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Living in Ibaraki 2010/8/2 20:33
there is a language scool in Ibakari and it is vey cheap so i'd like to go there for 3 months. but there is one problem: Ibaraki is not Tokyo , i know. i've been to Tokyo and it was the greatest experience of all my life, and now i have to choose: tokyo more expensive or ibaraki cheapier? How is Ibaraki, i mean.. are there many food shop (i love japanese food and it is one of the main purpose of my travel) like ramen gyudon etc chains? i mean, not Ibaraki prefecture but Ibaraki city. thanks
by japanstudent (guest)  

To clarify 2010/8/3 12:26
Ibaraki prefecture is long and differs area by area.

Its southern part is a mainly residensial and many inhabitants commute to Tokyo everyday. On the other hand, its northern part is rural, you will have a peacefull life in the nature.

FYI, NO Ibaraki "city" exists in Ibaraki Prefecture. So if you have found the school in the municipality of Ibaraki, you may refer to Ibaraki "town" in Ibaraki prefecture or Ibaraki "city" in Osaka prefecture.
by V (guest) rate this post as useful

totally different 2010/8/3 13:31
if you like countryside life ibaraki will be ok. if you have a lot of time and money to go into tokyo by train (1 way trip will run you around 1500-2500yen, take about 1-2hours. might be worth getting a scooter or even a car) then go for it.

if you think you cannot handle that kind of lifestyle then forget it.

inaka / countryside prefectures are the death of foreigners who are just in japan to have a good time with other foreigners. if you are an outgoing person who is good at making new friends and doesn't mind speaking in japanese, you'll do well.

if you're shy, prone to depression, don't make friends easily, etc, then i would say forget it, ibaraki will most likely eat you up alive.
by winterwolf (guest) rate this post as useful

- 2010/8/3 20:08
There's many earthquakes in Ibaraki: http://weathernews.jp/quake/

There's an Aeon mall near JR Uchihara Station, there's a giant buddha statue in Ushiku, and Mito has Kairakuen.
by Natto (guest) rate this post as useful

Ibaraki 2010/8/5 06:57
If you're talking about Ibaraki city, do you mean the Ibaraki city near Osaka? Or do you mean the Ibaraki city in Ibaraki prefecture which recently merged into Mito?

Either way, both are great places.

Ibaraki City near Osaka is, well, near Osaka. Osaka is pretty much the city closest to Tokyo in terms of cultural experience, and Ibaraki City is very close to Osaka.

Ibaraki in Ibaraki prefecture, which as I said above merged into Mito, is also a good place to live. Mito has everything you'd expect from a large city, and it's also 2 hours from Central Tokyo on local trains. It's also closer to rural Japan.

I lived in Hitachi-Omiya, which is 30 mins north of Mito, for a year. It was a great place to live, even though it was a small town of 50000 people, it had tons of restaurants and cultural places of cultural activity. My friends and I used to go down to Mito to go to clubs/bars, and there are even a few Gaijin bars in Mito (Drunken Duck and some Irish place I forget the name of). I never felt the need to go to Tokyo because everything I needed was in Hitachi-Omiya or Mito.

Basically, people diss Ibaraki prefecture as the rural backyard of Tokyo. In reality, Ibaraki has big cities, shopping malls, restaurants and everything else you need. Tokyo-ites are just jealous they don't have the golf courses and nature that Ibaraki has on top of all of that.
by Hmm (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/8/6 02:49
i am staying in Hitachi-shi, precisely in higashi namekawa.. what do you think? and.. i am staying in homestay, so i was wondering if it is more probable that family is far from the school due to the fact that the city is little so maybe family are even in other machi
by japanstudent (guest) rate this post as useful

Hmm 2010/8/6 03:18
Hitachi city is a reasonable size. I've only been there once. It's not a large city, but neither is it small. It's also not very far from Mito, which as I said before is a decent sized city where there is plenty to do. FYI, the last train back to Hitachi from Mito is at about midnight, and you can get on a train all the way from Hitachi to Tokyo.

Google maps tells me that the Namekawa Language School is about 3-4 km north of Hitachi, and Namekawa-cho stretches from as close as 2km to central Hitachi to 4km, but there is no train station there. A bicycle would therefore come in very handy for you.

I can't see the homestay family being too far from the school, as there is no train station near the school, you would likely be expected to get there by foot or bike. It wouldn't make sense for them to live a long way away unless they took you by car every day!

Whatever happens, Ibaraki (and Hitachi, a good city) isn't as backwards as other people in this thread have made it out to be. Winterwolf's comment about rural prefectures being the death of foreigners is true in cases like Iwate and Aomori, but Ibaraki is by no means rural unless you're in the Daigo area or one of the areas that are uninhabitle because of mountains (so you couldn't live there anyway). Pretty much all of Ibaraki is urbanised or very close to urban areas.
by Hmm (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/8/6 10:27
Don't worry, there are ramen and gyudon shops all over Japan. You certainly don't need to go to Tokyo for that.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

One more answer 2010/8/7 02:37
i'd also like to know if in little places like hitachi, shops are closed during Sunday or everything is always opened like in Tokyo. also one more thing: a friend of mine, japanese from Tsukushima, said that his hometown, Hiroshima, has a population of 1 million so when i said him that hitachi has a population of 200.000 he said that it is a very little places for Japanese standard..
by japan student (guest) rate this post as useful

Hmm 2010/8/7 04:21
200000 is not little, and as I've said before, Hitachi isn't some backwater town. You'll find no matter where you go in Japan that most shops are open 7 days a week. I've lived in towns in Japan with 30000 people that have had 3 or 4 karaoke places (open all night), bars, 5 supermarkets (open until 10pm every day including Sundays), 3 electronic stores, dozens of restauarants, music and dvd stores, countless clothes stores, liquor stores, sports stores, and so on. The Japanese don't have Sunday trading laws like a lot of other places in the world, and you'll find actually that if they do shut any day, it's usually a Mon, Tue or Wed (this even happens in Tokyo).

Your friend in Hiroshima may think that a city of 200000 is small by Japanese standards, but that's only because he has large-city syndrome and little experience outside his own sphere of living. 200000 is not little by Japanese standards, it's somewhere in the middle. There are places in Japan with a populations of 50000 which are considered to be cities. So 200000 is actully quite large in the grand scheme of things.

As the other person said as well, it doesn't matter if it's a town of 5000 or 5 million, you'll find ramen, gyuudon, sushi restaurants no matter where you are in Japan.
by Hmm (guest) rate this post as useful

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