Satoyama in northern Ibaraki prefecture, is home to lush natural lands and a thriving green tourism industry. Here you can take part in the lives of the locals and learn more about just what makes this region so special through private home stays, or farm stays.
A 2-3 hour journey will bring you to Satoyama, a rural community where you can truly get away from the city and enjoy life surrounded by mountains, rivers, and the sea.
Or, you can also take part in a special Ibaraki Green Tourism course, via consultations with the Hitachiota City Office.
Please come and take part in a stay or tour in Satoyama, Ibaraki – you’re sure to love it.
There are about 300 private farm stays available in northern Ibaraki. What is most appealing about these farm stays is the opportunity to live and interact with the locals, to be able to experience the charms of the region firsthand. You may even start to feel like a local yourself here. Each farmstay has its own experiences to offer, which can include cooking courses, or planting and harvesting regional fruits and vegetables.
Gateway to Rural Life – the Satoyama Hotel
Atop of a hill located in central Northern Ibaraki stands a small hotel, dedicated to offer a glimpse into, and experiences of, the authentic lifestyle of rural Japan in Satoyama. With the help from the local community, the Satoyama Hotel provides onsite and regional activities, workshops to partake in local industries, and luxurious culinary experiences made possible by local producers.
On Site Activities
The Satoyama Hotel offers and arranges a wide variety of seasonal activities to enjoy as well as experiences of the local culture and the lush natural surroundings. The activities are not just a list of what you can do, but rather a list of what they – the local people – value, and want to share with visitors to their hometown.
Farm and Garden Tour
One of the experiences available at the hotel is in the Satoyama Potager, a large garden that showcases the region’s biggest industry – farming. This garden, filled with organically grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers, enables guests to experience a glimpse into the hardships and joys of Japanese farmers. Here you can participate in a morning garden tour where you will learn all about farming in Satoyama, while also tasting delicious, fresh seasonal delights.
Mouthwatering dishes abound in Ibaraki – but no one feels the need to brag about them. That’s just how the people of Ibaraki prefecture are. The Satoyama Hotel takes these ingredients at their peak and stories from their producers, and brings them to their guests to get a taste of authentic Ibaraki cuisine.
It’s a well known fact that freshly harvested, organically raised ingredients can lead to some astounding dishes, just as it’s equally well known that being able to enjoy a delicious meal without having to hurry is best.
Satoyama Hotel strives to provide the ideal dining experience through their dishes. That’s why they cultivate their own edible garden and have strong relationships with local farmers. Their goal is to have near zero mileage for each ingredient coming to their hotel, which means that their cuisine is not only exceptionally fresh, but also produced with little impact on the environment.
Satoyama Nuovo – Special Dinner Course
An authentic Italian style dinner course, filled with seasonal vegetables delivered directly from the farmers, along with locally raised Japanese wagyu beef, fresh river fish made available by the pristine local streams, as well as flavorful sea fish caught off the coast of northern Ibaraki.
The menu differs daily here as the menu is developed based on what foods are delivered on that date, while the series of tableware used at Satoyama Hotel itself is as unique as its cuisine; each piece has been handcrafted by one of five different local pottery masters. Only at Satoyama Hotel can you experience a once-in-a-lifetime meal like this.
Satoyama Hassun – Japanese Dinner Course
Themed around fermentation, which occupies a very important place in traditional Japanese cuisine, this course offers an insight into rural Japanese meals as well as an opportunity to delight in the taste of that season’s bounty.
Regional Activities and Local Industries – Farm Life Experiences
Many of the nearby farms offer farm life activities, which include cultivating and harvesting seasonal produce. Which kind of produce is available varies, but throughout the year, you can try your hand at caring for common vegetables like potatoes, to even some rare and little known native plants too. And of course, part of the fun of this experience is getting to know the locals – you can learn more about their dialect, and find out what they like best about their hometowns too.
Canoe and Kayaking Tours
Canoeing and kayaking down gentle streams provides visitors with yet another way of getting extraordinary views of rural Japan. This highly acclaimed activity is offered by certified guides who know and love the river, and can meet the needs of all guests, from novices to experts, families and solo travelers. Popular tours available here include canoeing along migratory fish routes upstream, canoe tours with a barbecue lunch, and canoeing under the popular bungee jumping bridge over Ryujin Gorge.
Try Your Hand at Traditional Cooking
Learn how to boil rice using a traditional kamado pot, and then make mochi rice cakes – this is a popular activity that really brings the guests and community together.
School Exchange Course
This is a special program organized with a local school. During this experience, you can try calligraphy, speak English with students, learn about local music, do some sports, help build a community garden, and other fun activities.