitachinaka Cities in Ibaraki prefecture. We visited it on the way back from Nikko, which was not ideal, but still closer than Yokota. I believe the road tolls from Yokota to the Hitachi Seaside Park (one way) are between ¥3,000-4,000 depending on the route you travel.
There are several large parking lots, and the GPS coordinates to the West Parking Lot are N36.40863 E140.59016. If you plan on visiting Hitachi Seaside’s amusement park or golf courses, I recommend parking in the South Parking Lot. It would be great if someone could give a more detailed review of the Amusement Park, Golf and/or BMX Courses as we only visited the northwestern part of the park. – Linda Bell, December 2013; Baby Blue Eyes photos by Linda Bell, May 2014.