Best known for the “Cotton Way” railroad, Mooka is steeped in locomotive history, from elaborate transport museums to steam train rides. This charming town also celebrates its roots in cotton production while showcasing rich cultural traditions and natural scenery.
Things to do in Mooka
Discover the city’s locomotive history at the Mooka Railway Museum, which features a miniature railway, train models and simulators. Visit on the weekend to ride an old steam train on the famed Mooka Railway. Shug through the countryside and observe the engineers shoveling coal into the furnace.
Stroll through the 1,000-hectare Igashira Park, which has a large lake surrounded by a three-kilometer walking and cycling track. Rent a bike or hire a pedal boat and spot turtles sunbathing on the banks. Come in April to view the cherry blossom trees fringing the lake.
Ever wanted to try a traditional Japanese onsen? Spend a relaxing day in the steamy hot waters at Mooka Igashira hot spring. Mingle with locals in the public pool and saunas or bathe in the privacy of an intimate jacuzzi. After unwinding, stop by Utsunomiya Minmin to try gyoza, the region’s specialty dumplings.
Uncover the history of Moka’s thriving cotton trade at the Moka Cotton House. Moka Cotton was famous all over Japan during the Edo period. Learn about the process of cultivating cotton and try your hand at weaving or dying cotton using the traditional indigo method.
Getting around Mooka
Mooka is about an hour’s drive from Ibaraki Airport and a two-hour train or drive from Tokyo. While some attractions are within walking distance, a car is required to make the most of Mooka.