A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Take Advantage of Annual Passes!

Rejoice ye parents! If you don’t know this already, your kids can get in FREE* to many art, nature, and science museums in Ibaraki on Saturdays…, EXCEPT Saturdays during the long-term break like summer break. Oh, but do not worry! You can still enjoy your day off with your kid(s) with a small budget if you have annual passes.
 *Some places only give you 50% off or group discounts, but I still think it’s a good deal!

Regular admission prices:
—1000yen for adults and 500yen for kids 4 to 6th graders
Annual pass prices:
—1500yen for adults & 1000yen for kids
Annual parking ticket:
—500yen per car

Potiron has fun events for kids and adults every weekend of August. The Potiron Festival is from August 12th-15th, and admissions will be free from 4PM during the Potiron Festival, so don’t miss their fireworks!

Aqua World Ooarai
Regular admission prices:—1800yen for adults, 900yen for elementary and junior high school students, and 300yen for kids over 3 years old
Annual pass prices:

—4000yen for adults, 2000yen for students, and 700yen for kids

— free

The aquarium started selling annual passes a couple of years ago, and I’d say it’s worth buying because you can “just stop by” whenever you feel like it. In fact, I didn’t need to “fight for” a parking spot the last time I went there in June because I got there around 3PM and many people were leaving! Having said that, I’m afraid the Ooarai Aquarium & beach areas are very crowded this summer since a new shopping mall Resort Outlets Oarai opened up near the Oarai Sun Beach.

This dolphin monument was unveiled on March 18th of this year.

Ibaraki Nature Museum(Museum Park)
This museum just recently started selling annual passes!!
Regular admission prices:http://www.nat.pref.ibaraki.jp/r/a/e_index.html#ny
Annual pass prices:
—1500yen for adults, 1000yen for high school & college students, and 300yen for elementary and junior high school students
— free

I’ve come to realize that many kids refer to Ibaraki Nature Museum as “the museum with moving dinosaurs” :)

Hitachi Kaihin Park
Regular admission prices: —400yen for 15 and up and 80 yen for kids
Annual pass prices:
— 510yen or 400yen with an adult annual pass

You might want to avoid going there on August 4th to 6th because that’s “Rock in Japan Festival 2006” weekend. Unfortunately, according to their website, all the tickets have been sold out, so you won’t be able to buy tickets even if you go there.

Ibaraki Flower Park
Regular admission prices:—740yen for adults from Apr1-Nov30, 370yen from Dec1 to March 31 and 370(Apr-Nov)/190(Dec-Mar)yen for kids
Annual pass:
— 2600yen per person
— free

This place is more than just a “botanical park,” it has a lot of places for kids to burn their energies! There are bobsleigh-style slide(does anyone know the official name for this thing?), a “flower-cycle” that you need to pedal on the rusty rails that are about 5-8 meters above the ground(I swear, I’ll never ride that thing again!), and the athletic area on top of the mountain. Don’t forget to go up the observation tower for a nice view!

I hope this helps :)


  • Shaney says:

    Great suggestions! I haven’t been to many of those places yet, even though I have been in Tsukuba for more than 4 years. Maybe I will do something about that situation this summer…

  • RrFish says:

    I’ve been in Tsukuba for almost 4 years now, and I’ve done a lot of researching and traveling to please my kid. LOL
    I have passes for the aquarium, nature museum and potiron. I take my child to different places pretty much every weekend, so I try to utilize whatever I can to save me money$$ !