Data on IBARAKI
Ibaraki brand "Umai-Mon-Dokoro"
"Umai-Mon-Dokoro" is a pun that can mean "the place with delicious food" and also refers to a family crest like the one used by second lord of Mito, "Mito Kōmon" Tokugawa Mitsukuni. Along with the "Mito Kōmon seal of approval," this logo is used to advertise Ibaraki as an important bread basket of Japan.
Ibaraki is proud to be the largest producer of Andes Quincy melons in Japan, and in the springtime you can also see watermelons, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, spinach, tea, and burdock roots come into season.
As for seafood, it is the season for catching ice fish, clams from Kashima-nada, and delicious Japanese needlefish.
In the summer, melons and watermelons are in their peak. Also, summer vegetables such as eggplant, green bell peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, and corn are widely available.
Ibaraki is also the 3rd largest producer of pork, a great source of Vitamin B to protect you from the summer heat. Down at the Naka Port, catches full of beautiful shiny blue bonito fish are being brought in every day.
In autumn, the season for feasting in Japan, Ibaraki is the country's 2nd largest producer of the gourmet rice variety Koshihikari, and also produces the varieties Kinuhikari and Yumehitachi (an Ibaraki original). Kōsui and Hōsui nashi pears that are available from summer to autumn are also representative of the taste of Ibaraki. Ibaraki is well known around Japan for its autumn specialities such as high quality melons, grapes, persimmons, apples, sweet potatoes, chestnuts, lettuce, shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese chives, and most well known of all, Hitachi Autumn Soba.
Hitachi-gyū, a top quality soft marbled beef from Ibaraki, is said to be the king of the autumn palate.
Nearby in the ocean, highly regarded flatfish, saury, and sardines are harvested in large numbers. In Kasumigaura, you can even find the highly prized smelt fish.
In the winter, the area surrounding Lake Kasumigaura is Japan's number 1 producer of lotus root, mitsuba and Japanese parsley.
In the west part of the prefecture, Chinese cabbage and winter cabbage are in high production. The slightly warmer Rokkō region in the southeast is popular for strawberry cultivation as harvesting can occur as early as December.
During the cold winter months, the best food to warm you from the inside is called "nabe" (hot pot), and one of the best things to put in is the award winning "Oku-kuji chicken." We also musn't forget about "Ankō nabe," the Ibaraki flavour of winter.