While windy March is considered the prime time for kite flying in many Western countries, January is the traditional season in Japan. Three kite flying events are scheduled for late January in the southern Ibaraki area within easy driving distance from Tsukuba. These include very large kites taking many people to control, and if the weather is good, they are quite a sight to see.
Toride Tone River Kite Festival Saturday, January 22nd at the Toride Ryokuchi Undo Koen, located along the banks of the Tone River. If traveling by car, you will need to approach the park by crossing over the Joban tracks from Highway 6. By train, it's a 5 min. walk from the East Gate of Toride Station. Contact number: 0297-74-2141.
Oyako Kite Festival Sunday, January 23rd at the Otone Undo Koen Contact number 0297-45-1111.
Shinshun Kokai River Kite Festival Sunday, January 30th at the Fuminari Bashi Grounds. From the Yatabe Interchange on the Joban expressway, continue on to the center of Ina Machi. Turn right at the T-intersection and follow that road (route 19) on towards Toride. The grounds are located where that road crosses the Kokai River. Contact number 0297-58-2111.
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