November 23, 2014

Comfortable retreat beside the sea in Oarai

It is often said that Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県) is the worst unattractive prefecture among others. Actually, they have few seeing spots, few local specialties,....which is to say, they have less awareness and branded power even among Japanese (except natto!). Nonetheless, Ibaraki is near to Tokyo and we went to Oarai (大洗) to enjoy hot spring and seafood in summer. As a result, I found Ibaraki is wonderful! They just don't have the brand which appeals to people (that is problem!).    
Super Hitachi
"Taimeiken" yoshoku bento
Foie gras and beef steak bento (not tasty at all...!)
Oarai Coast 
Oarai Coast
"Satoumi-tei" (Japanese-style ryokan)
Bean cake rapped by pram leaf and cold green tea
Japanese room
Living room
Bath over the sea
Public terrace
With my cute prince!
Public hot spring bath
Free alcohol, tea/coffee and snacks besides the public bath
Private dining room
Local sake
Corn pudding
Sashimi and oyster
Various side dishes
Tomato sorbet
Fish cooked in soy sauce
Clam rice and clear soup of common orient clam
Vanilla ice cream
In the morning!
Local dried fishes
Rice, miso soup, natto, etc.
Coffee and yogurt
Oarai Shrine
Long stairs to the main building
Main building of Oarai Shrine
Girls and Panzer, animation in Oarai 
Sea turtle
Tropical fishes
Dolphin show 
Food court
Sea urchin bowl (impressive!)
"Satoumi-tei (里海邸)", a ryokan we chose was just great! Building is new and clean. Interior is Japanese-modern style. The atmosphere is very cozy and relaxing. Most of all, sound of the sea is like a healing music. Hot spring was definitely wonderful. I was so happy taking the hot spring listening the sea sound. Satoumi-tei offers various drinks free of charge in both public space and private room. So, after the hot spring, I enjoyed drinks reading good. 

Dishes were also delicious. If you life fish and seafood, you will be satisfied with cuisine using local seafood. Dishes were not kaiseki meal, but sophisticated and tasty. Since the port is close, freshness is perfect. Oyster was one of the best in my life. In addition, quality of service and hospitality of every staff were high. It is indeed a retreat or second house in the countryside! My rating is 4.8 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Satoumi-tei (里海邸)
AQUA WORLD (アクアワールド)

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