These dates are from 1995, and therefore likely to be different for non-religious festivals.
Kasama Azalea Fair April 22 - May 14 ; 35,000 azalea bushes in bloom peaking around Golden Week. It is located to the east of downtown Kasama (famous for its pottery). Ask for "Tsutsuji Koen." The Kasama Pottery Festival will also be taking place from May 1 - 5, and so the two would be a nice combo during Golden Week. The city of Kasama is also developing "Geijutsu no Mori Koen" ("Art Forest Park"), a 54-hectare park featuring art displays, "hands on" art, etc, in a nature preserve atmosphere. Much of it is complete and now open, and it promises to be quite an attraction. Definitely worth exploring. It is located a few km due east of Kasama Station.
Ryujin Carp Streamer 4/29 - 5/ 7 (Koi Nobori) Festival. Along Japan's longest suspension walking bridge (375 m.), there will be 300 giant "koi nobori" suspended above Ryujin Lake. It is located north of Mito, about a 2-hour drive from Tsukuba, not far from the famous Fukuroda Falls, one of the most spectacular in Japan. Both are well worth a visit during Golden Week. To get there, drive up the Joban to the Hitachi Minami Ota Exit and turn left onto Route 6. Then turn left again on Route 293 (a few hundred meters up Route 6). It's about 5 km from there to the junction with Route 349 (in Yamashita Town). Keep on 293 for another 2 km until it bends sharply to the left. Exit 293 at that point by going straight ahead for another km or so until you come to a main road. That is the road you want. It's called the Hitachi Ota - Daigo Sen. Turn left and proceed about 20 km. The dam, lake and bridge are on the left. Fukuroda no Taki (waterfall) is located about 15 km farther to the north. Turn left at the first main road (about 12 km up) and go across the pass. Bon voyage!
Kokai Gawa Flower Festival May 1 - 10, held in Shimotsuma at the Kokai Gawa (River) "Fureai" Park, features fields of poppies to delight the eye. There is also a similar display along the Kokai River as it passes through Fujishiro.
Tsukuba Festival '94 May 13-14 at Tsukuba Center Square will feature folk dances and ethnic foods. If you would like to perform or set up a booth, call Tsukuba Cultural Foundation at 56-7007.
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