Highlights of Oarai Town

Oarai town is a fishing village located about 1.5-2 hours north of Tokyo. It is known for its seafood, a great place to surf, beautiful beaches, including a reflection beach that is great for taking photos, a Torii gate on a cliff in the sea, a huge aquarium (Aqua World), a sake brewery and much more.

It is located next to Mito city and Hitachinaka city, and is convenient to get to either by train or car from Tokyo.

When you arrive you will find that Oarai is quite a small town with all the main attractions on the coast within cycling range, so you may want to rent a bicycle from Umimachi terrace next to Oarai station and cycle around town for the day. 

While you’re in the area, we also suggest looking up the best time to take a photo on Sun Beach (the reflection beach) which is a popular spot for photographers.

Oarai is also known for being the location for popular anime ‘Girls und Panzer’ and you will see the characters in many store windows.

There are also hotels with ocean views and a new beautiful glamping site with cube tents worth checking out if you have time to stay the night.

Furthermore, the port has daily ferries to Tomakomai in Hokkaido for people wishing to journey there.


From Tokyo


Main Stations

Things to DO

Aqua World

Visit Aqua World, a popular aquarium in Oarai! Famous for its sharks, with a huge shark thank that makes you feel like you are with them under the sea! Visitors can learn more about them, but also enjoy other seascapes as well as penguin and Dolphin shows. Furthermore Aqua World has a great food court overlooking the coast.

Reflection Beach (Sun Beach)

Reflection Beach located at Oarai's Sun Beach is a popular spot to take pictures. Head over early in the morning or just around Sunset, to see the shallow beach turn into a mirror surface, creating almost perfect reflections. Which is what makes it a very popular Instagram spot!

Oarai Isosaki Shrine (Jinja)

The Torii Gate of the Isosaki Shrine is another popular location for photographers. Placed on a cliff in the sea, the waves clashing on the rocks make it a perfect place to take photos or just relax and recharge, as this is also known by locals as a so called "Power Spot".

Mentai Park

Mentai Park is a fun place to learn more about "Mentaiko", which is a delicacy consisting of a sack of salted cod roe. Visitors can walk through the factory and learn more about it as well as see how it is made. With an adjacent shop letting you buy some of it and also try some fresh Mentaiko along with other dishes such as the popular Mentaiko Onigiri and Mentaiko Ice Cream.

Umimachi Terrace

Umimachi Terrace is the Tourism Information Centre of Oarai conveniently located at the train station. They offer a place to rest, buy some souvenirs and rent a bicycle. Here you can get all the information of what to see and do, as well as pick up a map or join their fun "Garu Pan" (short for Girls and Panzer) Stamp rally.

Oarai Coast

Oarai is famous for its far streching coast-line and a stroll along it is a must for anyone visiting! With various things to see, visitors can access the cost via the promenade at Aqua World, visit the pebbled beach near Isosaki Shrine's Torii Gate in the sea or check out the sandy coast line near Sun beach (including its reflection beach).

Tsukinoi Sake Brewery shop

Located in the heart of Oarai City Tsukinoi sake brewery is beloved by locals for its delicious Japanese sake for more than 150 years. But it is also well-known with sake lovers beyond its boarders for its legendary Toji (the Brewmaster) Ishikawa-san, so make sure to pick up a bottle of sake or two!

"Girls and Panzer"

Girls und Panzer, often abbreviated as "Garupan", is a Japanese anime that is set in Oarai and you can see their characters in store windows or as life size cut-outs all over town. To discover all of them, pick up a map and join their popular stamp rally, can you find all of them?


If you are looking for a more active day out or if you are into beach sports, than surfing in Oarai should be on top of your list. The beaches in Oarai are some of the biggest in Ibaraki and famous for surfing. Offering a variety of reef and beach breaks they are a great place for beginners, but also offer enough range for people with experience.

Special Ashikaga city Travel Guide

How to enjoy Edo style experiences in Tochigi city

We’ve created a special online guide about Ashikaga City to help overseas visitors explore Ashikaga. 

Click the image or the button below to discover more!

Places to EAT


The local speciality of Oarai is, of course, its seafood. Freshly caught fish and  seafood can be enjoyed at many seafood restaurants dotted around town. Choose from fresh sashimi or sushi right from the vendors, visit a pick-what-you-like and grill it shop, or visit a more traditional restaurant. Oarai has plenty to choose from.

Japanese Food

Aside from seafood, Oarai also offers plenty of other restaurants serving traditional Japanese food. You can find Izakaya’s along with shops serving Yakitori, Ramen and other Japanese favourites. There are plenty of restaurants to provide alternatives in case seafood is not your thing.

Western Food

Aside from seafood and traditional Japanese restaurants Oarai also has a few western style places for visitors to eat at. Some with a great view, others conveniently located at the Aquarium or local shopping complex. A great alternative in case you would like something a little different or crave a taste from home.


A small European style restaurant with delicious homemade food prepared with local ingredients hand-picked by our chef.

Places to STAY

Hotel (Budget style)

Because Oarai is a small town, there are not many accommodation providers. Here are a few.


Traditional Japanese 2 Star Accommodation located near Sun Beach featuring karaoke & complimentary parking.


Located a short 10min walk from the station Mairinkan offers casual tatami rooms with futons as well as a small hot spring.


Oarai also has a newly open glamping site featuring dome tents within a few minutes walk to Sun Beach.


Holiday rental (Airbnb)

There are a few nice holiday homes and airbnbs available in the area.

Want prices?

Find the full list of airbnb’s available at airbnb here.


There is a popular guesthouse in the center of the city. As well as bunkbeds there are some Japanese tatami rooms suitable for a group of 2-3people on a budget. 

Hotel Sunroute Tochigi

Type: Western Style Business Hotel

Location: 4 min drive from JR Tochig Station. (located in city center)

Guest House Kuranomachi

Type: Guesthouse

Location: 4 min drive from JR Tochigi station. (located by the river in city center)

Morino Garden

Type: Holiday rental

Location: 12 min drive from Mashiko station

Day trips from Oarai Town

Each of these places are within a day trip away. Click on the image to find out more.

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Useful links for Oarai Town

Tochigi City by Nick Harrison

We’ve created a special online guide about Mashiko to help overseas visitors explore Mashiko. Click the image to discover more!

Tochigi City by Nick Harrison

We’ve created a Mashiko Photo gallery to help overseas visitors and travel companies see what Mashiko has to offer. Click the image to discover more!

Oarai Town in the Media

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