Tourist Spot

Ibaraki escapes label of ‘Japan’s least attractive prefecture’ in annual survey

Nemophila ‘baby blue eye’ flowers are seen at Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, which attracts many tourists, in April 2021. (Mainichi/Kota Yoshida)

MITO – Ibaraki prefecture, located northeast of Tokyo, came in at 46th place – one spot from the bottom – in this year’s ranking of Japan’s most attractive prefectures, escaping notoriety as a as the “least attractive” prefecture for the first time in two years. But workers in the local tourism industry are disappointed with the prefecture’s stagnant status, saying it has an “unknown appeal”.

Private Tokyo-based think tank Brand Research Institute Inc. conducted the annual online survey of people aged 20 to 70 between June and July. He asked them to rate the attractiveness of each prefecture on a scale of one to five and gave points out of a full score of 100. Valid responses were obtained from 34,768 people.

Fukuroda Falls is seen in Daigo City, Ibaraki Prefecture, in October 2019. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)

Ibaraki had been the least attractive prefecture for most years since the survey was launched in 2009, the exceptions being 46th place in 2012 and 42nd place in 2020. Although the prefecture was rated 1.9 points from more this year than in 2021, she only got 13.5 points. out of 100. The most attractive prefecture in Hokkaido scored 73.3 points, and the average of Japan’s 47 prefectures was 27.7. The least attractive Saga prefecture in southwestern Japan scored 13.2 points.

Kaoru Suzuki, 71, the manager of a hostel in Daigo town, Ibaraki prefecture, which is home to the Fukuroda Falls tourist site, said: “It may be difficult for the prefecture to climb because it has feeling like the last place in the ranking. It’s a shame because there are a lot of things to eat and see here. She added, “I want the prefecture as a whole to make efforts to spread its attractiveness throughout the country”.

(Japanese original by Toru Morinaga, Mito Bureau)