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|Kairakuen in Mito was a landscape gardening project started by Nariaki Tokugawa
(1800-1860) Ninth feudal lord of the Mito Clan of Tokugawa Shogun family.
The park opened in July 1842. The name "Kairakuen" comes from
a saying within The Book of Mencius which states, "The ancients would
share the pleasure with people, so their pleasures would be hearty and
deep." Korakuen was built for not only feudal lords or feudal warriors,
but also for commoners. Therefore, the design incorporates characteristics
from modern parks as well as formal Japanese landscape gardens. In early
spring, about 100 different types of 3000 plum trees put flowers, making
Kairakuen one of the three most famous parks of Japan.
Mito Ume Matsuri is held at Kairakuen and Kodokan (February 16 to March 31 in 2019). Every year one million people visit the city for the festival. Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo.
One hour train trip by Super Express Hitachi which runs every one hour from JR Ueno Station, Tokyo.
Address: Tokiwa-cho, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
Open: All day 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Access: 15 minutes by bus from JR Joban Line Mito Station
|Kobuntei inside Kairakuen Park is a historic three-story wooden building.
Nariaki Tokugawa played a key role in Kobuntei's construction. He would
invite writers, artists, and residents of his domain to Kobuntei and host
parties that featured the composing of Japanese poetry and events to entertain
Admission: 200 yen
|The Kodokan, which opened in August 1841, served as the Mito Clan's school
for the feudal domain. Feudal warriors and their children attended the
Kodokan, where the admission age was 15, but there was no official graduation.
Both traditional academics and military arts were emphasized at the school.
The building is one of the nation's prized properties
Address: 1-6-29 Sannomaru, Mito City
Access: 10 minutes walk from JR Mito Station
Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Dec. 29-Dec. 31)
Admission: 200 yen
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