Mito, capital of Ibaraki Prefecture
"Biggest City of a small prefecture"
Mito is about two hours from Tokyo. If you're there, check out Kairakuen (one of Japan's famous parks).
Also, stroll over to Lake Senba (pictured). If it's spring, be SURE to catch the
cherry blossoms near the lake or along Sakura Gawa (Cherry River). The
EXCEL building (station building) has some good shopping.
Tasty Local snack : Mito no Ume. Mito is famous for its "nattou" (fermented
soybeans). Nattou is perhaps an acquired taste, but once you acquire it, the
taste can't be beat.
For some culture, visit Mito's art museum, located near lake Senba, or head further into town and visit Mito "art tower" (just visible in the backround of the photo), where you can catch concerts and plays.
Downtown Mito has undergone a face lift in recent years, with many new buildings and decorative structures, but is still considered "inaka" (boondocks), by those who live in larger towns like Tokyo or Yokohama.
Personally, I prefer inaka over a big town any day.