Daigo is a small town north of Ibaraki prefecture and about 3 hours north of Tokyo. I had visited before, but was looking forward to spend some time in nature and visit one of Japan’s famous waterfalls (Fukuroda falls) and their hotspring, as well as find out more about Daigo from locals.
So I dropped by the town hall and interviewed Asuka and Kanako who work in the tourism department. They were extremely welcoming and so helpful. I learned so much and came away realizing that this small town in the mountains was surely a hidden gem to be explored more!
Here is my interview to help you learn what I did!
Farmers picking tea leaves
“Nature Base Daigo – Everything Outdoors” is Daigo town’s concept, so our town is fit for anyone who loves nature!
In Daigo, we have a total of five campgrounds, including ‘Green Villa’, which won first place in the East Japan region for the best campground! Our guests enjoy outdoor areas such as the magnificent mountains of Okukuji and the clear waters of the Kuji River.
Also, Mt. Yamizo and Mt. Okukuji Nantai are popular hiking spots. They are amazing especially during the autumn foliage season. Bicycles can also be rented at the bike station in ‘Roadside Station Okukuji Daigo’, which is recommended for those who want to enjoy nature to the fullest.
Fukuroda Falls in Daigo. One of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan.
In Daigo, you can enjoy the beautiful nature all four seasons.
Cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and in winter, you can see the “shiga” phenomenon, in which the river bottom freezes and the river rises to the surface!
Try coming to Daigo in all four seasons, as the rich natural beauty reveals itself in many different ways!
Fukuroda Falls in different seasons.
It’s hard to pick just three, but here are three places we think you should visit if this is your first time to Daigo.
1. Fukuroda Falls (Waterfall)
Fukuroda falls is said to be one of the top 3 Waterfalls in Japan and can be seen in different forms in each of the four seasons. The “ice fall” in winter, when the waterfall freezes over, is particularly spectacular.
1. Daigo Cafe
This cafe was renovated from a 100-year-old Japanese house. It’s beautiful and serves delicious lunch as well as sweets made in Ogo.
3. Okukuji Chanosato Park
Daigo town is said to be the northernmost area in Japan where tea can be cultivated. And this park was created around the theme of Japanese tea!
There is a shop that sells tea produced in Daigo as well as a restaurant that serves nice lunch.
You can even book a class to learn how to prepare tea leaves by rubbing them by hand, which is called TEMOMI-CHA.
The ‘Temomi-Cha’ experience available at Okukuji Chanosato Park
Daigo is know for a few things. The climate makes it possible to grow high quality tea as well as delicious apples. Another of our speciality is a special breed of chicken.
1. Okukuji Tea (Okukuji cha)
This is delicious Japanese tea made in Daigo town.
2. Okukuji Shamo Chicken
Shamo chicken is raised in a nature-rich environment. It is highly valued for its juicy, dense meat, deep and rich flavor.
3. Okukuji Apples
Most apples found in supermarkets are harvested before they are ripe. Okukuji apples are harvested when they are ripe, so they are lusher and sweeter !
Some varieties grown in Daigo are also extremely rare.
Okukuji Shamo chicken with local Soba noodles
Most people come to see nature. The most famous is Fukuroda falls, but there are also some wonderful hidden gems around our town. Make sure to check these out!
1. Tsukimachi Falls (Waterfall)
This is a rare waterfall where visitors can walk behind the waterfall.
2. Namase Fuji (Mountain)
This spot is called the “Gendarme” of Daigo and is a popular photo spot.
3. Namase Falls (Waterfall)
This waterfall is located above Fukuroda Falls. Cross the suspension bridge over Fukuroda Falls and climb the stairs (very steep) to see the waterfall.
Tsukimachi Falls, Namase Fuji & Namase Falls
Daigo is a child friendly town. Here are two activities families with children especially enjoy!
– Apple Picking
There are around 40 apple orchards in Daigo. Most are open to visitors and even small children can enjoy apple picking. Some farms allow visitors to eat the apples they pick on the spot. Make sure to also compare the different apple pies made by the different apple orchards.
– Green Villa & Forespa Daigo (Daigo Koiki Koen)
Here, visitors can see, eat, and experience the rich nature of Daigo.
Families can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from the hot springs to athletic facilities in the park. As well has hiking to Fukuroda Falls and Mt. Yamizo.
The campground also offers full rental equipment, so you can easily come here and enjoy the outdoors without any supplies.
At Forespa Daigo’s pool, guests can enjoy a 71-meter-long slide and wave pool (outdoors / summer only), as well as a 25-meter indoor pool and a onsen style pool (all-year-round).
View of GreenVilla
Meeting Asuka and Kanako in Daigo really helped me understand what Daigo has to offer. This small town north of Tokyo (in the northern part of Ibaraki prefecture) is most likely not on most traveler’s radar, but it is definitely a place to add to your list if you like nature and outdoors. Especially as Daigo is home to some of the most beautiful Waterfalls in Japan. I created this video to show a glimpse of what Daigo has to offer, so if you are planning a road trip from Tokyo, make sure to add Daigo town!
If you have a car, my recommendation is to drive, as you can also get around town more easily.
It’s about About an 2.5 hours drive from Tokyo. Drive to Naka IC on the Joban Express way and drive north for an hour.
It’s about 3 hours from Tokyo. Take the Hitachi or Tokiwa Express on the JR Joban Link to Mito sta. and change to JR Suigun Line.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this hidden gem just north of Tokyo, if you would like to know more about fun things to do and travel ideas, please continue to have a look at our must-see / must do things nearby Tokyo page.
To book unique activities in English, please see the Nearby Tokyo experience page.
Contributor: Angus Miyaji
Founder of Nearby Tokyo and Japan World Link, Angus helps visitors discover off the beaten track destinations in the North Kanto regions (Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki & Saitama north of Tokyo). He regularly travels between Japan and the UK promoting tourism and Japanese sake.